A coalition of civil rights advocates spoke out against the Detroit Police Department’s decision to hire consultants with a conservative group that promoted the controversial stop-and-frisk program in New York City that critics say tramples on constitutional rights, reports the Detroit Free Press. The activists said they’re concerned that the stop-and-frisk program — which a federal judge ruled unconstitutional last month — is coming to Detroit.
The Detroit Police Department paid the Bratton Group and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research $600,000 to advise them. The Manhattan Institute, which is funded by conservatives such as brothers David and Charles Koch, has been working on a pilot program in Detroit to help reduce crime. The institute helped develop New York’s stop-and-frisk program, in which police can stop people and search them; the vast majority of such stops resulted in no arrests. “We will have the Koch brothers basically making a decision about who gets locked up in Detroit, who gets pulled over,” said the Rev. Charles Williams II, a pastor who heads Detroit’s branch of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network. The Detroit Police Department, the Manhattan Institute, and the Bratton Group declined comment.