A shocking audio recording shows NYPD officers callingan African-American teenager a “fucking mutt,” and threatening him with repeated violence during a stop-and-frisk of the 16-year-old Harlem student.
The profanity-laced clip, obtained by The Nation, exposes the racist behavior and violent predisposition by the three plainclothes officers who stopped the student, named Alvin, simply because he “kept looking back” at them.
In the two-minute recording, Alvin is repeatedly heard asking the officers why they’ve stopped him, but never received a legitimate answer. Instead, the officers attempt to intimidate him with threats to “break [his] f—ing arm” and punch him in the face.
At one point, an officer answers the teenager and tells him he’s been stopped because he’s a “fucking mutt.”
The officers also threaten Alvin with arrest.
The audio calls into question the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisks, which has already received strong criticism from civil rights advocates, community groups, and local politicians for disproportionately targeting blacks and Latinos in New York City.
In 2011, of the nearly 700,000 people stopped by NYPD, 87 percent were either black or Latino.
Nine out of 10 stopped were neither arrested nor issued a summons.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have continued to defend the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk, saying it keeps guns off the street.
A bill coming up before City Council this week calls for an Inspector General to oversee the NYPD, and would empower those who believe they were racially profiled by cops to file lawsuits.
The video, made by Ross Tuttle, also includes interviews with anonymous NYPD veterans who say the department promotes unnecessary stop and frisks on a routine basis.
In June, a teenager named Tyquan Brehon said that by the time he turned 18, he had been stop-and-frisked more than 60 times. The collective experience was so psychologically damaging, Brehon explained, that he would purposely try to get suspended from school just to avoid contact with police.