End Improper Criminalization of Innocent People

Target: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly

Goal: Decriminalize innocent people stopped by the New York City police

The New York Police Department has issued a statement indicating that they will change the way that they document individuals that are stopped by the department in New York City. This policy change will decriminalize those who were stopped but found innocent.

New York City’s Stop and Frisk policy is quite controversial because of the tendency of police officers to stop individuals of color. Under scrutiny for legal racial profiling, the policy is being addressed in court as well as in the New York City Council, as millions of stop-and-frisks have taken place since the original policy was put in place and the majority of those stopped have been young black men.

Now, the police department will be purging the database of the names and addresses of those who were stopped in a stop-and-frisk but weren’t found to be in violation of any laws. Before this, anyone who had been stopped in a stop-and-frisk would be put into the city’s database and would be under investigation if any other contact with the police department took place later, even if the individual stopped had not been found guilty of any crime. This means that innocent individuals stopped by a stop-and-frisk were specifically targeted and criminalized just for being stopped once before. This is particularly problematic because of the tendency for those stopped to be of specific demographics.

The new policy will stop this type of criminalization from happening, as anyone who was stopped in a stop-and-frisk but was not arrested or issued a summons will be deleted from the database, and this information cannot be used against them in further contact with the police department. Additionally, any individuals who were stopped in a stop-and-frisk and were issued a summons but had their charges dismissed or had cases that had non-criminal findings will be removed from the database. This change will decriminalize individuals who should be found innocent.

By signing the petition below you will be supporting this policy change and calling for the end of unfair criminalization of innocent people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly,

The Stop and Frisk program of the NYPD has been considered controversial because of its tendency to target specific individuals based on their age, gender, and race. After individuals are stopped because of the Stop and Frisk program, their information is kept in a database even when the individuals are found innocent and have no need to be on file.

I am writing you to ask you to follow through with the legislative change that will purge the names of innocent individuals from the databases that the NYPD keeps on those who are stopped in a stop-and-frisk setting. If individuals are stopped in this manner but are not found to be in violation of any legislation and have cases that are dismissed or have non-criminal resolutions, they should not continue to be targeted by the police department. Changing this policy will decriminalize many innocent individuals, and this is incredibly important to do to protect the rights of U.S. citizens.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • Bruce Hlodnicki
  • Bruce Hlodnicki
  • Ginger Hill
  • EDWARD G. MRKVICKA
  • Ela Gotkowska
  • jess b
  • Amitav Dash
  • T Baker
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