Pols Host Stop And Frisk Roundtable
Councilman James Sanders Jr. and his chief of staff Donovan Richards hosted a Stop and Frisk roundtable at the Church of the Nazarene in Far Rockaway on June 16. In addition to talking about the upcoming Father’s Day silent march, attendees recalled their own experiences with the police.
Milan Taylor, the president of the Rockaway Youth Task Force, related an incident that took place when he was on the track team in college. He was running on Beach 32 Street.
“I had a hoodie on and an unmarked car actually cut me off and ran me onto the sidewalk and two officers jumped out with guns drawn at me,” said Taylor. “I think that was a little bit above a stop and frisk. What got me out of that situation was I was able to articulate myself. I said I was going for my ID. I showed my ID and I just kept moving.”
At age 13 Donovan Richards and a cousin were walking from his grand- mother’s house in Rochdale Village to a friend’s home when a car came around the block on Merrick Boulevard. “I was pushed up against the gate by the cops,” said Richards. “I was searched without any indication that any crime happened or anything. Then, at the time I did not understand or know the rules, so I went to my pocket. He [the police officer] said is anything in your pocket and I went [for my pocket] and he pulled [his gun] …. That was such a demeaning experience for me. It left me shook up.” Years later when Richards was working at ConEdison, as he was going through a subway turnstile a cop called him over, stopped and frisked him and wrongly put his name through the system. “They came up with a man wanted for murder. They actually called backup.”
Police stopped Khaleel, 16, recently when he and his brother were walking a female friend home. Police stopped them after hearing his brother cursing to someone on the phone.
“The police thought that [my brother] was talking to them, but he wasn’t talking to them, he was just on the phone,” said Khaleel. “They jumped out of the car. They dropped her [the friend’s] bag on the floor and started searching her bag, [and] searching my pocket – searching for ID.”