Among the thousands who turned out to march down Fifth Avenue in protest of the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy Sunday were several prominent political opponents of the practice, which saw police stop over 685,000 people, the vast majority of whom were people of color, while collecting 780 guns. Likely candidates in next year’s mayoral election have focused on reforming some elements of the controversial policy, but many of the leaders who participated in the march explained to The Politicker that they want stop and frisk ended entirely.
“I don’t know how you can keep it and take the quotas and the profiling out of it and, therefore, I think they need an entirely new program. I don’t know how you mend something based on quotas and race,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, one of the organizers of the march.
Several Council members held a rally along with several members of the Occupy Wall Street movement to call attention to allegedly excessive force used by police who cleared crowds at the Occupy protest in Zuccotti Park Saturday night. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who has been a staunch supporter of the Occupy movement and claims he was the victim of excessive police force when he was arrested during the eviction of the protest from Zuccotti Park last November, said there will be a massive “Day of Action” for Occupy next Saturday, that he is working on a bill to establish a “protester’s Bill of Rights” and that he plans to push Christine Quinn to hold a hearing reviewing the NYPD’s handling of the occupiers.
“I am here today because, on Saturday night, I saw the NYPD using brutal excessive force arresting peaceful people that had gathered in this park,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “More than 1,000 people came here to celebrate our sixth month anniversary in a peacful way, saying Occupy is here, Occupy is alive, Occupy will not leave.”