When Mayor Bloomberg gave his seething defense of stop-and-frisk this week, one thing he touched on was the murder of Alphonza Bryant, a 17-year-old who was gunned down in the Bronx last month. Opponents of the stop-and-frisk would allow more deaths like Bryant’s, Bloomberg’s logic went, because the controversial NYPD practice curtails gun violence.
Jenaii Van Doten, Bryant’s mother, penned an essay in the Daily News Wednesday that details her complicated feelings about stop-and-frisk. While Van Doten believes the practice can save lives, she also wants serious reform that would keep officers from “terrorizing” innocent kids. Her feelings were informed by an incident in which Alphonza was stopped and told to “get the fuck off the phone” by a cop.
“Stop-and-frisks are random,” she writes. “Does it apply to every child that wears a hoodie? It should be modified — it’s not working the way they intended. Out of so many stop-and-frisks, how many people stopped have handguns?”