A New York City Council hearing on the police department's use of its controversial “stop, question and frisk” policy in public housing became a one-sided affair yesterday after police and housing officials declined to testify, the New York Times reports. Officials with both agencies cited pending federal litigation surrounding the policy in deciding not to appear.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other members were critical of both agencies but focused their pique on the police. Residents, lawyers and advocates blasted both agencies, too. One housing tenant, Marquis Jenkins, 27, said getting stopped had become a sort of “rite of passage” for young men of color growing up in the developments. Officers may temporarily detain anyone they believe may be engaging in criminal activity, and conduct a search if the person is believed to be carrying a weapon.