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Riko Guzman said today on the steps of City Hall that when he was 11 years old he was with friends on his Bronx neighborhood sidewalk “doing nothing” when a police officer stopped and frisked him.

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“I was approached by my own heroes,” said the Bronx member of the Justice Committee, a Latino-led organization that works on police accountability.

Guzman joined with other Latino and African American local elected officials, community leaders and reformers earlier today to urge passage of a package of City Council bills that could change the way the New York Police Department does its job.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez said the police use of stop-and-frisk is doing little for public safety. Instead, community members “view the police as a threat and enemy, not as an ally to make their community safer,” she said.

The bills, known collectively as the The Community Safety Act, are sponsored by City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn, who noted that advocates of the bills are “not anti-police.”

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