The Third Avenue side of the abandoned Gowanus Power Station, aka The Batcave, has new graffiti: “End Stop & Frisk” now adorns the building’s south-facing parapet, a reference to the New York City Police Department’s controversial increase of street stops in recent years, long a focal point of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly’s regime that has recently come under fire. We’re not sure what “Hand” is a reference to, although it could be the artist’s tag.
The Third Avenue side of the Power Station has a history of use as a sounding board for socio-political issues. Prior to the stop-and-frisk message, the same wall read “Stop Shopping It’s Sick! Barf!” part of which was later covered up by “Nova,” possibly just a tag. Before that, the wall read “No More Corporate Bullshit! Fuck Wall St.”
Evidence suggests that the NYPD has been curtailing their stop-and-frisk policy in recent months amidst mounting pressure from courts, the media, civil rights groups and protesters. The policy is said to unfairly target minorities; blacks and Hispanics represent more than 85% of the stops. According to the New York Times, the Police Department conducted 203,500 stops in January, February and March this year, a record number, but the second quarter — April, May and June — saw that number drop to just (“only”!) 133,934 people.
How the perpetrators of this latest graffiti stunt got into the Gowanus Power Station is beyond us. When this writer scoped out the perimeter of the building roughly one year ago all the entrances were tightly blocked off with steel garage door-style gates and locks while the lowest second floor entrance had to be at least 10 feet in the air. Kudos to whoever figured out a way into the fortress.