Updated 06/16/2012 05:12 PM
Civil Rights Activists Plan Manhattan Father's Day March
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The Reverend Al Sharpton and NAACP president Ben Jealous will be joined by the families of Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham Sunday to protest the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
They're fired up and ready for a fight but this round won't be vocal.
The Reverend Al Sharpton is rallying New Yorkers to hit the streets for a Father's Day silent march to push for an end the NYPD's stop question and frisk policy.
"We're coming by the mayor's house with a silent March to say that we are standing united blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, gays, straight in an unprecedented coalition to say that the violation of civil rights to anybody is a violation to everybody," Sharpton said.
People are expected to gather at 110th Street and march down 5th Avenue to 79th Street beginning around 3 p.m. Sunday. More than 200 groups are taking part.
The parents of Ramarley Graham and Trayvon Martin's father and brother will join the protest in solidarity.
"Whether it be a boy or girl, whether it be black white or brown, an injustice is an injustice," said Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father.
The New York Civil Liberties Union says nearly 700,000 blacks and Latinos were stopped last year but 90 percent of them were not arrested.
"It's not about people who are suspected of crime, which is the legal standard," said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "It's all about stopping and intimidating and humiliating hundreds of thousands of young people of color."
The NYPD maintains that the policy is not about racism, but fighting crime. Last week the mayor said he understood some of the criticism over the policy but Sharpton and others say that's not enough.
"Why are we the overwhelming majority of the people stopped, even in white areas where we don't live?" Sharpton said.
"He is cutting the services that we need," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams. "The Beacon program, the after school programs, daycare, the programs that we know are proven to make our young people make better decisions and he's putting stop, question and frisk on the back end."
Also attending Saturday's rally will be the head of the NAACP and many of the expected candidates for the 2013 mayoral election. Sharpton said candidates who do not support the march many not get a lot of support from him next year.
Sharpton said he and other leaders will be pushing for legislation to end the city's stop question and frisk policy.