July 9, 2013
New York City Stop and Frisk Policy
In the city where crime was at all time high during the nineties, the top politicians in New York City decided that something should be done to help stop crime. The NYPD implemented the “Stop and Frisk” policy to bring the crime rate down in the city. However it did more than exceed its expectations and it has been more of a negative than a positive. This policy created tension between the NYPD and the law abiding citizens of New York City because thousands stopped were people of the Black and Latino communities. According to the US Census Bureau NYC has a population of 8,336,697 people. Blacks and Latinos make up 53% of the city population. 85% of New Yorkers stopped are Black and Latino men and 6% of that number actually led to an arrest (NYCLU). At this shocking percentage, it’s apparent that this policy is discriminatory against Blacks and Latinos. Not only is this policy discriminatory, it has violated citizens constitutional rights and been deemed racial profiling. In defense of the “Stop and Frisk “policy and proclaiming that it works is evident. People often know New York City for its skyscrapers, broadways shows, and being the birthplace of hip hop. However many people did not know that New York was one of the most dangerous cities in the United States in the 80’s and 90’s decades. The city that never sleeps houses approximately 8,336,697 people. Over 50 percent of the people living in the city are either Black or Hispanic. In attempts to keep the crime rates down Commissioner Raymond Kelly is continuing to practice the Policy of “Stop and Frisk.” It is very difficult for a police officer to pinpoint whether someone is a bad guy or not. The “Stop and Frisk “policy was not established to target black and Hispanics but to target high crime areas in the city. The Commissioner also stated that the program has been effective because there was a 29 percent drop in violent crimes from 2001 -2010 (www.nyclu.org). The “Stop and Frisk” policy is the practice of police officers to randomly stop people on the street that look suspicious of criminal activity. In some instances officers will conduct a search or frisk of an individual who “fits the description” holding “suspicious objects” or lives in a “high crime” area. This policy was implemented to reduce the crime in NYC and make residents feel safer in their own neighborhoods. But with nearly 90% of stops being black and Latino people this raise concern about the effectiveness and purpose of this policy. 9 out of 10 people stopped are innocent (NYCLU). These law abiding citizens are either stopped going to or coming from work, in front of their homes or just walking down the street. Under the law, an officer is not allowed to stop a person without probable suspicion that the individual is engaging in criminal activity or about to engage in criminal activity. The officer will ask the individual for ID to make sure they are from the area and maybe run their information through the system to make sure they don’t have any prior charges with the law or warrants for their arrest. They will also ask questions like “where are you going?” or “where are you coming from?” If the officer feels the need to frisk a person it’s because the person looks suspicious enough to be carrying weapons or drugs. A report also has to be made by the officer for each stop in which they will have to record when the stop was made.
The “Stop and Frisk” policy is one of the many defenses that the city of New York has to stopping crime. When a suspect is stopped and searched it usually has a probable cause behind it. Police officers receive proper training to the way that they are to search and frisk people. Individuals who are usually stopped usually make the situation more complicated then what it really is buy not complying with the officer performing the procedure. When a police officer...
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