Essay response for Spring Break 2009
The first thing to take into account is the actual number of arrests using the given statistics. This means that in 2002 there were 11,446 arrests compared to 20,330 arrests made in 2008. During this time the total population only grew by about 300,000 citizens or about 1.5%. The increase of arrests was definitely due to policy change, as is illustrated when comparing population growth numbers by the increase in people actually stopped and those arrested.
Current law allows police officers to conduct stop and frisk searches of persons based on reasonable suspicion, as determined by Terry v. Ohio where supreme court decisions determined that individuals can be searched not only for probable cause (where an individual is under suspicion of committing a specific crime) but also for reasonable suspicion (where an individual is thought to be taking part in of have taken part of a crime, using facts and beliefs at hand which a reasonable inferences can be drawn from). In these instances, a pat down can be done only for the search of weapons for the preservation of the officers’ safety. The officer can not manipulate objects not believed to be weapons in order to determine if they are other illegal substances (Minnesota v. Dickerson). Additionally the police need to notice something in you actions that makes you suspicious (Rogers v. Arizona). The police can not stop a person because of protected status such as race, gender etc. When police are conducting an investigation, you have to cooperate with them or you might be arrested as well (Hiibu v. Nevada).
These are some of the tools and restrictions which police officers are using to perform arrests. There is now another issue which must be discussed. Why is there such a high ratio of blacks stopped when compared to the population ratio? The first reason can be found by noticing the suspects described as committing the crimes in the first...