Stop and Frisk

Topics: Search and seizure, United States Constitution, New York City Pages: 2 (497 words) Published: February 16, 2013
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. Modern officials have granted police officers in New York City an incentive to respect the amendment. The Stop and Frisk program employed by the New York Police Department, gives police officers the right to initiate a stop of an individual on the street allegedly and do a quick search of their outer clothes for weapons based on if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has or is about to take place and the person stopped is armed or dangerous. This reasonable suspicion is not based with specific facts but from the hunches from New York Police officers. Stop and frisk has been a New York Police Department tool for decades, but in recent years it has generated an increased amount of disapproval and debate due to the disturbing rate in communities of color, who often feel under attack and harassed by the police. Minorities make up the majority percentage of people searched in predominantly white neighborhoods, which is why I believe that either some kind of quota or limit should be implicated where only a certain percentage of people stopped can be of a specific race or from specific neighborhood, or New York City should just get rid of the program all together. In 2011 alone, 700,000 New Yorkers were pulled over for stop and frisk searches. Approximately 87 percent were Hispanic or Black and of that percentage 90 percent were deemed innocent (Huffington Post). In comparison, from 2002 to 2011 Hispanics and Blacks made up 90 percent of people stopped, and 88 percent of those stopped were innocent New Yorker (New York Civil Liberties Union). If racial profiling in this case was effective that would be one thing, but there has yet to be any published research that has proven the effectiveness of this program, which is shown in the lack of arrests produced. Violent crimes in New York have decreased by 29 percent between 2001 and 2010;...
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