Monday, December 22, 2014

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Brownsville Teens Hope Stop-And-Frisk Changes Lead to Better Police-Community Relations

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TWC News: Brownsville Teens Hope Stop-And-Frisk Changes Lead to Better Police-Community Relations
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People in Brownsville say they hope news of the changes to stop-and-frisk get down to the officers on the street. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Teenagers hit the basketball court at the Brownsville Recreation Center Thursday just minutes after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the stop-and-frisk appeal would be dropped. They said that the the way the tactic was used made them afraid of criminals AND cops.

"It feels uncomfortable," said one teen. "I got to watch my back from people also in the hood, or now, it's cops. It's like, you got to always watch your back."

As the New York City Police Department moves forward with looking at ways to implement changes suggested by a federal judge, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he has been reminding the rank-and-file at weekly meetings to be courteous, professional and respectful.

"At CompStat, re-enforcing that as they go about their business that we want them to be policing lawfully, not break the law to enforce it," Bratton said.

Police unions have been lobbying against the dropping of the stop-and-frisk appeal. In a statement, the PBA said it will stay involved.

"Our mission is now and has always been to protect the rights and safety of our members while they work to protect our communities," the statement reads. "We continue to have serious concerns about how these remedies will impact our members and the ability to do their jobs."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is a former NYPD captain, said that the unions shouldn't worry because the change is good for everyone.

"And crime would not be impacted by this in a significant fashion up or down," Adams said. "We have turned the community back into a policing where the community is being appreciated."

Many of the young men in the gym said they understand that stop-and-frisk can't be ended completely, but they said that they agree with the mayor and police commissioner that it shouldn't be overused.

"It's not a bad thing," said one teen. "It just helps out because if you have it, they can confiscate it, try to help out the community."

He's talking about getting weapons off the streets. A local officer encouraged the teens to come to the precinct if they have any problems, perhaps another sign of bringing community and police closer together.

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