The Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network led the march.
Photos by Isaacc García
Father's Day proved a quiet celebration – with a loud message – for thousands of city residents this past Sun., Jun. 17th.
It was estimated by organizers that over 15,000 residents joined together on the holiday in a silent procession along Fifth Avenue intended to serve as a rally calling for the end of the controversial police practice known as "stop and frisk".
Long planned by civil rights groups, unions, community leaders and elected officials, the rally kicked off mid-afternoon from 110th Street on Lenox Avenue in Harlem and continued down to Mayor Bloomberg's home at 77th Street and Fifth Avenue.
A wide coalition of nearly 300 organizations had endorsed the march, including Jewish, Asian, Arab and gay, lesbian and transgender rights groups; there were also members from the Occupy Wall Street movement, Socialist Workers' groups, the National Action Network, whose president Rev. Al Sharpton marched front and center, as did the N.A.A.C.P.'s president, Benjamin Jealous, who marched with his six-year-old daughter Morgan.
Other marchers included former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, New York City Councilmembers Robert Jackson; Melissa Mark-Viverito; Eric Stevenson; Inez Dickens; Ydanis Rodriguez, and United Federation of Teachers's president Michael Mulgrew, among others.
Protestors walked, as promised, largely in silence.
Many held up signs and placards decrying the policy. Some held hands.
New York City police officers have stopped almost 700,000 people last year; nearly 90% of those individuals stopped were of Latino or African-American descent.
Just hours earlier, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took to a Brooklyn church, the Christian Cultural Center, to defend the policy, which he argued has reduced crime, gotten guns off the streets, and saved lives.
Among those marching were former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson and UFT President Michael Mulgrew (right).
Still, Mayor Bloomberg acknowledged that the policy has led to distrust by a number of black and Latino residents, who feel unfairly targeted and have charged that the policy amounts to racial profiling.
Morgan, the six-year-old daughter of Benjamin Jealous, the N.A.A.C.P.'s President.
"We believe that when it comes to making stops – to borrow a phrase from President Clinton – the practice should be mended, not ended," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That work has already begun, and Commissioner Kelly has said that he fully expects the number of stops to decline in the months ahead."
State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
Councilmember Robert Jackson.
Many protestors brought their children.