Dr. Cornell West was arrested today protesting the NYPD’s use of “stop and frisk” searches:
Princeton professor and noted activist Cornel West was arrested last weekend for protesting in front of the Supreme Court, and on Friday afternoon he repeated the experience in New York City.
West was part of a demonstration against the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policy, in which individuals considered suspicious by the police are searched without due cause.
According to Salon’s Justin Elliott, the NYPD carried out 600,000 such searches last year, with 87% of the targets being black or Hispanic. Only 7% of the searches resulted in arrest, and critics of the policy say it does little to reduce crime and is probably unconstitutional.
Here’s the speech he gave moments before the arrests began:
These searches, even if they yielded arrests the majority of the time, have enormous potential for abuse - evident with the NYPD’s application of stop and frisk searches. To me, the searches are a morally reprehensible violation of a person’s civil rights.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
Keep fighting, folks. King wrote in the same letter, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”