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A Powerful Testimonial: ‘Young, Black and Frisked by the NYPD’

“Young, Black and Frisked by the NYPD” is a powerful testimonial from 23 year-old Nicholas Peart, a NYC-based college student who has been “stopped and frisked” by the NYPD at least five times.

His story is both horrifying and familiar, conveying experiences shared by countless African American males across the country; particularly those who have been living under New York City’s racist “stop and frisk” program.

From the New York Times:

“One evening in August of 2006, I was celebrating my 18th birthday with my cousin and a friend. We were staying at my sister’s house on 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan and decided to walk to a nearby place and get some burgers. It was closed so we sat on benches in the median strip that runs down the middle of Broadway. We were talking, watching the night go by, enjoying the evening when suddenly, and out of nowhere, squad cars surrounded us. A policeman yelled from the window, “Get on the ground!”

I was stunned. And I was scared. Then I was on the ground — with a gun pointed at me. I couldn’t see what was happening but I could feel a policeman’s hand reach into my pocket and remove my wallet. Apparently he looked through and found the ID I kept there. “Happy Birthday,” he said sarcastically. The officers questioned my cousin and friend, asked what they were doing in town, and then said goodnight and left us on the sidewalk.

Less than two years later, in the spring of 2008, N.Y.P.D. officers stopped and frisked me, again. And for no apparent reason.”

Read the rest of Peart’s powerful editorial at NYTimes.com!

Have you ever been stopped by the police for no apparent reason?

Is a program like the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” program ever appropriate?

Sound off below!