By Keith Rushing
Following San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s announcement late last month that he is considering implementing a stop-and-frisk policing policy similar to New York’s controversial program, civil and human rights advocates from the Bay area voiced strong opposition to the proposal, which included drafting an organizational sign-on letter to push back against the idea.
“Together with community advocates and civil and human rights groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco stands united in opposition to the implementation of an ‘NYC style stop-and-frisk’ policy in San Francisco, ” the letter stated.
The letter discussed the fact that the New York City Police Department [NYPD] rarely finds weapons or contraband, yet the NYPD stopped some 685,724 people in 2011—with 84 percent of those searched being black and Latino. Blacks make up 23 percent of the city's populatoin and Latinos comprise 29 percent the letter stated.
In addition, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a nonbinding resolution, which called on Lee to abandon any attempt to implement such a program. San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr expressed strong reservations about a stop and frisk police being launched there.
The coalition of more than 50 organizations united in opposition included the Asian Law Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, La Raza Centro Legal, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee., the W. Harwood Burns Institute, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Muslim Advocates and the Council of American-Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area.