Stop And Frisk Racial Profiling Essay Sample

Stop-and-Frisk Research Paper

1050 WordsApr 27th, 20135 Pages

Stop-and-Frisk: Cleaning up the Streets, or Racial Profiling at its Finest?

Taryn Konkler

Introduction to Law Enforcement

Professor Michael Glendon

Imagine innocently walking down the street in a city you’ve lived in your whole life, when all of a sudden you hear the dreaded “woop woop” and see those flashing red and blue lights. The police. They interrogate you, ask your whereabouts, and finally, they “frisk” you. Of course, they find nothing; they rarely do when they search people. Although it’s wrong and demoralizing, you know it’s something you’ll have to get used to as an African American living in New York City.

The stop-and-frisk was implemented after the Terry v. Ohio case, which ruled…show more content…

The statistics show that to be an African American or Hispanic in New York you are more than twice as likely to get stopped as a white or Asian person. Studies of reports show that 15,000 or 30% of stops are deemed unconstitutional; and those are just the ones that are reported, imagine all of those that go unreported. Imagine all of those people who were victimized just because of the color of their skin. The stop-and-frisk procedure was once a good thing that helped clean up the streets, but now it’s becoming an epidemic of racial profiling, and teaching racism and intolerance to anyone who is a victim or witness of these stops.

“There’s no evidence that the stop-and-frisk is lowering or suppressing homicide rates in NYC. Murders have dropped steadily in 1990,” says Chris Dunn, spokesperson for the NYCLU. He’s saying that stop and frisks have nothing to do with the drop in homicides, statistics show that in 2002 97,296 people were stopped and there were 587 homicides, the numbers in 2012 were 685,724 and 532. With almost a 600% increase in stops there is no reason that we should only have 55 less homicides. There is a reason though; police are stopping people simply because they’re a minority. Or perhaps it’s because they are wearing a hoodie in the summer or shorts in the winter, which is cause for reasonable suspicion. This leads to distrust for law

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We live in world where police officers are suppose to be protected and help us out when needed. The reality of it is police officers are out here on the beat violating are constitutional rights. Stop and frisk was to help fight crime on the streets but all it caused was racial profiling by officers everyday for the last twelve years. Stop and frisk has been used and abused and young adults are afraid to leave their house because they know they will be harassed for no good reason. Stop and frisk has caused a war between the officers and people no one feels confortable going up to an officer for help because of pervious encounters because of stop and frisks. Why has this been going on for so long and when will it change?

The meaning of stop and frisk is, the situation in which a police officer who is suspicious of an individual detains the person and runs his hands lightly over the suspect’s outer garments to determine if the person is carrying a concealed weapon or contraband. One of the most controversial police procedures is the stop and frisk search. This type of limited search occurs when police confront a suspicious person in an effort to prevent a crime from taking place. The police frisk (pat down) the person for weapons and question the person. Stop and frisk was adopted from the English command law by many American courts. In accordance with English common law, without statutory provisions, a police officer has the power to stop, question, and frisk suspects given reasonable circumstances.

Based on a standard, which holds less than probable cause, this power is granted upon the standard of reasonable suspicion. The whole theory behind stop and frisk in urban communities is the broken window theory which is if there are houses in the area that are abandon it can lead to young adults getting into mistress in order to avoid that police officer would stop and question these peoples were about. Over the years till present time stop and frisk has been much more then stopping someone and question them and looking for contraband. What was suppose to protect and keep the street clean has turned into violating innocence people.

The first big case that caused the supreme court to allow officers to authorize a search and seizure that not even a magistrate would not possess due to a case Terry v Ohio in December 12,1967 “The Petitioner, John W. Terry (the “Petitioner”), was stopped and searched by an officer after the officer observed the Petitioner seemingly casing a store for a potential robbery. The officer approached the Petitioner for questioning and decided to search him first.” (Casebrief) The officer choose to do a quick search after approaching the three men that where involved and he found two revolvers, these men where taken in and the Supreme Court denied their appeals. This cases shows why stop and frisk went into affect to prevent people from breaking the peace in comminutes. Over the years it has changed into being racial stops and innocent people have been stop. In my opinion I feel as though stop and frisk started out with the right intentions and if there is something odd standing out a cop should have the right to question it an protect the people.

