Red Hook Initiative to Reveal Stop-and-Frisk Survey Findings
RED HOOK — The Red Hook Initiative community center plans to announce the findings of its spring stop-and-frisk survey at a special community meeting Monday night, part of an initiative "to hold the NYPD responsible for biased policing tactics," according to a draft of the survey report released Friday morning.
The meeting, at the RHI Center at 767 Hicks St., starts at 7:30 p.m. It includes a short documentary featuring interviews with neighborhood residents who have been stopped and searched by police, plus tips for how to act when stopped.
From February through June, community center volunteers, working with members of Occupy Red Hook, asked 761 residents of Red Hook public housing complexes and private homes whether they had ever been stopped and frisked by police and, if so, whether officers had used force during the search.
"This was an issue that has been going on in Red Hook for years," said Alisa Pizarro, 43, one of the survey's organizers, a mother of two daughters and a resident of the Red Hook Houses, an enormous housing project across from the Red Hook Initiative center.
"The Red Hook Houses and the police, they don't get along. The parents of Red Hook feel that they're attacking their children, that automatically they see a young man walking, and it's like the cops' mentality is that they're up to no good."
Fifty-three percent of those polled said they'd been stopped, and 26 percent said the stops led to an arrest or summons. Half of those who were stopped said force was used, and 89 percent said the NYPD was not "courteous, professional or respectful."
"Respondents cited 'fitting the description' and 'suspicious conduct' as primary reasons for being stopped," the survey report states.
"Many were unsure of the reason. Fear and distrust of police was identified as common repercussions of 'stop-and-frisk' encounters. A common request from respondents was that the NYPD apologize to them after an unjustified stop and frisk."
A "majority" of those stopped were black and Latino, the survey found, but the sample group of those polled overall were 77 percent non-white as well.
The poll was conducted in follow-up to the New York Civil Liberties Union's annual survey of NYPD stop-and-frisk tactics, which found that nearly 90 percent of those stopped last year were not only non-white, but also later found to be "totally innocent." The findings ignited an outcry from city residents and civic leaders, but comparing the NYCLU report with the RHI survey proves difficult: Namely, unlike the Red Hook Initiative survey, the NYCLU study examined NYPD stop-and-frisk data, and it restricted its inquiry to a single year.
"You ask the question, you get your response. You hope that what is coming out is the truth," Pizarro said of the RHI survey.
"Either you take it as true or not. We weren't there, we just want to see some kind of change."
A police source told DNAinfo.com New York that the 76th Precinct precinct had neither received an invitation to Monday's community meeting nor received an announcement of the survey's findings, which was sent to members of the press Monday morning.
Stop-and-frisk, the source said, was "brought up at one or two meetings, that's about it," referring to the precinct's monthly community council meetings. He added that the precinct has "always had a great deal of community outreach in general on any issue."