Some White People Are Getting Stopped and Frisked in Williamsburg

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Possibly up to no good. Photo: istockphoto

According to a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union, the 90th Precinct, which covers Williamsburg and the western edge of Bushwick, had the fifth highest number of Stop and Frisks in 2011. Of the 17,566 incidents, about 10 percent involved white people. That's higher than the citywide  number of 9 percent. Does this mean that the neighborhood is once again on the cutting edge of ... something?  Commenting on the figure, NYCLU associate legal director Christopher Dunn said, “As for the whites stopped in the precinct, they are getting a taste of the senseless and unjustified stops that blacks and Latinos across the city experience every day."

Of course, 59 percent of the people living in the gentrifying area are white, which means the population of people stopped is very disproportionately black or Latino. Still, 20-year-old Nate Morgan (who is white) blamed his "several recent encounters" with neighborhood law enforcement on some kind of appearance-based profiling, telling the Daily News, "I have a mohawk. They stereotype me ... It’s not about race. It’s about class." Apparently, intoxicated-looking hipsters are a class now:

The skinny 5-foot-9 musician, sporting green nail polish and a long leather trench coat, said officers grilled him one recent night because he was carrying an iced coffee. “They were like, ‘Do you have alcohol in that?’ They stopped me and looked at my pupils,’" Morgan said. “People get stopped for the way that you look.”

Or, you know, for doing something illegal. Another white Williamsburger who was stopped by the cops said that, while the bright-pink shirt he was wearing at the time may have made him an "easy target," it was probably the joint he was "rolling ... under an umbrella as he sat with his ex-girlfriend in the rain" that attracted the attention of the police: "The [27-year-old barbershop manager], who asked not to be identified, said he confessed to having the drug, was patted down, and walked away with no summons."