Equality for Flatbush (E4F), a non-profit organization dedicated to anti-police repression, affordable housing and anti-gentrification efforts, has launched a borough-wide survey to measure the number of residents stopped by police while driving or at DUI checkpoints.
E4F conducted a similar survey in November 2014, after residents in the previous year began noting what they felt was an unusually high number of traffic stops in Flatbush and surrounding neighborhoods. For example, in 2014, 33 DUI checkpoints were cited in Brooklyn compared with only one checkpoint for all of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens.
The first survey, however, was exclusive to Flatbush residents, versus the current survey which is inviting all residents of Brooklyn.
“It made sense to expand and include all of Brooklyn and all kinds of traffic stops,” said E4F Founder Imani Henry. “It gives us a way to look at the full piece of data– what neighborhoods are most impacted and what neighborhoods are just not showing up. We want to see the clear trend.”
Survey results hope to shed light on police harassment and racial profiling, beginning with general inquiries, including the length and location of the incident; the overall treatment of suspects by officers; whether the officers involved were in uniform; and whether the officers asked permission before searching the car.
As the survey is community driven, it is as a platform to voice concerns and experiences as much as it is a place to collect data, explained Henry. The previous survey results found that respondents not only were stopped at DUI checkpoints, but also were routinely searched.
As one Flatbush resident recalled, “I got stopped about two weeks ago. The cop pulled me over to check my brake lights. They’re fine! My car is brand new– a 2016! They just wanted to stop me because I’m driving a new car.”
BK Reader reached out to NYPD regarding protocol for traffic stops, and all requests for comments were not returned.
Brooklyn residents can be certain to find an increase of DUI checkpoints this coming Labor Day weekend, said Henry, along with the corresponding Labor Day Carnival.
In the meantime, E4F is asking all residents, if they have been stopped in the last year to please fill out the following survey.
For more information contact [email protected]