UNITED SIKHS Salutes New York City Mayor for Proposing Deal to End NYPD ‘Stop-and-Frisk’

New York, NY-On January 30th, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the city had reached an agreement over the NYPD’s ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ policy. This policy includes stopping, interrogating, and frisking minorities in the less affluent neighborhoods of New York City.

“We’re here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city,” Mr. De Blasio said at a news conference.

Due to its profiling nature, Sikhs and Muslims have been particular targets of this policy. The ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ policy was found to be unconstitutional by a federal judge about a year ago for this reason, finding it to be, “a policy of indirect racial profiling.”

The city has appealed this decision but Mayor De Blasio and Center for Constitutional Rights have announced that they will now settle the suits by pursuing the judge’s remedies.

“This is a positive step towards seeing an end to the ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ policy. It has been too long that Sikhs and other minorities living in or visiting New York City have been stopped and questioned because of their appearance, where they come from, or what neighborhood they happened to be in. The majority of these ‘stops’ were of people who are innocent,” said Anisha Singh, policy advocate and attorney for UNITED SIKHS.  “We thank Mayor Bill De Blasio for withdrawing the city’s appeal and embracing the judge’s remedies.”

UNITED SIKHS has received many complaints from New York residents who experienced ‘Stop-and-Frisk.’

The Stop-and-Frisk program in New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department by which police officers stop and question hundreds of thousands of pedestrians annually, and frisk them for weapons and other contraband. The rules for stop, question and frisk are found in New York State Criminal Procedure Law section 140.50. The stop-and-frisk program also aims to promote proactive policing. Proactive policing is the practice of deterring criminal activity by showing police presence and engaging the public to learn their concerns, thereby preventing crime from taking place in the first place. It began with former Mayor David Dinkins, 1990-1993. New York, having the reputation of being a dangerous crime infested city that it was, needed a turn around. Dinkins attempted to do this with a 1.8 billion dollar plan to fight fear in New York by hiring 8,000 new officers. NYC.gov shows the murder rate in New York City peaked in 1990 and dropped 30% by 1994. However, most of the credit goes to Dinkins’ successor, Rudy Giuliani.

UNITED SIKHS International Civil and Human Rights Directorate is here to assist you with hate/bias-related crimes and incidents. Examples include racial slurs and rudeness, such as spitting, name-calling etc., indirect discrimination in the workplace and behavior such as refusal of entry to places of leisure because of their particular racial features, and physical assaults against people resulting in loss of life and damage to property, including Gurdwaras and homes. If you or someone you know has experienced any of these harmful acts, please reach out to us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.


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