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The Power of Now
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
By:J. David Goodman
The New York Times highlighted the efforts of Communities United for Police Reform which recently achieved a major legal victory in the movement against Stop-and-Frisk tactics. LDF's representatives to CUPR are Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele and Marquis Jenkins.
Communities United for Police Reform -- an umbrella organization with strong ties in communities throughout the city -- successfully reframed the debate over stop-and-frisk policy. CUPR regularly held rallies and protests on the steps of City Hall and 40 Foley Square, the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan. Their organizing efforts to enact legislation that would end Stop-and-Frisk began as recently as 18 months ago.
"When the new stop data were finally released in 2007, the numbers were startling: 508,540 stops in 2006, up from 97,296 four years earlier. Civil rights lawyers filed the Floyd suit the next year. (The suit takes its name from David Floyd, a Bronx man who said he had been stopped more than once by the police and who served as lead plaintiff in the class action.)
Advocates from different groups — including, among others, the Legal Aid Society, Make the Road New York, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice — began meeting informally.
But it was not until the first large meeting in June 2011 at 75 Varick Street, and the creation of the single coalition, that momentum began to gather, said Joo-Hyun Kang, the coalition’s director. “We’re talking about a year and a half, which is not a long time period to pass what I’d call landmark legislation,” she said, referring to a pair of oversight bills passed by the Council. (The bills were vetoed by Mr. Bloomberg; an override vote is planned for this month.)"