Black Woman Harassed by Racist Cops While Witnessing Stop and Frisk

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Not a Fan of Stop and Frisk, Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz Encourages Tax-Payers to Collect Stories and File Complaints

November 3, 2013
By Flood the Drummer
Award Winning Scholar Juwan Z. Bennett recommends cities interested in crime reduction use Focused Deterrence, not stop-and-frisk. (Learn More)

 Attempting to retrieve the badge numbers and the names of the racist cops, Roche says she was denied any information by the officers, and again was told that she doesn’t have the right to question their authority.  Roche recalls a black officer in his mid-30’s arriving on the scene moments later, but says he clearly didn’t want to get involved.


By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris


11.3.13: Philadelphia – (Politics/Activism): While unfortunately witnessing stop and frisk in action, a black woman in Philadelphia says she was the victim of “bold and outward” racism, as she was told by the white male officers performing the unconstitutional act on two young black men, that she was “a waste of space,” and that her kind was “taking up their breathing air.”

READ: With Brut Force, Philly Cops Terrorize Communities

READ: The Racial Inequalities of Stop-and-Frisk

Speaking exclusively to Techbook Online, Felicia Roche, 31, says that as she and her 13 year-old daughter were returning to their car after purchasing food from a nearby eatery, they walked passed a barbershop on the corner of Broad & Clearfield streets in the Olney section of the city and saw two teenage customers, who had decided to get some fresh air while waiting for a barber’s chair to open up, being bullied by racist cops, who Roche estimates were all under thirty years-old.

READ: Stop, Frisk, Repeat?

READ: “Stop and Frisk” or Sloppy Risk?

Not wanting to get involved because of the potential danger that could arise, Roche said her spirit would not let her walk pass this injustice without saying something. She sent her terrified teenage daughter to the car and calmly approached the men in blue from the 35th Police District.

“The two black boys were clearly intimidated and the behavior by the white officers was inhumane. As a youth advocate, and a mother, I had to speak up. I asked the officers what the young men had done, and they refused to answer me. One cop went as far to say that I’m nobody and he doesn’t owe me or anyone else an explanation. The owner of the barbershop, overwhelmed with grief because his brother was murdered last year by a white Philadelphia police officer, came outside irate, yelling to the police to stop harassing his customers. The officers then started recording the store owner with their cell phones, antagonizing and mocking him.”

READ: 12 Years A Star, Black Boys Achieved

READ: Brothers, Mothers of Black Boys Protest Philly’s District Attorney

Attempting to retrieve the badge numbers and the names of the racist cops, Roche says she was denied any information by the officers, and again was told that she doesn’t have the right to question their authority.  Roche recalls a black officer in his mid-30’s arriving on the scene moments later, but says he clearly didn’t want to get involved.

“He stayed in his car. The three white cops actually told him to leave. He didn’t pull off; instead, he pulled up a few spaces and parked. He suggested to me that I write the down the numbers on the police car (35T2) and file a complaint. Later that evening I went to the 35th Police District and spoke with Corporal Newsome (Badge #8194), who gave me the paperwork to take to internal affairs.”

WATCH: Lawyer Offers Advice to Blacks Who Are Illegally Stopped and Frisked

Roche tells me she intendeds to follow-up aggressively on this matter as she feel that yesterday’s incident, and the countless of other unjustified acts of racial profiling that happen daily in the nation’s fifth largest city, will eventually lead to communities rioting against the police.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz isn’t a fan of stop-and-frisk either. The incumbent democrat, whose being challenged by republican candidate Terry Tracy in this Tuesday’s general election, says cops are now viewed as an occupying force by tax-payers. Butkovitz says he would like to see more “community policing” and a “respectful approach to the population of the city.”

WATCH: City Controller Election Sparks Debate Among Candidates

During an exclusive interview with Techbook Online, Butkovitz, the city’s chief financial watchdog, shared that his office – not just on the issues of stop-and-frisk, but on the concerns of pro-active policing – has had a “rough time” breaking into the police department, due to the lack of cooperation by the Nutter administration.

READ: Philly’s Mayor Announces Schools Are Up For Sale

Elected to the City Controller seat in 2005, Butkovitz, a 1969 graduate of Overbrook High School, tells me that there’s a shockingly low amount of patrol on duty at any time in the city, and that City Hall makes that information impossible to access.

“Almost all questions about the police department are impenetrable. If there wasn’t a general confidence in Ramsey, than there would be much more pressure to knock down those walls. There’s a general view that he’s doing a good job, so he gets more leeway than the other departments, like the Fire Department or L&I.”

READ: Philly’s Top Cop in High-Speed Pursuit of Innovation

Butkovitz attributes New York’s low crime rate to the fact that they have visible patrolling in place that discourages crime. In Philadelphia, he says, it’s viewed as it would be less expensive if they just deploy officers when something happens, “people are put on the frontline as potential victims when that happens,” he adds.

Expected to be victorious this Tuesday, November 5th, against the fresh-faced Terry Tracy, Butkovitz , however, can’t be fully expected to finish the full-term if he wins, as there are talks that he’s a strong potential candidate for the 2015 Philadelphia mayoral race.

If elected Mayor, Butkovitz, who admits he doesn’t like stop-and-frisk, says he would remove it off the books, and, instead, promote a more pro-active, community-policing model. For now, however, Butkovitz encourages citizens to collect stories and file complaints.

Also in favor of a preventive model and desperately wanting the city to do away with the racist law, Roche says that her young daughter – ever since Trayvon Martin was killed – has been afraid of authority figures. She says that her witnessing the humiliating and hateful stop-and-frisk yesterday didn’t help.

“I want her to respect police officers, but how can she after what she witnessed? She cried when we got home, all she keeping saying is the world is unfair. She’s afraid of what can happen to her and her friends when they’re walking home from school. As a parent, what do I say?”

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™

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About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris

A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks. Christopher Norris is a 2013 BMe Leadership Award Winner, 2013 Philly DoGooder Emerging Leader and The Brothers’  Network 2013 Brother of the Year. Christopher Norris, known on stage as Flood the Drummer, has launched a campaign to raise awareness regarding the health benefits of drumming.


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