Cops & ICE Focus Of Black & Hispanic Caucus Address

Markeshia Ricks Photo From the lectern, Upper Westville Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr. recalled the time a New Haven police officer grabbed him and yelled at him about riding a red mountain bike.

The incident happened on the street he grew up on, Ray Road. In the same neighborhood he now represents. It happened in front of his childhood home, in front of his two sisters and their neighbors. The bike was his. It even had his name on it. Brackeen was a teenager at the time; he has never forgotten it.

Brackeen recalled that anecdote Wednesday night as part of his remarks during the Black and Hispanic Caucus’s annual State of the City address at City Hall. He said that experience of racial profiling changed how he saw the police. Brackeen, Fair Haven Alder Jose Crespo, and City Point Alder Dolores Colon shared the duties of delivering the address.

“I never thought I would be a statistic for simply riding my bike while being black,” Brackeen said. said. “It was at that moment that I realized that I was a victim of racial profiling. It was then that I realized that no matter that I was a smart decent kid from a middle class neighborhood I too was a target for racial profiling. It was at that moment that I questioned the policing practices of our city.”

Brackeen said the city has made progress by bringing walking beats back to the city. But as evidenced by a recent public hearing on the establishment of a civilian review board, the police haven’t completely won the confidence of the community.

“There is a real concern about police violence,” he said. “Their concerns are real; their losses are real. We hear each and every one of your stories. We hear your pain”

He said the city needs to put in place that civilian review board, as directed by a 2013 charter revision vote.He also praised the steps that have been taken so far to secure and fund body cameras as a necessary part of reestablishing that trust and encouraging transparency.

“It’s going to take work to rebuild confidence in our system,” he said. “If community policing is going to live up to its reputation and potential, we need to build more trust between both sides and hold each other to the highest standards of accountability as well as expanding those elements that work best like walking beats.”

The issue of public safety dominated the address with Fair Haven Alder Crespo talking about the importance of the city’s status as a “sanctuary city” and how it has, and continues, to live up to that designation for immigrants in the city regardless of their status.

He praised the Board of Education’s plan for establishing a policy that would not allow the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to come into schools without a warrant, and for creating caregiver plans for children who are undocumented, or have undocumented parents that might be detained while the children are at school. Crespo praised the city for creating family immigration guide to help people understand their rights and know what resources are available.

He said a sanctuary city is a place of refuge and safety, and that means looking out for the people who live here, including those who are facing raids and deportation.

“Whatever your background, you race our your gender, we are a city that strives to work as one,” he said. “There’s currently a resident who is facing deportation even though his wife of nine years and his child are American citizens. We cannot allow that to happen. We have an obligation to assist those who are being marginalized.”

Hill Alder Colon, chair of the Black and Hispanic Caucus, highlighted the good that has been accomplished in the city—graduation rates are up, for the third year in a row a budget was passed with no mill rate increase, and New Haven Works, which the caucus pushed to help establish, has in five years helped 1,000 people find work.

Access to jobs is a key priority of the caucus and the whole board, and remains the top priority of residents according the Board of Alders recently released legislative agenda survey results, Colon said. She also patted the caucus and the community on the back for raising money for teens, senior citizens and the homeless.

Colon praised Yale University for its commitment to hire 1,000 people from New Haven, at least half of which will come from the city’s “neighborhood of need.” But she chastised the city’s other large employers like Yale-New Haven Hospital, who have yet to make a similar commitment. She, like her fellow alders, touched on the issue of safety and crime, praising the city’s drop in crime, while acknowledging that many residents still live in fear.

“Too many of our residents live in fear,” she said. “They fear the ICE raid in the middle of the night. They fear the traffic stop gone wrong, the stray bullet.”

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posted by: Noteworthy on April 20, 2017  8:42am

Profiling and Posing Notes:

1. Let’s disabuse ourselves of the notion that only black people are profiled. It is patently untrue and perpetuates a victim-hood that is not uniquely black.

2. My son is a mixed race. Across the last three years, he has been repeatedly tailed, stopped, questioned, had his mother’s car searched - and most recently, was stopped, questioned and searched twice in two days. One time, he was driving on Ella Grasso - a cop sees his car, makes a U-turn, pulls him over, asks questions. Nothing. He was parked on Edgewood Avenue in the Dwight neighborhood, early evening, dusk and was going through his phone. One of those vaunted walking cops - put a flashlight in his eyes so he couldn’t see and asked him what he’s doing.

3. In the case of the search of his mother’s car - the cops lied. They said the vehicle had been involved in a hit and run and proceeded to shake down the entire Volvo throwing the contents of the glove box and compartments on the floor. He was driving a bright blue rental car - and the cop stopped him and asked if he always drove a rental. The day prior - the cop actually searched his car, had him stand at the side of the road and searched him.

4. These cops are profiling cars and people in neighborhoods irrespective of skin color and frankly, irrespective of whether there is a reason to stop that vehicle and it makes me mad as hell and I’m sick of it.

