In video published Monday, the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Department explained the horrors of stop-and-frisk searches.
“The whole experience is humiliating, it’s embarrassing, and really, you know, it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, how tough you are, whatever, it’s a scary thing,”33-year-old medical student David Floyd told Colorlines. “Because you don’t know what’s going to happen with your life, you don’t know what’s going to happen with your freedom.”
New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy permits officers to stop, question and search anyone merely for appearing suspicious. The controversial practice is aimed at uncovering illegal guns and drugs, but has faced a slew of criticism from those who contend the aggressive searches primarily target ethnic minorities.
Floyd said he was stopped by police on two occasions.
“This type of activity is unacceptable, it’s unacceptable,” he continued. “And I don’t like walking around feeling like I am being treated like a n*gger; and I will say because that’s what it feels like when people stop you and threaten to take your freedom away.”
The lawsuit alleges the NYPD is violating the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by searching individuals without proper cause. The NYPD stopped and frisked 684,330 people in 2011. Nine out of 10 people stopped were innocent and 87 percent were either African American or Hispanic, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Watch video, courtesy of Colorlines.com, below: