STOP-AND-FRISK NUMBERS DROP 30 PERCENT
The total number of stop-and-frisks by New York City police dropped by 30 percent in the first nine months of 2012 compared to the previous year, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The number of times the NYPD stopped and interrogated someone has fallen throughout 2012 from 203,000 stops during January to March of this year to 106,000 stops during June to September. Meanwhile, the homicide rate has dropped by 20 percent to a record low.
The decline in stop-and-frisks follows a public outcry against the program which culminated in a 25,000-person silent march on Fathers Day that passed near Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Upper East mansion. According to the NYCLU, Blacks and Latinos continue to be the target of about 87 percent all stop-and-frisks while 90 percent of stop-and-frisks result in no charges.
PROTESTS AT KILLER COP COURT HEARING
Chanting and holding up signs that read “Justice for Ramarley” and “No warrant, no entry,” 100 supporters of Ramarley Graham turned out Dec. 11 for the latest court hearing for Richard Haste, the undercover NYPD narcotics officer accused of shooting the unarmed Bronx teenager in February. Haste followed Graham into his grandmother’s apartment and shot the teen while he was allegedly trying to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. The shooting became a flashpoint in the campaign to reform the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMES TO JERSEY
New Jersey’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Dec. 6 in Montclair. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 354 people with terminal or chronic illnesses are currently licensed to purchase the drug. Five other nonprofits in the state have received preliminary approval to open dispensaries. New Jersey is one of 18 states to legalize medical marijuana. Medical marijuana measures have been stalled in the New York State Legislature for years due to opposition from Senate Republicans.
BLOOMBERG TAPS GOLDMAN EXEC TO LEAD SANDY RECOVERY
Mayor Bloomberg announced Dec. 6 that Marc Ricks will lead the city’s post-Sandy recovery effort. Ricks is a vice president at Goldman Sachs who specializes in infrastructure investment. Goldman Sachs has been at the center of a number of Wall Street scandals in recent years, many of which have implicated the firm in ripping off its own clients. (For more Sandy recovery coverage, see Page 10.)