Detroit civil rights groups are questioning the Detroit Police Department’s decision to hire policy consultants, the Manhattan Institute and the Bratton Group-the same crime consultants that supported the controversial stop-and-frisk policy in New York.
Community activists recently spoke about their fears of a similar stop-and-frisk program-which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last month-and the potential damage such a program could create in Detroit at a press conference, as reported by Detroit Free Press writer, Niraj Warikoo:
Mark Fancher, staff attorney at the Michigan ACLU, said he and others are concerned that African Americans and other minorities could be unfairly targeted in the stop-and-frisk program. He cited the ruling last month of U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin that detailed how minorities, especially African Americans and Latinos, were profiled under New York’s program.
Warikoo reports that the Manhattan Institute-which the Detroit Police Department hired with the Bratton Group for policy research on reducing crime in Detroit-is funded by wealthy conservative elites such as brothers David and Charles Koch, of Koch Industries; a connection that has sparked further outrage as reported by Warikoo:
“We will have the Koch brothers basically making a decision about who gets locked up in Detroit, who gets pulled over,” said the Rev. Charles Williams II, a pastor who heads Detroit’s branch of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network.
“We’re calling for the removal of the Manhattan Institute,” said Williams, because the group’s policies are about “stopping and frisking and scaring African Americans and other minorities out of the” city of Detroit.
See the complete article by Warikoo to read more.