Thursday, July 7, 2011

New York Civil Liberties Union - Take Action

New York Civil Liberties Union - Take Action
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NYC Police Survey

This summer, the NYCLU is surveying New Yorkers about their experiences with the NYPD. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Dear friend,

The numbers tell the tale. In 2009, NYPD officers made 26,710 street stops in low-income Brownsville, Brooklyn. That same year, police stopped only about 3,000 people in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Across New York City, residents of low-income communities of color are far more likely to be stopped and frisked by police than residents of wealthy, predominantly white neighborhoods.

This summer, we're examining how the NYPD's policing practices affect New Yorkers' quality of life. You can help. Please share your experiences with police in your neighborhood and your thoughts on how to improve community policing. (The survey is completely anonymous and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.)

Teams of volunteers are surveying residents in neighborhoods across the five boroughs -- from East Harlem to Park Slope and from University Heights to Jamaica, Queens. This information will show how the NYPD's practices affect people differently across the city. It will help us fight for better, more just policing citywide.

For years, the NYPD's heavy-handed enforcement of minor offenses and violations has disproportionately affected communities of color, low-income communities, immigrant communities and LGBT communities. This "broken windows" approach has led to a dramatic increase in arrests and summonses for petty offenses like riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, carrying an open container and possessing small amounts of marijuana -- more than 500,000 summonses were issued in 2008 alone.

And the vast majority of police street stops don't result in an arrest or a summons. In many neighborhoods, police regularly stop innocent people who are simply going about their business. Since 2004, NYPD officers have stopped and harassed about 3 million completely innocent people. About 8 out of 10 were black or Latino.

We can stop the NYPD's discriminatory policing practices, but we need your help. The survey runs through Aug. 15. Our goal is to gather more than 5,000 surveys from New Yorkers across the city. Please lend your voice to the conversation!

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