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Protesters call for city to pass 'stop and frisk' reform
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside City Hall Thursday, urging the city to put an end to the NYPD's "stop and frisk" tactic.
The protesters, which included rapper Talib Kweli, pushed the City Council to pass a set of bills that would reform the police practice and make it more fair.
Civil rights groups have criticized the tactic not only because it has been performed on tens of thousands of people -- most of them minorities -- last year, but also because it yielded few arrests.
"We are New Yorkers...We deserve to be protected and respected," said NAACP President Todd Jealous.
The Community Safety Act includes four bills that would ban racial profiling, require officers to identify themselves and their actions and establish an NYPD Inspector General.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dismissed the inspector general proposal and has repeatedly defended the practice, citing its use in driving down crime.
The mayor and NYPD were dealta blow this week after the Bronx district attorney announced that he won't be prosecuting suspects who are stopped if an officer didn't give a warrant to his office.
City Comptroller John Liu said the DA's ruling sends a clear message to the mayor and said that the legislation would further prevent police misconduct
"We need to go to the next step," he said.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), one of the bill's supporters, urged activists to continue to protest stop and frisk until the city changes its policy.
"This practice cannot stand," she said.