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Know Your Rights
Source: 429 Magazine
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

LGBT New Yorkers want to put an end to the NYPD “stop and frisk” practices

In New York City, the Center of Constitutional’s Rights (CCR) and LGBT individuals are coming out in support of the Floyd v. City of New York trial.

The Floyd v. City of New York trial is a case regarding Bloomberg’s administration’s stop-and-frisk act. Many New Yorkers feel the policy violates the Constitution’s protections against racial discrimination and irrational searches and seizures.

During the second week of the trial, influential organizations and New York citizens came forward and said that of the 5 million stops made since Bloomberg took office, many of those accosted were LGBT, particularly those of color, and were stopped and frisked by the NYPD.

“We are are part of the plaintiff class in Floyd. What is happening in the federal court in Floyd is as critical as what is happening in the Supreme Court this week – the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices are a powerful tool of discrimination against LGBTQ people of color,” Co-Coordinator of Streetwise and Safe (SAS), an LGBTQQ youth of color organization in New York, Andrea J. Ritchie, told 429Magazine.

“That is why we came out to pack the court room and call attention to the stake LGBTQ New Yorkers have in the outcome of the Floyd case, and that is why we support passage of the Community Safety Act.”

City University of New York’s Graduate Center’s research has reported that LGBT citizens in New York are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted by NYPD.

In a SAS press release, several LGBT New Yorkers came out to tell their stories of being assaulted by police officers.

“Invisible in the statistics are the many ways in which LGBTQ youth and people of color are policed – whether we are being groped and called a ‘faggot’ during a stop like I was, or we are being told to empty our pockets or open up a bag or purse, only to have condoms taken away as evidence that we are about to engage in unlawful conduct,” said Mitchyll Mora, a 23 year old Latino youth leader at Streetwise and Safe.

Mora also states that he has been subjected to what is called a “gender check.”

He says, “We are often subjected to ‘gender checks’ by NYPD officers without any legal basis, or we are profiled based on our race, our age, our sexual orientation or gender identity, or the fact that we are disproportionately homeless.”

“The police are supposed to protect us, not intimidate us,” said Sherlyn Bravo, a member of Make the Road New York. “But because I am a transgender Latina, I am constantly at risk of being falsely accused, arrested and intimidated by the police.”

“I did not think of going to the police for help. In fact, they are one of the groups that has committed violence against me,” said Octavius Caesar, a member of the Speaker’s Bureau at AVP. “I should not have to be afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me.”

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