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Friday, March 30, 2012

New York police officers defy order to cut marijuana arrests

New York City is suffering from a string of embarrassments including NYPD's "Stop and Frisk" policy that is resulting in drug charges against folks who were searched without a warrant or probable cause and arrested for possession of extremely limited quantities of illegal drugs. A lawsuit has been filed accusing NYPD of discrimination against black and brown people who suffer the brunt of "Stop and Frisk" searches. NYPD is even hauling its victims back to the precinct for humiliating and degrading strip searches.
Survey shows nearly half of people charged with marijuana posession were not displaying the drug when they were stopped. Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders. Nearly half of New Yorkers picked up for small amounts of marijuana possession in recent months were not displaying the drug before they were stopped, the study shows, despite an order by New York police chief Ray Kelly that officers should not charge people in such circumstances. The revelations will fuel criticisms of the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, which opponents say is criminalising a generation of young people from ethnic minorities and leading to tensions between police and the public...In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession; some 30,000 of these came after police stops....Darnell, who lives in the South Bronx who and requested his last name not be used, was stopped by the NYPD as he was crossing 170th and Valentine streets last October. He said two officers patted him down but stopped short of searching him in public. Instead, they took Darnell back to the precinct and asked him to remove his pants and underwear. “They went through everything, and finally found about $20 of marijuana in my hat,” Darnell said. “They didn’t give me no reason for stopping me in the first place.” Darnell was held for 12 hours...
Read the rest here
The Raw Story