YouTube pranksters expose police racial profiling in NY

YouTube pranksters expose police racial profiling in NY
Two YouTube pranksters have staged a small experiment- in one case they wore western clothes and argued in front of policeman who said nothing. In the other, they did the same but in Muslim clothes and were stopped and frisked by the same officer.

The authors of the video, YouTube stars Adam Saleh and Sheiikh Akbar, who are known for making fun prank videos, shot their latest footage in New York. It is called Racial Profiling Experiment and consists of two clips which according to them were shot with an+ interval of about 20 minutes.

On one video Saleh and Akbar, dressed in western clothes and speaking with American accent, pass by a police officer, arguing. They started pushing each other directly in front of the officer. He saw them but said nothing, pretending not to see them.

Saleh and Akbar repeated the same argument 20 minutes later. The only difference was that they wore what might be described as “cultural clothes” and spoke with a foreign accent.

But the officer’s reaction was quite different. He instantly stopped them as soon as Saleh, wearing a headdress, poked Akbar in the chest.

“What is the argument about? Why are you dressed like this?” asked the policeman, pointing at their traditional Muslim robes.

When the pair said “Nothing serious” and tried to move on, he said: “Don’t walk from me! I’m an officer! Why are you walking away when I am talking to you?”

Then the officer shoved them both against the wall, kicking one of them in process, ordering them to put their hands up. He started searching them asking “What’s in your pocket? Is this a gun? A knife?”

It turned out to be just a mobile phone.

After that the guys revealed to the policeman that they already passed him 20 minutes ago.

“I’m the same guy as before. I came 20 minutes earlier, we hit each other and you did nothing,” said Saleh, taking off his headdress.

“Too many innocent people get stopped and frisked every day because of what they wear or their skin colour," they said later, “We’re against people stereotyping others because of what they wear or what skin colour they are."

A spokesman from New York Police Department wouldn’t confirm the authenticity of the video to Huffington Post.

Last August, a federal judge ruled that the NYPD’s 4.4 million stops from 2004 to 2012 - of which 80 percent were of black or Hispanic individuals who made up more than half of total frisks - were done in violation of the Fourth Amendment and singled out targets for their race, violating the Fourteenth Amendment. A lawsuit filed in 2004 by four men, all minorities, became a class action case against stop-and-frisk.

READ MORE: NYPD unions appeal stop-and-frisk ban