Advocates recently promoted legislation to clear a controversial New York Police Department of Investigation (DOI) database that they argue keeps tabs on predominately Black and Brown residents in New York.
The G.A.N.G.S. coalition (Grassroots Advocates for Neighborhood Groups and Solutions coalition) gathered at a recent news conference to call for abolishing the database used to unfairly collect information on youth in New York City, and to prohibit any such information from being gathered in the future. Members of the coalition consisted of lawyers from the Legal Aid Society, Legal Defense Fund, Immigrant Defense Fund, Red Hook Initiative, and other counsel and activists.
Iesha Sekou, a Harlem resident, Street Corner Resources founder and activist, summarized that Black and Latino youth being targeted is a violation of their rights. “It is impacting not only for our kids to get jobs, starting careers, but also training, housing, and getting into colleges, because when they do a background check these names are displayed in the gang database, and that’s why it should be cleared. This gang database puts predominately Black and Latino men at a disadvantage to get work or to sustain themselves,” she said. Of the approximately 16,000 people registered in the database, 11,221 are Black and 4,729 are Latino.