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Stop and Frisk Programs

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
New York City stop-and-frisk program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MILLER: Bloomberg loses stop and frisk, and NRA gets blamed - Washington Times

Stop and Frisk Practices | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) - American Civil Liberties Union of New York State

I wanted to provide some links so people can get an idea about the program. Under the 4th Amendment an officer needs probably cause to do a search and seizure. Then the Supreme Court came up with the term stop and frisk and that an officer only needs reasonable suspicion to do it. This is also known as a "Terry Stop" after the court case Terry v. Ohio.

The facts of Terry are these: Officer McFadden of the Cleveland Police Department observed 3 individuals on a street corner passing back and forth in front of a jewelry store and looking inside. After each would pass they would have a discussion and another one would pass by. He watched them for over 10 minutes going back and forth and back and forth in front of the jewelry store. Coming to the conclusion a crime was about to be committed he approached them, identified himself as an officer and patted them down and found guns on them. After being charged they claimed Officer McFadden violated the 4th Amendment since he did not have probable cause to search them. The Supreme Court established the doctrine of stop and frisk reasoning that the officer, due to a totality of the circumstances, established reasonable suspicion and the stop and frisk was legal.

In my opinion the NY police department has misused this doctrine to mean they can stop and search whomever they want. They reason someone being in a particular neighborhood establishes enough "reasonable suspicion" which is erroneous. There is no doubt many guns have been confiscated and crime rates have gone down but in my opinion the program instituted by New York is unlawful and unconstitutional. My concern mainly is this:

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.
I have the right to walk down the street and not be bothered by the police if I am doing nothing that would warrant someone thinking I am doing something illegal or I am about to commit a crime.

As a sidenote I think Bloomberg is one of the dumbest human beings on Earth.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with stop and frisk or do you find it unconstitutional and unlawful?
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I think its unconstitutional, they should have a probable cause for stopping someone and frisking them. I think its used as a means of intimidation or just to harass some people.

Tactics like this remind me of Nazi Germany.

I agree with you on Bloomberg.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I don't have a problem with reasonable suspicion, I think if an officer observes someone acting a certain way and it's logical that a reasonable suspicion that a crime is about to be committed manifests itself then I have no problem with it. The problem I have is New York, in my opinion, is misusing this "reasonable suspicion" standard to justify stopping anyone they want and padding them down. That wasn't the intention of the Supreme Court when Terry was decided.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
Sure if a officer thinks someone is about to commit a crime but I think in the case of NY they are just searching and interrogating you because they don't like the way you look in many cases. Which to me is a blatant abuse of the the Terry Law. They may catch a few criminals doing this but is it worth the black eye to the constitution.

I'm just waiting for Bloomberg to decide you will have to show your papers when asked to enter or travel about the city.
 
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