For 2012-2013, a dedicated cadre of New York-based Game Changer Fellows will work in partnership with The Brotherhood-SisterSol, to produce a series of micro-documentary films that reveal the untold stories and unfair consequences of NYPD’s stop and frisk policy. We will introduce you to the everyday people on the front lines who are changing the game to create a new political will to end stop and frisk practices by NYPD. The new media produced by our fellows will provide an array digital media “weapons” for activists and organizations working to end unfair policing.
More Young Black Men Frisked in NYC Than Live in NYC
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) conducted approximately 685,000 stops and frisks in 2011 and they are on track to reach over 700,000 in 2012
Black and Latino people are consistently and intentionally stopped at a hugely disproportionate rate: nearly 85 percent of all stops.
Close to 90% of the stops resulted in no arrest or summons whatsoever.
The overwhelming racial disparity and the low rate of lawful arrests or discovery of contraband that result from stops and frisks raise serious questions about the purpose or usefulness of this practice.
Even when these stops yield arrests, almost all are low-level, many resulting directly from citizens questioning the rights of the police to stop them in the first place. While most of these arrests don’t result in criminal convictions, they often trigger severe consequences – including job loss, eviction, and even deportation of permanent residents who are not citizens.
Over 168,000 black men aged 14-24 were stopped in New York in 2011, while only 158,406 live there, according to a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union.
A Choice of Weapons
The seeds for the Game Changers Project were planted back in 1997 when as a reporter for Vibe Magazine I interviewed Gordon Parks, the famed black photographer for LIFE magazine who covered the Civil Rights Movement and who would become Hollywood’s first black director of a major Hollywood film (Shaft). I spent the day with Parks and learned many things about photography, film, art, and creative self-determination. One of the stories he told me that remains an inspiration for my work was about the time he spent covering the Black Panthers. Parks believed that the storyteller, if courageous enough, would face risks and obstacles that could be just as serious as the activist or revolutionary. The following is an excerpt from another interview where Parks recounts that experience. -- Cheo Tyehimba Taylor
Tired of Stop and Frisk?
Become a GCP Film Fellow and Tell Stories that Change Lives
We're currently accepting applications from New York-based filmmakers of color (18-35) to help us launch the GCP Stop & Frisk Chronicles, our anti-Stop and Frisk Media Campaign. If you're an emerging documentary filmmaker with solid credits and a passion for justice and civil liberties, please fill out our online application today.
Our Community Partners
The Brotherhood SisterSol
Communities United for Police Reform
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Police Reform Organizing Project
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