Feds to Review NYC's Stop-and-Frisk Policy
Policy both unconstitutional and ineffective, campaigners say
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2012 8:10 AM CDT
New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams displays several buttons as he speaks about the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy yesterday.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

(Newser) – The Justice Department has agreed to review New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy following complaints from activists and lawmakers who say the program overwhelmingly targets minorities, reports the Guardian. NYPD statistics show that police stopped a record-setting 684,330 people on the streets last year, 87% of whom where black and Latino; about half were frisked, and almost 90% weren't arrested. The police department and Mayor Michael Bloomberg defend the policy but critics say it is ineffective and has led to thousands of illegal arrests, reports the AP.

Campaigners, who met with DoJ officials yesterday, note that stop-and-frisks have soared 600% under Bloomberg but the number of people injured by gunfire hasn't budged since he took office. "No one cares about stopping crime more than we do because we live in these neighborhoods," says New York City Assemblyman Karim Camara. "I'm raising two kids. You think I like hearing gunshots when my kids are sleeping in the other room? But you are not stopping the gunshots. You are not getting the guns off the street."

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Jan 25, 2013 11:43 AM CST
Newly created State Laws or Case laws shall not preempt the US Constitution, including but not limited to, NYS Criminal Procedure Law Section 140.50, and the United States Supreme Court case law, Terry v. Ohio. The US Constitution, Amendment XIV (1868) requires, in pertinent parts, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." NYS and the NYC Police Department are in direct violation of the US Constitution on its face. NYS Stop, Frisk, Search and Arrest Program is an unconstitutional policy or practice on its face that is not even open for discussion. Each and every stop, frisk, search and arrest by the cops deliberately departs from the essential requirements of the State and federal constitutions, and they should be stopped now.
Jun 8, 2012 2:34 PM CDT
Based on the details of the case from the 60s, Terry v. Ohio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_v._Ohio ), the key element is whether or not police have a reasonable suspicion before stopping you.that you may be violating the law in some way. I find it hard to believe that the NYPD would still claim reasonable suspicion as a basis for stopping nearly 700,000 people and ending up with only a 10% arrest rate. The NYPD is either really paranoid or a very bad judge of character. These kind of methods are reminescent of J. Edgar Hoover during his tenure as FBI Director. Check out "Enemies" by Tim Weiner and you'll see what I mean.
Jun 8, 2012 12:24 PM CDT
I lived in NYC for 25 years. Believe me, if blacks and latinos are getting frisked more often than anyone else, it's because blacks and latinos commit the vast majority of the street crime. You can look up the stats. No prejudice here, just facts.