What about stop and frisk? (Majority of New Yorkers stopped by police in random searches are Black and Latino young men and 90% were innocent.)
You need a new police commissioner, you need a racial profiling ban and you need an independent inspector general. Without those three things together we can’t change the reality. The effect of stop and frisk on young men of color has been very damaging to their self-esteem and we need other strictures in place like after school programs to help reverse that.
Do you talk to your biracial son about how the world will perceive him?
All the time. He is a good, law-abiding kid. I had to explain to him that even though he is doing everything right, he is likely going to be perceived as doing something wrong. I have to tell him how to handle himself if he’s challenged by the police even though he has no reason to believe the police won’t mistrust him. I explained to him that he has to be prepared.
Is it hard conversation for a father to have with his son?
Parents all over the city are tying to prepare their children for something that is not fair and is corrosive to their sense of self. It’s almost impossible to say, “respect the police but expect them to treat you like there is something wrong with you.” But it’s the conversation we have to have.