A beautiful new street mural was unveiled in Harlem yesterday, a kind of primer on stop and frisk and racial profiling. The Know your Rights Mural dedication on 138 street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, comes a day after the New York City Council voted for more control over the New York Police Department.
Six months in the making, the mural is a collaboration between Peoples’ Justice for Community Control & Police Accountability (PJ), Picture The Homeless (PTH) and the artist Sophia “I Am Wet Paint” Dawson!
It was a milestone for the many activists whom I first met in late 2011 and through their efforts made “Stop and Frisk”, racial profiling and police misconduct, a national debate.
For residents, the mural is personal. At the dedication Yusef Salaam, a member of the Central Park 5, and a resident of 138 street, said if only he had known his rights and if his family has been better informed, they might have been able to defend themselves against police intimidation and spared Salaam wasted years in prison.
To learn more about he Central Park 5, see the Ken Burns movie.