Fresh off their Celebrate Brooklyn performance this past weekend, celebrating the World Cup games in South Africa in "OkayAfrica" with Talib Kweli and others, as well as their new album, How I Got Over, in stores now, The Roots film a music video on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall. The Roots are also in the studio working with John Legend. The Roots, and Brooklyn, so cool.
A New York Times interactive graphic and accompanying article by reporters Ray Rivera, Al Baker and Janet Roberts explores the effects and impact of the controversial but growing use of stop, frisk and question by the NYC Police Department as a crime fighting tool. The interactive map which provides statistics on violent crime, provides detailed information on stops, frisks, whether force was used, and resulting arrests, as well as the race/ethnicity of the individuals stopped for questioning by the police. This is the type of complex and frankly "arresting" story, with best-of-intentions laced with moral ambiguity on all sides that makes the NY Times the great American newspaper.
Excerpt from the NY TIMES article: “…a former professional basketball player who runs the Brownsville Recreation Center, said the rising tide of stops had left many who wanted a strong police presence here feeling conflicted.
“Do we welcome the police?” he said, “Of course I do. Ninety-nine percent of the people in the area do. But they also fear the police because you can get stopped at any time.”
New York is among several major cities across the country that rely heavily on the stop-and-frisk tactic, but few cities, according to law enforcement experts, employ it with such intensity. In 2002, the police citywide documented 97,000 of these stops; last year, the department registered a record: 580,000.
There are, to be sure, plenty of reasons for the police to be out in force in this section of Brooklyn, and plenty of reasons for residents to want them there. Murders, shootings and drug dealing have historically made this one of the worst crime corridors in the city.
But now, in an era of lower crime rates, both in this part of Brooklyn and across the city, questions are swirling over what is emerging as a central tool in the crime fight, one intended to give officers the power to engage anyone they reasonably suspect has committed a crime or is about to.