The New York Times Sunday Review features a harrowing first hand account by Nicholas Peart relating his experiences as a target of the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy.

In 2009, the NYPD stopped and frisked 576,394 people. Over the 3 1/2 years leading up to 2009, the NYPD initiated over 1.6 million stops of New Yorkers.

Communities of color have had to bear the brunt of this intrusive and often humiliating police practice. Of the stop-and-frisks that the police carried out last year, 84 percent were of African-Americans and Latinos.  Eighty-five percent of blacks and Latinos who were stopped were also frisked, compared to 8 percent of white people.

And, like Peart, most of these stops were of innocent people — from 2005 through the first half of 2008, only 4 to 6 percent of all NYPD-initiated stops resulted in arrest.

As a person of color in a poor neighborhood, Peart is representative of those 500,000 that are being profiled and harassed by police.  Not only are his (and our) civil liberties being trampled on but the harassment breeds a deep mistrust of law enforcement.  As Peart notes: "The police should consider the consequences of a generation of young people who want nothing to do with them — distrust, alienation and more crime."