The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Guilty Until Proven Innocent?
YCteen staff
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After many of their classmates were arrested in 2007, Quincy Garner and other Bushwick Community HS students researched the NYPD’s practice of stopping and frisking people on the street. They learned that, according to police records, the NYPD stopped 508,540 pedestrians in 2006 for questioning or frisking. The vast majority of those who were stopped were black or Latino, and 90% of those stopped weren’t found to be doing anything wrong. (The police only arrested or ticketed 10% of the thousands of people they stopped.)

In Bushwick, the numbers were even more damning: 88% of those stopped were black or Latino, and 94% were neither arrested nor issued summonses. When they question or frisk someone, officers must record a reason for the stop. In Bushwick, the five most common reasons officers gave were: the area has a high crime incidence (in other words, you can be stopped just for walking through a bad neighborhood); suspect exhibits furtive movements; suspect is casing a victim or location (i.e. looking at someone or something); time of day fits crime incidence (i.e. it’s nighttime); and suspect changes direction at sight of officer.

Despite criticism of the NYPD’s stop and frisk activities, officers are actually stopping more New Yorkers than ever. Last year, a record 575,304 people were stopped by the police. As with previous years, few were found to be doing anything wrong. And, as usual, the vast majority of those stopped were black or Latino.

In 2009, the police reported that they stopped 575,304 “suspicious” people on the street. The vast majority were black and Latino.

black (54%)
Latino (31%)
White (9%)
other (4%)

Of those stopped in 2009, most were let go without being ticketed or arrested.
88% let go, no evidence of wrongdoing
6% given summonses or other
6% arrested

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(NYC-2010-05-19b)