SF Communities Organize to Halt “Stop and Frisk”

Dr. Amos Brown

By Chanelle Bell Mayor Ed Lee, responding to organized community opposition, has announced he will no longer call for a “Stop and Frisk” policy in San Francisco, the controversial routine stops practiced by police in New York and other cities. “We will not be implementing the Stop and Frisk” program or variations of that,” Lee said last week. “Stop and Frisk” is a policy the New York Police Department (NYPD) has adopted, seen by many as racial profiling, which gives police officers freedom to stop anyone who they deem “suspicious” and frisk, meaning pat down to look for a weapon, right there on the spot. Mayor Lee’s plan to enact a “Stop and Frisk” policy that bore any connection to the New York model sparked outrage throughout  Bay Area communities. Dr. Amos Brown, pastor at San Francisco’s Third Baptist Church and president of the NAACP’s San Francisco chapter, joined with  other local African American leaders to help keep Lee from implenting the plan. The leaders rallied the support of local communities and made sure everyone heard the organized discontent. “If Mayor Lee would have listened well, he would have heard that 75,000 people marched in New York to tell Bloomberg that ‘Stop and Frisk’ is nothing but racial profiling,” Brown said. According to NYPD reports from January-April 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by police a total of 203,500 times; 89 percent were innocent, 54 percent were Black, 33 percent were Latino, and 9 percent were white. Lee dropped the Stop and Frisk plan thanks to the efforts of the NAACP and other Bay Area leaders,  Brown said. “NAACP is an action group. We don’t believe in rhetoric, we believe in results,’ he said. At a meeting that Brown held this week following Mayor Lee’s announcement , tempers  were still flaring among community leaders, reverends,and civilians who are concerned about how can they can end the violence happening in the Bay Area. “Our boys are in the hospitals shot up, our families are devastated! Everybody is making money off of our blood. It is apartheid of our people!” Exclaimed Sharen Hewitt, Founder and Executive Director of Community Leadership Academy and Emergency Response Project (CLAER). Dr. Brown assured the attendees that the NAACP will not let go of this issue. “The NAACP is dedicated to finding a hollistic approach to the senseless violence. We are the big dog that bites when no one else will,” he added.
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