Black and Hispanic Students Targeted Unfairly by School Cops, NYCLU Claims (UPDATE)

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The NYPD took over school safety in 1998, and the New York Civil Liberties Union claims that cops have since abused their position, using their role to stop and frisk students.

Today, the NYCLU released what's said to be the first study chronicling student arrest and summons data, and the results are pretty startling: During the last three months of 2011, an average of five students were arrested daily -- 93.5 percent were black or Hispanic.

The vast majority of these schoolkids -- 74.9 percent -- were male.

Most of these arrests took place in the Bronx (28 percent), followed by Brooklyn (26.2 percent), Manhattan (19.7 percent), Queens (14.7 percent), and Staten Island (11.5 percent).

Of the 513,041 middle and high school pupils (and 22,888 special-education students) surveyed, the NYCLU noticed that nine summonses were given daily -- 63 percent of which were for disorderly conduct.

"Michael Bloomberg's administration is committed to targeting young men of color in policing, be it in the schools or on the streets," Johanna Miller, NYCLU assistant advocacy director, told Runnin' Scared. "This is stop-and-frisk in schools, and it's targeting the same people."

When the deal was originally brokered to bring cops into schools, educators and city officials agreed that the number of officers would not change, according to Miller.

Miller says that the number has ballooned from some 3,000 to around 5,200, however.

"If police have a role in schools, it's not to enforce basic rules of conduct and discipline. If they're there, it needs to be for basic security purposes," Miller says.

"It needs to be to keep children safe, not to keep them behaving. Criminalizing school behavior and students' mistakes does not result in good outcomes for kids. It's making interactions between young men of color and police more fraught."

UPDATE: "The NYCLU talks about arrests in schools but, conveniently, not crimes," Paul Browne, NYPD spokesman, told Runnin' Scared in an e-mail.

"There were 801 felonies in the schools last year, compared to 1,577 in 2001 before the current administration took office. That 50 percent reduction in serious crime was made through the good work of dedicated School Safety Officers and Police Officers. Schools are kept safe by their ongoing efforts."

Stop-and-frisk -- and NYPD's treatment of minorities -- have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. The NYCLU filed a lawsuit against the city for records on police patrols of private buildings, which overwhelmingly target minorities.

Councilman Jumaane Williams has demanded that Bloomberg hold cops accountable after a Bronx teen was shot and killed by cops at his grandmother's home.

And in Frisky Business, the Voice's Graham Rayman recently reported that more than 36 stop-and-frisk lawsuits had been filed against the city since the beginning of 2012, meaning that New York could face some 400 lawsuits this year.

In 2010, the NYCLU filed a class-action lawsuit against the city challenging these practices. The case is in the preliminary stages.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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8 comments
Hotshot7
Hotshot7

Yeah I guess the way to correct the problem is to arrest some innocent Harvard and MIT bound Asian students to even things out so that other populations that are committing crimes don't look so bad.

LoveForAll
LoveForAll

First of all, you get targeted if you are doing something wrong. If a student complains to an official that you are menacing them - then yes - you will be targeted.  If a student reports you for bringing a weapon to school - yes - you will be targeted.  See how it works?  Secondly, most of the students targeted will be black and hispanic anyway, simply based on the public school population.  Whites won't be a big factor - simply because whites don't attend the NYC public school system in large numbers. In 2007, Latino students made up 39.4% of the student population. Blacks made up 32.2% of the student population. Whites students made up only 14.2% of the population, and the remainder were Asian and other.  If a bag if filled mostly with apples, with a few oranges and pears,it is likely that you will pick out an apple when you reach into the bag. And let's not forget that those arrested very often were taken in for weapons possession - something that they brought upon themselves.  People must take  responsibility for their own actions. Oh and in 2012?  The white population in the public school system might just be even lower. 

JesChillin
JesChillin

 I get what you're saying man. Some people might disagree with how you said it, but I think you are just saying that the NYC school population doesn't really have many whites compared to other groups, so of course whites won't make up a huge percentage of the arrested pool. Right?  That makes senses, though other people might refuse to see it that way because they have a political agenda.

Vessey7
Vessey7

According to your logic since most of the people who do drugs are white then most of the people arrested should be white.....but that is not the case...the police target black communites like crown heights,bushwich,eny and turn a blind eye on parkslope,bayridge and the upper east side...

Tumnus
Tumnus

Great, just champion racism, great, you deserve a prize. A bag of flaming sh*t wouldn't be good enough for you, but hey, you deserve it!

JustSayin
JustSayin

Logically it would be relevant to know what percentage of students are in what category. Just because the majority of students arrested are non-white and the majority of students are non-white means little statistically.

Similarly, can LGBT people have their civil rights voted on by heterosexual people because they are not the majority? Just because non-white students are in the majority does not mean that logic does not apply to them anymore!

There are rights, principles and statistical probability. Which are you referring to?

Friggy
Friggy

Vessey7:  We're talking about NYC here, and specifically, about the NYC public school system.  The fact that most people who do drugs are white is not even an issue.  Think logically before you post. The population of the public school system in NYC is about 73% black and hispanic.  By your own logic, most of the individuals arrested would be still be black and hispanic, assuming that all groups (including whites, asians, other) participate in the crimes equally.  So what's the issue here?  However, I do have a big problem with stop and frisk.  To me, stop and frisk is a violation of the Constitution.  I don't even know why we must try the issue in the courts.  It seems so clear to me.

Kingcreole727
Kingcreole727

 Tumnus, apparently you don't know how to do the simple math of percentages. You are probably a flaming bag of sh*t yourself.  Your argument (a non argument) says it all. No one is championing racism here.   Certainly LoveforAll wasn't.  We can not change things if we don't own up to our societal problems.  Racism is a societal problem. But it is not the only problem. Cut certain minority communities have problems such as low graduation rates and the lack of positive role models; problems that can not simply be blamed on racism.  Stop playing the race card.Then maybe we can focus on motivating young urban kids to build a brighter future for themselves. Tumnus, I hope you realize what a moron you are.

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