Stop-and-Frisk and New York’s Freedom Deficit

Gregory Malandrucco writes at

The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program has created two very distinct sets of experiences for the residents of New York City. One portion of the population’s experience embodies relative freedom as we legally and culturally understand it. However, for minority residents of the city, the experience is part of a larger ongoing relationship to the state as potential crime-suspects and targets of surveillance and harassment. One city, two radically different experiences.

For those of you who have never had the displeasure of experiencing the city as a potential crime-suspect, stop-and-frisk is a tactic that essentially allows police to conduct a search of any person of their choosing at any time. So what defines “a person of their choosing?” Reasonable suspicion can be based on something as simple as “movement” or “clothing.” In 2011, so-called “furtive movements” provided the justification for a stop in more than 50% of 685,724 cases, while “clothes commonly used in a crime” was cited in more than 30,000 instances.

Though technically anyone is a potential target, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of individuals stopped and frisked in New York City are people of color. While only 54% of the city’s population is black or Latino, 87% of stops in the first quarter of 2012 involved this demographic. What is more, young black and Latino men made up 4.7% of New York City’s population, but constituted 41.6% of all stops in 2011. Staggeringly, police made 168,126 stops of young black men last year, a number that altogether exceeds New York City’s population of 158,406 young black men…

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2 Comments on "Stop-and-Frisk and New York’s Freedom Deficit"

  1. The problem is when you give people an inch they take a mile.

    Originally, cops were allowed to perform a Terry Frisk  for their own protection while dealing with possibly violent suspects.

    Then the cops took it and ran with it, using the Terry Frisk as an evidence gathering procedure.

    The most obvious case of this legal elasticity may have been when a cop argued in court that when he felt a bag of powder in a suspect’s pocket, he feared that it was a bag of poison powder which the suspect might produce and cast into the officer’s eyes.

    Yeah, right.

    What needs to happen is a Federal law which excludes any evidence that results from a Terry Frisk. Or simply outlaw them altogether and then laugh at the cops when they whine that by abusing the privilege, the lost it entirely.

  2. Amerika’s fascination with Cop Kulture is astounding
    indoctrination served up as entertainment
    most Amerikan TV is cop/crime drama

    the pigs, with a few exceptions, are always good guys
    the perps are always the bad guys, especially people of color

    in my entire life, I have never needed the cops
    except to protect me from the cops

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