The purpose of this paper is to discuss the pros and cons of the Stop and Frisk policy in New York. This paper covers a short history of Stop and Frisk. It also will address the progression of the policy throughout the years. Furthermore, it will relate the topic to the management, gender, and race class focusing in on how the unconscious bias plays a role in how the police choose who to stop. The paper also includes some statistics of Stop and Frisk encounters. It will conclude with the group opinion of the Stop and Frisk policy.
New York City has a policy in place known as the Stop and Frisk policy. According to New York Criminal Procedure (2012), if a police officer, “suspects that (a) person is committing, has committed or is about to commit either (a) a felony or (b) a misdemeanor defined in the penal law, and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his conduct ("New York Criminal," 2012).” Also stated in the procedural handbook, if a police officer, “reasonably suspects that he is in danger of physical injury, he may search such person for a deadly weapon or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing serious physical injury and of a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons ("New York Criminal," 2012).” In short, this policy allows officers to stop suspicious citizens and frisk them for weapons or drugs; it was put into place on September 1, 1971 (“WNYC Newsroom,” 2012). According to Hennelly (2009), “Ninety percent of those stopped were people of color. Only about 10 percent produced an arrest or summons… the NYPD has consistently denied that its stop and frisk strategy involves racial profiling.” Stop and frisk has been the cause of many disagreements and lawsuits (“WNYC Newsroom,” 2012); the policy comes with many pros and cons. PROS AND CONS
New York’s stop and frisk policy could be seen as both negative and beneficial. If the stop and frisk is conducted according to procedure, no one is harmed and there is the possibility of removing another criminal from the streets. It benefits the public, in that it offers a sense of security and safety. However, along with these benefits come many negative side effects. It is seen as an invasion of privacy. More often than not, the person is found to be innocent of any crime. Racial profiling is often the tactic for search procedures (Hennelly, 2009). People become leery of the police begin to lose their trust in law enforcement. Many New Yorkers feel that they are stopped simply because of the color of their skin, the way they dress or the neighborhood they live in. STATISTICS
Even though stop and frisk is a popular technique used by police all over the country, New York is one of the most controversial states. Since Mayor Bloomberg came in to office in 2003, stop and frisks incidents have risen by 600 percent (Carver, 2013). There have been many lawsuits filed against the City of New York, and the New York Police Department for unlawfully stopping minority males on the street. The lawsuits claim that police officers were subject to stop and frisk quotas each month that they were required to make. A Brooklyn police officer testified in court that he was required to make five stop and search’s a day, which should be logged (Carver, 2013). Stop and frisk can be looked at from two different angles which are on extremely opposite sides of the spectrum. The first side, arguing for stop and frisk, is that it saves lives because the more people stopped the more likely it is that they will find someone with a weapons or drugs. The other side, arguing against stop and frisk, believe that it promotes racial profiling and only people who belong to minority group are stopped.
Looking at stop and frisk in an objective way one might say that it is a good program that has flaws that need to be worked out. According to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn...
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