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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mayor Ed Lee's Stop-and-Frisk Policy Is Giving San Franciscans Something to Protest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

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Not surprisingly, the news that Mayor Ed Lee was considering implementing a stop-and-frisk policy in this liberal bastion sent plenty of San Franciscans reeling. The impetus behind the mayor's idea is to put a clamp on the never-ending gun violence on the street.

But community members here are hoping to put a clamp on the mayor's plan even before its been officially proposed. A group already started a Facebook page to protest Stop and Frisk, and next Tuesday, San Francisco's Black Young Democrats will host a rally on the steps of City Hall at 10 a.m. The group is also circulating its own petition saying "no" to a stop-and-frisk policy in San Francisco.

"This initiative would directly affect young minorities of color,

legitimize and legalize racial discrimination and profiling, and set a

precedent that damages our constitution," the petition reads. "The

Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable search and seizures -- 

however, this policy allows the disregard of 'probable cause.'"

As we previously reported, one look at the data culled from New York and Philadelphia, two cities that currently employ this controversial policing practice, shows that it does very little to get illegal guns off the streets. Fewer than 2 percent of the NYPD frisks uncovered a weapon. 

But what the policy has done is increase tensions between law enforcement and the public, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

Many people claim this policy condones and encourages racial profiling. Indeed, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union, the majority of individuals stopped in New York City were young Latino (33.7 percent) and black men (52.9 percent). More than half were between 14 and 24 years old.

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Laura Rena Murray


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