Demonstrators hold signs during a silent march to end the controversial stop-and-frisk program in New York, Sunday, June 17, 2012.
Thousands of New Yorkers have taken to the streets in a silent march to protest against the city's controversial stop-and-frisk policy which mainly targets low-income communities of color.
The demonstrators on Sunday marched from Harlem to Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, protesting the New York Police Department (NYDP) for its unfair treatment of minorities.
The protestors broke their silence at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s home at East 77th Street, shouting, “We’ve got to fight back, we can’t be silent!”
According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYPD stopped more than 685,000 people, mostly black and Hispanic young men last year, up from about 97,000 a decade earlier. Half of those stopped, the union says, were frisked and about 10 percent were arrested.
Bloomberg and other city officials believe that the stop-and-frisk program should change, but they have stopped short of suggesting a clear ban. Bloomberg said that the program would be “mended, not ended.”
Critics say the program has caused a two-tier system of justice that excessively targets black and Latino communities.
Sunday's rally was organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Action Network, several unions and community organizations, as well as members of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
It was the first nationally organized NAACP silent march in New York City since 1917.