Today was a day of major victories on civil liberties and civil rights, both in New York City and in the nation!
A federal court judge declared New York City’s “Stop And Frisk Law”, which targeted young black and Hispanic males in 90 percent of the cases of utilizing this law. People were being stopped based on racial profiling, simply because police chose to consider young black and Hispanic males as suspect, forcing them to be checked on whether they had guns or drugs, without any obvious reason to believe so, and with 88 percent of those stopped sent on their way without charges or arrests.
The federal court judge ruled that the “Stop And Frisk” law violated the 4th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment, and ordered that federal monitors watch over changes in the law.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly denounced the decision, and plan an appeal, but it is clear that minority youth are being victimized, with only a small percentage actually engaged in crimes and wrongdoing.
Attorney General Eric Holder also gave a speech today in San Francisco before the American Bar Association, and called for a new policy on those arrested and incarcerated for drug possession, which puts many people in prison, ruins their lives for the future when they leave prison, and if anything, teaches them about crime because of the environment they live in while in prison. It also undermines the ability of their families, including children, to advance out of poverty in the long run.
It is amazing that population has gone up about 40 percent since 1980, but 800 percent increase in people in prison and jails, and it is costing the nation $80 billion a year to house and supervise 2.2 million people in prison, dooming the drug offenders with a disadvantage they cannot overcome when they leave incarceration.
This is all due to Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs, which began in 1971, and has totally failed, another part of the Nixon tragedy for our nation.
One can be sure that the Republican Party will oppose both developments today, but it is essential to promote justice and equality in a country that claims to believe in freedom and liberty.
And the idea that 5 percent of the world (the US), houses 25 percent of all prisoners worldwide is atrocious, unacceptable, and great cannon fodder for our enemies overseas, besides being morally wrong! And much of this imprisonment is in the South, with private corporations making incarceration a profit making business, which is, in itself, despicable!
The Bill of Rights and other civil liberties is in constant combat with those who have no concern for these rights,but today has been a good day for civil liberties and civil rights!