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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Urges DOJ Intervention in Stop and Frisk

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke, along with dozens of her colleagues, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week asking the Department of Justice to intervene in Floyd, et al. v. City of New York and Hassan, et al. v. City of New York for their use of the statutory pattern and practice authority to protect the constitutional rights of residents of the New York metropolitan area.

In the previous decade, of the more than 3.8 million innocent people who have been detained by the police, almost ninety percent were African-American or Latino.

In addition, the Police Department has conducted investigations of hundreds of mosques, and dozens of Islamic schools, Muslim student organizations, non-profit organizations, “persons of interest” and “ethnic hotspots.” 

“Our Constitution establishes that individuals are presumed innocent,” said Representative Yvette D. Clarke. “The practice of conducting searches of young African-American and Latino men on the sidewalk, and the warrantless surveillance of Muslims gathered for study in schools and prayer in mosques, undermines our civil society’s moral commitment to the personal privacy and dignity of each person.”

“We cannot remain indifferent as the constitutional and common law rights of our fellow New York City residents are violated. We need answers from our elected officials and their appointees. We need the federal government to become involved on behalf of the people of New York.

“After weeks of gun violence in our city, some have justified the use of stop and frisk, a policy which has only created fear within our neighborhoods and increased tensions between our community and the police. It is important to note that if we do not address stop and frisk, immediately and effectively, this policy can have national implications,” concluded Representative Clarke.