” You take out your asthma inhaler and show it to him. “Put your hands against the wall,” another cop says. I’m just going to visit my mom.” “Trespass” is the answer. Other people entering the building look away partly to preserve your dignity and partly because they hope that if they pretend not to notice the cops, the cops will pretend not to notice them. What does it mean when police go around touching people who are, in the eyes of the law, innocent?They pat you down one more time and then they just leave. Your neighbors are walking by, some looking at you sympathetically and others like they are wondering what crime you committed. Or you are going to visit your mom in the projects. You recognize a couple of them from your previous visits to the neighborhood. You tell them, “I’m not trespassing.” They surround you. Nobody coming inside the building uses a key – it would be ridiculous because the lock is broken. One of the officers you have seen before pulls you aside and says when you go to court just bring proof of your mother’s address and the judge will dismiss the case. Stop-and-frisks are brutal assertions of police dominance of the streets, communicating to African American men through “three ways of feeling a black man” – sexual harassment, torture and even terrorism – that they are objects of disdain by the state.This was a new and troubling development, because for much of the early part of the century, at least since the Depression, crime had been relatively low. For violent crimes such as homicide and robbery, African American men were disproportionately the perpetrators and disproportionately the victims.There was a sense that the ghetto was out of control, and that the main culprits were black males. James Baldwin, writing in 1962, observed: The only way to police a ghetto is to be oppressive ...People who have been stopped-and-frisked use words such as “violated”, “invaded” and “chumped” to describe how it made them feel.It also may affect their actions: African American and Latino men, in particular, tell stories about the measures they take to avoid being stopped-and-frisked; these steps may range from decisions about clothing and hair style to the kinds of cars they drive or the neighborhoods in which they choose to live.doctrine to profile Muslims and Arabs, particularly at airports.Latinos are the subject of special attention by Border Patrol agents.
This was an average of one each year for every resident of this community. Virtually all the people stopped were young African American and Latino males.buse of African American men has often had a sexual component.Black male victims of lynching were frequently castrated, and then their penises were stuffed in their mouths.The badge, the gun in the holster, and the swinging club make vivid what will happen should rebellion become overt ...He moves through Harlem, therefore, like an occupying soldier in a bitterly hostile country, which is precisely what, and where he is, and is the reason he walks in twos and threes.
The officer must feel with sensitive fingers every portion of the prisoner’s body.