Congressman Jerrold Nadler was one of the politicians who attended yesterday’s protest march against the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy. He told The Politicker he believes stop and frisk is “terribly violative of civil liberties” and, like other elected officials, he hopes the Department of Justice will investigate the policy.
However, Mr. Nadler is not optimistic about the possibility of a federal investigation because he said the DOJ didn’t respond to his call for them to investigate the NYPD’s conduct towards protesters and journalists during the raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park last November.
“I must say, the Justice Department has not been terribly responsive when some of us have asked for investigations for various things,” Mr. Nadler said.
Mr. Nadler went on to say one of the requests he was referring to was his push for a probe into the NYPD’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street eviction.
“We never got a satisfactory response,” he said of his call for an Occupy investigation. “I think we got a response, it was not satisfactory.”
At the time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the idea of an investigation into police conduct during the Occupy Wall Street raid was “ridiculous.”
Mr. Nadler said he and other members of Congress are working ot have stop and frisk investigated as a civil rights violation.
“A whole generation of mostly minority black and hispanic youngsters, number one, are to some extent traumatized, number two, their civil liberties, their civil right to walk down the street in peace are violated and, number three, you alienate entire communities from the police department,” said Mr. Nadler. “That’s all terrible for the City as well as terribly violative of civil liberties.”
Mr. Nadler said he rejects Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD’s claim the policy has helped reduce crime in the face of statistics showing the vast majority of stops don’t lead to arrests or the discovery of illegal weapons. He presented a hypothetical situation to illustrate his position.