Democracy, Freedom, and Social Justice: Policing and Profiling
Speakers: Dr. Delores Jones-Brown (John Jay College) and Kleaver Cruz (Black Lives Matter)
Coordinated with Crystal Rodriguez and Marjaline Vizcarrondo (Criminal Justice Program)
October 20, 2016
Kleaver Cruz, Black Lives Matter New York activist and writer and Dr. Delores Jones-Brown, community policing expert and founding director of the John Jay College Center on Race, Crime, and Justice and Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay led our conversation on policing and profiling. Jones-Brown is currently a member of the independent monitoring teams appointed by the U. S. Department of Justice to oversee policing in Ferguson, Missouri and Newark, New Jersey.
As the creator of the Black Joy Project, Mr. Cruz discussed positivity as his inspiration to become an activist. One of the actions he highlighted was the “Swipe It Forward” campaign. Cruz explained how nonpayment of metro fares (“turnstile jumping”) had become the most common reason for arrest in New York City, as a part of the “broken windows” approach to policing. Cruz did not defend avoiding the fare; he explained that low-income, minority populations were particularly targeted for these arrests. Most importantly, these arrests had long-term detrimental consequences for finding employment and fighting poverty—just one example of the institutionalization of inequality.