During my research I learned that stop and frisk is a current event in New York and the Mayor is trying to fix things. The article I read had a lot of information that stood out to me and I thought was very interesting. This article is about “The move by the Law Department, which will officially be taken in legal papers expected to be filed by Monday, fulfills a campaign promise by Mr. de Blasio and represents the latest step by his administration to shake off its predecessor’s legacy of aggressively defending the stop-and-frisk practices of the Police Department.” (Goodman 2014) This article is about the end of stop and frisk, as we know it. Mayor de Blasio goal when he came into office was to stop the racial profiling that has been overused to the young adults in are neighborhoods. The underlying message of the article is “ paying the way to a reduction in racial profiling, a greater guarantee of equal treatment under the law, and better relations between police and the community, this move offers a guide to other cities across the nation committed to ensuring safety, justice and fairness for all cities.” (Goodman 2014)

The evidence that backs up this racial profiling claim is static from the nation urban league. “From 2002 to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped, and about 88 percent of stops more than 3.8 million were innocent New Yorkers.” The bias of the author is against stop and frisk. This will affect the perspective of the article because it will show all the flaws in the NYPD. This article showed me that when you have people who care you could make a change in the world. The mayor has stop and frisk in new york and he has only been In office for a few months. The statics in this article shocked me because why are so many young adults of color are being stop just because they are walking down the street. We should be able to feel safe and protected not harassed and be judge by the color of their skin.

Through out my research I found some amazing statics that I would love to share. The first statics I really liked was “According to statistics compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union, “From 2002 to 2011, Black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped, and about 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of innocent New Yorkers.” (Morial 2014) although the next statement I will be quoting is not a static it is proof of how far the damage goes back due to racial profiling. “The law’s main backers in the Council, Jumaane D. Williams and Brad Lander, commended Mr. de Blasio and said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the law helped to improve relations between the police and minority communities and would “reverse the damage done over the last 12 years.” (Goodman 2014) The damage has been done to the past young adults but with people will to make a change we can protect are up a coming new young adults from suffering the same racial profiling from stop and frisk. “In 2013, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 191,558 times. 169,252 were totally innocent (88 percent), 104,958 were black (56 percent), 55,191 were Latino (29 percent), and 20,877 were white (11 percent). (Nyclu 2013)

As you can that in just the year of 88 percent of the people who were stopped were innocent and more the have of the people who were stopped were African American. Only 11 percent of the people stopped were white. These numbers shows there is something wrong in are justice system. Just because a person skin color is darker then another person doesn’t mean that person has do something wrong and should be treated like a criminal for no reason. Over the last twelve years the numbers of stop and frisk look similar to the year of 2013. I saw a video on a young man who started getting stopped at the age of 15 and by the time he was 18 years old he had been stopped over 200 times.

This young man has never been in trouble and does what he needs to do. The reason for him being stopped was due to the area he lived in and because he was African American. He was so tired of being harassed by the police officers he just stop going outside because he could deal with it. No one should ever have to hide and change their life because are justice systems feels the need to bother someone who doing nothing wrong. Another fact that stood out to me was “An analysis by the NYCLU revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics. Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports.” (Nyclu 2013)

Work citied

Goodman, J. D. (2014, Mar 06). De blasio drops challenge to law on police profiling. New York Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1504314298?accountid=12387

Morial, M. H. (2014, Feb). New york to end stop-and-frisk as we know it. Chicago Defender. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1510998827?accountid=12387

Stop-and-Frisk Data | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) – American Civil Liberties Union of New York State. (n.d.).Stop-and-Frisk Data | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) – American Civil Liberties Union of New York State. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from http://www.nyclu.org/content/stop-and-frisk-data

Terry v. Ohio | Casebriefs. (2014, April 20). Casebriefs. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/criminal-procedure/criminal-procedure-keyed-to-weinreb/the-fourth-amendment-arrest-and-search-and-seizure/terry-v-ohio-4/

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