Pro Stop And Frisk Essay

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/

On July 26, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released, “Stop and Frisk – The Human Impact: The Stories Behind the Numbers, the Effects on our Communities,” a report documenting the human impact of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) stop-and-frisk practices. 

Read the report here.

Listen to report interviewees tell their stories here.


The New York City Police Department’s (NYPD’s) aggressive stop-and-frisk practices are having a profound effect on individuals, groups, and communities across the city. This report, released in 2012, documented some of the human stories behind the staggering statistics and shed new light on the breadth of impact this policy has had on individuals and groups, in neighborhoods, and citywide.

The Center for Constitutional Rights conducted a series of interviews with people who have been stopped and frisked by NYPD and heard testimonies from a wide range of people living under the weight of the unprecedented explosion of this practice. These interviews provide evidence of how deeply this practice impacts individuals. The report also documented widespread civil and human rights abuses, including illegal profiling, improper arrests, inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, humiliation, and violence at the hands of police officers. The effects of these abuses can be devastating and often leave behind lasting emotional, psychological, social, and economic harm.

The NYPD stop-and-frisk program affects thousands of people every day in New York City, and it is widely documented that an overwhelming majority of those people are Black or Latino. This report shows that many are also members of a range of other communities that are experiencing a devastating impact from this program, including LGBTQ/GNC people, non-citizens, homeless people, religious minorities, low-income people, residents of certain neighborhoods, and youth. Residents of some New York City neighborhoods described a police presence so pervasive and hostile that they felt as if they were living in a state of siege.

What these stories describe are widespread and systematic human and civil rights violations against thousands of New Yorkers on a daily basis. 


This report accompanies CCR's advocacy and organizing efforts to address discrimination, misconduct, and abuse by the police through the Communities United for Police Reform campaign, and our legal challenge, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., a federal class action lawsuit against the NYPD and the City of New York that successfully challenged the NYPD’s practices of racial profiling and unconstitutional stops and frisks.

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