Is the online surveillance of black teenagers the new stop-and-frisk?

Spy holding magnifying glass (Shutterstock)

Critics say the NYPD’s trawling of social media for gang activity — affecting children as young as 10 — is disproportionate and may amount to racial profiling Taylonn Murphy is sitting in a Harlem beauty salon after hours.

Leaning back in his chair and with a calm demeanor, he is talking about keeping young local people out of harm’s way. Every now and then though, as he speaks, his voice breaks. In September 2011, his daughter Tayshana, 18, a local basketball superstar and resident of West Harlem’s Grant Houses, was shot dead by two residents of Manhattanville Houses.

The killing was described as the result of a rivalry between the two housing projects that dates back decades. Almost three years after his daughter’s death, on 4 June 2014, helicopters hovered overhead as the first rays of sunlight hit the concrete. At least 400 New York police officers in military gear raided both housing projects, with indictments for the arrest of 103 people.