David Ourlicht knows all too well what the New York Police Department’s “Stop-and-Frisk” policy means for New Yorkers of a certain color: He says he’s been stopped more than 10 times over the last 10 years.
Ourlicht, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the NYPD over the controversial policy, joined PoliticsNation Wednesday to share his experiences.
“It’s hard to express what it is to go through that on a daily basis and to know that you have that coming for you in the future,” he said.
He described one of the incidents:
I was helping my friend move some stuff in his apartment. He went outside to smoke a cigarette. We’re sitting in front of his building, and police just start running at us with their guns drawn, saying, ‘We heard a gun in the area. Everyone get on the floor.’ Then a paddywagon pulled up and like six other cops came out and we got on the floor. They just like threw the stuff that was in our hands on the floor. I could feel the guns being pointed at me.
He said there was a gun in the area. No gun was found. Nobody was arrested. They just wrote our names and said, ‘Have a nice day.’ I mean, this happens all the time.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, along with Mayor Mike Bloomberg, argue that stop-and-frisk is essential and effective police work. “You can’t police without doing it,” Kelly said two weeks ago.
Ourlicht said he was disappointed to see New York’s leaders tout the program as a success. ”To know that people that represent the hierarchy of this [city] are saying stuff like that, it’s insulting, you know, it hurts. Because it’s not okay,” he said.
“Most of the people I grew up with, and friends–this is what we deal with on a day-to-day basis,” he added. “This is not something that’s new or foreign. This is something that happens.”
“Nobody wants to see their children or their loved ones be abused by anybody, let alone the people that are supposed to protect us.”