5. The next time it happens - it better be for a reason or these same aldermen will be finding money to pay for this egregious behavior. Don’t tell me to pay higher f-ing taxes to support “community policing” and then submit our family members to this relentless pattern of citizen abuse.

6. My phone call v/mail two weeks ago went unanswered. A follow up phone call was answered - but the information I requested from the NHPD has not happened. That was a week ago.

7. So add “responsiveness” to the BS of the NHPD.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on April 20, 2017  12:11pm

posted by: Noteworthy on April 20, 2017 8:42am

Profiling and Posing Notes:

1. Let’s disabuse ourselves of the notion that only black people are profiled. It is patently untrue and perpetuates a victim-hood that is not uniquely black.

If this is the case then explain why the major of people of color was stop by the NYPD with stop and frisk.

Here’s what you need to know about stop and frisk — and why the courts shut it down.

How many stops are conducted? Who gets stopped?

According to a report from the Public Advocate’s office, 532,911 stops were conducted in 2012, down from 685,724 in 2011. The vast majority of those stops were of black or Hispanic people:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/08/13/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-stop-and-frisk-and-why-the-courts-shut-it-down/?utm_term=.db42e5efa1c8

They even stop Black youth in Hip Hop clothing.

Portraits in Racial Profiling


Tuesday, March 14, 2000

By Peter Noel

About 50 white and black uniformed and undercover officers who participated in an unscientific survey by the Voice contend that “the felon look”—that “Tupac-thug-for-life” image and posture captured in this week’s cover illustration—account for a majority of the stops and frisks. Using the composite sketch, the cops assigned high and low percentages to every piece of brand-name clothing, headgear, and footwear that they say contributes to the makeup of a racial profile and causes them to confront a person. Whites donning similar clothing rarely are stopped. In the cops’ opinion: * A baseball cap, worn at any angle, accounts for 10 percent of their stops.

* A bandanna, particularly red or blue, hints at gang involvement and accounts for 20 percent of stops.

* An XXL hooded sweattop, or “hoodie,” accounts for 20 percent of stops.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/portraits-in-racial-profiling-6395230

Part One.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on April 20, 2017  12:17pm

Part Two

They even profiling Black Cops who are off duty.

https://www.rt.com/usa/217239-black-police-racial-profiling/

posted by: westville man on April 20, 2017  12:23pm

NW,  Is anyone actually saying that ONLY Blacks are being racially profiled? They have a right to talk about their own oppression. You did a good job relaying yours in your post. They aren’t mutually exclusive. The problem is, as I read some of your posts, you discount theirs which is odd given your own family history.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on April 20, 2017  12:31pm

I would never directly or indirectly attempt to diminish the unfortunate experiences that some citizens have had with some members of the NHPD.  However, this condemning remark “it was at that moment that I questioned the policing practices of our city” has no place emanating from the BoA. 

This Alderman described one experience he had years ago in which a police officer grabbed him wrongly, and used it to assert that that is the policing practice in New Haven even today.  What an indictment on a force that has shown tremendous professionalism in instances in which officers could have easily discharged their weapons. 

I too have had a run in or two with officers, but broadly speaking, I applaud the NHPD for their overall professionalism and positive involvement in the city.  It’s easy to point fingers at the entire department and accuse them all as being criminals, but honestly speaking, how true is that?

Pivoting…

“Hill Alder Colon, chair of the Black and Hispanic Caucus, highlighted the good that has been accomplished in the city—graduation rates are up, for the third year in a row a budget was passed with no mill rate increase, and New Haven Works, which the caucus pushed to help establish, has in five years helped 1,000 people find work.”  If fees have gone up, then taxes have increased.  A fee is a tax Alderwoman Colon.  Regarding New Haven Works, this program thus far has shown itself to be nothing more than a sham.  I challenge this alderwoman to produce numbers that substantiates her claim of a 1,000 jobs.  If she’s construing part-time and temp-work as an indication of people finding work, then she’s correct.  But people are seeking and demanding permanent jobs Alderwoman Colon, where are your numbers in that area?

posted by: William Kurtz on April 20, 2017  12:56pm

“1. Let’s disabuse ourselves of the notion that only black people are profiled. It is patently untrue and perpetuates a victim-hood that is not uniquely black.”

I’m legitimately curious how you can call allegations of racial profiling ‘patently untrue’ and then go on to illustrate its existence by chronicling the history of your mixed-race son.

Is it fair to assume that by ‘mixed-race’ you mean that your son has a complexion that signifies him as a racial minority?

To the best of my knowledge, no one serious is claiming that “only” black people are the subjects of profiling or the victims of police misconduct. But the the fact that people of other races are victimized as well does nothing to deny the disproportionate impact on black Americans.

posted by: whalley4727 on April 20, 2017  12:57pm

Glad that pushing for more local hiring at YNHH is on the agenda.