Quinn, gay rights groups join march against NYPD
Members of the city's minority and gay communities will be coming together on Father's Day to take a stand against "stop and frisk."
A host of activist groups gathered at the Stonewall Inn Tuesday to lend their support to the Rev. Al Sharpton's planned silent march down Fifth Avenue on June 17, when protesters will take on alleged profiling practices by the NYPD.
Last year, city cops stopped 685,724 people, most of whom were black or Latino, but only 10% of them were arrested.
Sharpton said the tactic also targets members of the city's LGBT community, and he welcomed their support for his demonstration.
"You are either for the civil rights of everyone, or you are not for the civil rights of anyone," Sharpton told a group of reporters at a news conference.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended police practices Tuesday, reminding reporters that the city's homicide rates have dropped during Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's tenure.
"If you have other suggestions on how to get guns out of the hands of kids, we'd love to hear it," he said.
Gay rights groups said the police have unnecessarily stopped and frisked homosexuals and transsexuals because of their appearance.
Chris Bilal, of Harlem, said he was dancing to Beyoncé with friends last year when he was stopped by the police. "We're missing from the statistics," said Bilal, who declined to give his age.
City Speaker Christine Quinn, who said stop and frisk has hurt police-community relations, also appeared at Stonewall yesterday.
"This march sends a message that our quest as New Yorkers is to make our city safe for everyone," she said.
Wednesday, the NYCLU is set to unveil a new mobile app to help stop-and-frisk victims.