by Nicholas K. Peart

“For young people in my neighborhood, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage.  We expect the police to jump us at any moment.  We know the rules:  don’t run and don’t try to explain, because speaking up for yourself might get you arrested or worse.  And we all feel the same way — degraded, harassed, violated and criminalized because we’re black or Latino.  Have I been stopped more than the average young black person?  I don’t know, but I look like a zillion other people on the street.  And we’re all just trying to live our lives.”