Just when I believed white America's goal was to incarcerate every last Black person in the United States of America, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York offers a policy proposal to turn the tide in the opposite direction. The New York Times reports today,
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Published: June 3, 2012
Wading into the debate over stop-and-frisk police tactics, Gov.Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask legislators on Monday for a change in New York State law that would drastically reduce the number of people who could be arrested for marijuana possession as a result of police stops.
The governor will call for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, administration officials said. Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.
Reducing the impact of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy has been a top priority of lawmakers from minority neighborhoods, who have urged Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, to pay more attention to the needs of their communities. The lawmakers argue that young men found with small amounts of marijuana are being needlessly funneled into the criminal justice system and have difficulty finding jobs as a result.The NYT continues,
From 2002 to 2011, New York City recorded 400,000 low-level marijuana arrests, according to his analysis. That represented more arrests than under Mr. Bloomberg’s three predecessors put together — a period of 24 years. Most of those arrested have been young black and Hispanic men, and most had no prior criminal convictions.