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NY Lawmakers Describe Their Own Experiences Being Stopped And Frisked

Two New York City Council members — both of whom support a bill that would dramatically change the way that police officers stop people on the street — say that they themselves have been stopped and frisked by police.

“When it happened to me, I assumed that everything they did was of procedure,” Council member Antonio Reynoso (D) said on Thursday of his encounter with New York City Police Department officers. “It wasn’t until becoming a chief of staff to a local council member, and then eventually a council member, that I realized the entire stop was illegal.”

“It wasn’t justified. They didn’t tell us anything,” he continued. “They told us to turn around and put our hands on the wall. They searched our pockets and then they left. We didn’t know who they were, where they came from. We barely saw their faces — that’s how fast they moved.”

And five years ago, when Council member Donovan Richards (D) was walking to the store to buy some milk, someone grabbed his arm.

“Apparently there was a fire in a building that I knew nothing of, and an officer grabbed me, literally grabbed my arm,” Richards said Thursday. “I didn’t know who he was, and basically told me I couldn’t move any further, and he did not identify himself to me. I had no idea he was a police officer. When I asked him to give me his name, he refused to do it.”

 

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