A few hundred New Yorkers turned out for a rally Thursday morning to protest the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy and to advocate for reform of the embattled police force. The rally was attended by several elected officials, including New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who is one of the sponsors of the proposed Community Safety Act. The legislative package consists of four bills that would protect civilians against illegal stop-and-frisk searches among other controversial policing tactics.
“I’m so proud to be a prime sponsor of this package of legislation,” Williams said . “I believe it will make the NYPD better, I believe it will make our community safer, and I believe it will make New York City the envy of the nation when it comes to protecting civil liberties and civil rights.”
Williams was followed by a passionate speech by rapper and Brooklyn native Talib Kweli, who denounced New York law enforcement for becoming a vehicle for “illegal discrimination rather than keeping us safe.” Kweli then introduced Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X to perform his song, “10 Frisk Commandments”, a play on the Notorious B.I.G. song “10 Crack Commandments”.
The City Council announced Monday that it would hold hearings for the Community Safety Act on Oct. 10, followed by field hearings on stop-and-frisk practices in Brooklyn and Queens later in the month.