As the New York Police Department contends with an explosive trial regarding its “stop-and-frisk” policy, a Hip-Hop legend joins in to call out the controversial practice. Yasiin Bey released a PSA yesterday (May 21) addressing the NYPD and its allegedly racist policy.
Working with two non-profits, Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Communities United For Police Reform (CPR), the artist formerly known as Mos Def offers a sparse, musically-enhanced video PSA. The clip blends in footage from the 2012 documentary film, The Hunted And Hated: An Inside Look At The NYPD’s Stop-And-Frisk Policy from director Ross Tuttle.
Titled “Don’t Tread On Me,” the PSA shows Bey in various shots in the studio working on the backing track, which he produced himself. According to reports from CCR and CPR, over 5 million New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked by police officers. The groups say many of the individuals included community leaders who worked to stamp out crime and other issues in their respective areas. 533,042 stops occurred in 2012 alone, with over 85 percent of those individuals listed as Black or Latino
The PSA also serves as a call to action from citizens, with CCR and CPR asking the public to join in their efforts to eradicate a practice they seen as intrusive and a violation of their civil rights.
Watch Yasiin Bey’s PSA in the video below.