Memo to the New York Post: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

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Huffington Post

October, 2013
By Vincent Warren

The New York Post is having trouble understanding some basic tenets of democracy, which explains why they found my invitation for you to join us in court for today's important hearing in our stop-and-frisk case "troubling." New Yorkers, who have been unconstitutionally profiled and stopped by the NYPD by the hundreds of thousands, are entitled to a front-row seat watching an independent judiciary listen to arguments for and against a decision that will directly affect their lives. Memo to the Post: It's called transparency, not "intimidation," and it's an essential part of what makes democracy work.

Given the Post's track-record editorializing in support of stop-and-frisk and faithfully transcribing the NYPD's press releases in their news section, it is not surprising that they are also blaming the increased number of homeless New Yorkers on the City's subways not on the lack of affordable housing but -- you guessed right -- on the lack of stop and frisk.

For over a decade, the City has resisted reforms to abusive, discriminatory policing practices. Their latest attempt consists of attempting to delay the remedial process ordered by the court in the landmark Floyd v. City of New York decision. It is more of the same coming from the Bloomberg administration -- except now they are seeking to continue stop-and-frisk practices in the face of an unequivocal court ruling that the practice violates the rights of thousands of New Yorkers every year. Today, my colleague Darius Charney argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that it is in the community's best interest that we begin this process without further delay.

Dozens of community organizations, law enforcement officials and experts, faith leaders, unions, and elected officials have spoken out in support of reform and against further delays in beginning the urgent process of reforming the NYPD to make our city a place where discriminatory policing is a thing of the past and where all New Yorkers feel safe and respected by their police department.

The mayor, the NYPD press office and the stenographers at the Post may think that routinely stopping innocent New Yorkers is a good idea, but the rest of us know that that's not how a democracy works.

Orginally published here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-warren/memo-to-the-new-york-post_b_4174558.html