Donte James and Derrick Adams say police stopping them is just a part of their life in Brownsville.
“We walk out to the store and they just frisk us for no reason. Ain’t nothing changes it needs changes. People just need to start talking up for the black community and stop letting the cops do this to us,” James said. “We just human as much as they are.”
“They say it is a high crime rate out here but not everyone is a criminal,” Adams said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the controversial stop-and-frisk policy at the nearby First Baptist Church of Brownsville Sunday. He says the practice does lower crime, but he also said there is room for improvement.
“It is good that they are doing it. Cause it is getting all the guns and all the weapons and all the bad people, crime people off the streets,” said Brownsville Resident Vincent Barnett.
Bishop A.D. Lyons says while the work the police department is doing is bringing down crime he says at the same time it can be done in a respectful manor.
“We have to respect them even if they are carrying a gun. You can’t just slam somebody against the wall, slam them down and put your knee on them. You have got to treat them. They are human,” Lyons said.
It does kind of put a strain on our culture and our Hispanic community because they don’t stop nobody but us, you know it becomes a hassle after a while,” said one city resident.
Clergy members say the key to improving the practice is keeping an open dialog.
“But I think what is happening between this new coalition between the police department and the African American community things are really changing. Because under Police Commissioner Kelly we have been meeting on a consistent basis,” said Bishop Gerald Seabrook of Rehoboth Cathedral.