Coping With Cops

For minorities, growing up now means learning how to survive the police

It looks like a typical high school classroom, but the question Ronald Quartimon poses to his African-American students at Bedford Stuyvesant Outreach, an alternative high school in Brooklyn, N.Y., isn't about the Civil War or Shakespeare's sonnets. He wants to know how many of them have ever been stopped by the police. Six hands shoot up. "Usually," says a student, "they just come out right off the bat and ask you, 'Do you have any drugs?'" The comment is a typical one for the 10-session course called Conflicts with Cops, run by the Harlem-based Neighborhood Defender Service. Its goal: to train...

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