Fitting the Profile, Fixing the System

An ambitious and talented student of law and policy, Mohammed Alam was a committed activist committed to ending the use of New York Police Department’s abusive and discriminatory Stop and Frisk policy. Here he shares his own story of police harassment that happened earlier this year.

Photo: Unarmed Civilian, Flickr Creative Commons License
Photo: Unarmed Civilian, Flickr Creative Commons License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An ambitious and talented student of law and policy, Mohammed Alam has also been a committed activist to ending the use of the New York Police Department’s abusive and discriminatory Stop and Frisk policy. Here he shares his own story of police harassment that happened earlier this year. 

We publish Alam’s account just days after the tragic death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, a few weeks after the settlement of a civil suit against the City of New York by the Central Park Five, and six months after Mayor deBlasio announced he would not appeal a federal judge’s ruling that Stop and Frisk is discriminatory and requires reform.

by Mohammed Alam, CCNY ’14, Colin Powell School Community Engagement Fellow Alumnus

This year I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the City College of New York. And this year I was also stopped, harassed, thrown in a jail cell, and denied my civil rights by the NYPD. The following is my account of an event that, in the most real way, changed my understanding of and trust in law and justice.

On a cold and tiring Monday night last March, I was driving home from a meeting in Brooklyn. This was not out of the ordinary; I attend this community meeting on the first Monday of every month and had done so for well over a year. What was out of the ordinary was what followed next.

Continue reading “Fitting the Profile, Fixing the System”

Walking Free While Black: Unlocking Streets, Communities

Some of our most recent national news stories paint a definitive picture: institutional racism, which has a long and painful history for many Americans, is still very much a part of our lives.


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Attorney General Eric Holder promises to overhaul America’s prison system.

by Atreish Ramlakhan

Some of our most recent national news stories paint a definitive picture: institutional racism, which has a long and painful history for many Americans, is still very much a part of our lives.

In particular, the criminal justice system has been under close scrutiny; the Trayvon Martin shooting and subsequent verdict, the stop-and-frisk ruling in New York City, and recent comments by Attorney General Eric Holder about mass incarceration have had all shared prominent media coverage this summer, one by one shedding further light on the rampant racial disparities within the criminal justice system—a system that has grown increasingly unacceptable for many Americans.

Continue reading “Walking Free While Black: Unlocking Streets, Communities”

Social Justice for the Classroom and the Twitterverse: A Two-Part Series

Mother's Day march in the Bronx. Photo by Carwill. Courtesy Creative Commons

By Kanene Holder, Center alumna

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” April 3, 1968

For Every Act of Injustice, There is A Response for Equality
Last week, April 4 marked the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Paying homage to MLK’s Poor People Campaign, I headed to a march for justice for fast-food workers. This is also the third week of the Stop and Frisk trial. I was stopped and frisked in 2002, hence I stood in solidarity with NYC high school students and activists near the courthouse demanding justice. The week prior, hundreds took to the streets of Harlem speaking against gun violence. The week before that, crowds sat and watched the 10-year anniversary of the award-winning Bowling for Columbine documentary and reflected on how far we have come. After the screening, I listened to the passion of organizers and was teleported back to my idyllic childhood filled with ribbons in my hair and black and white composition notebooks. Ensnarled in my own dissonance, I wondered why, in this land of opportunity I was taught to pledge allegiance to, justice is absent or missing in action.

Continue reading “Social Justice for the Classroom and the Twitterverse: A Two-Part Series”

Join Us: on Dec. 6 for “Stop and Frisk and Marijuana Arrests: Policing Communities of Color in Harlem and Beyond”

In 2011, More than 684,000 individuals, primarily young African-American and Latino men and women, were stopped under New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy. Now the Center and key partners will spotlight the devastating consequences of these and related policing tactics in a community justice forum on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at the City College of New York

Harlem is our Home, from Flicker by Jarito by Creative Commons permission.In 2011, More than 684,000 individuals, primarily young African-American and Latino men and women, were stopped under New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy. Now the Center and key partners will spotlight the devastating consequences of these and related policing tactics in a community justice forum on Thursday, December 6.