Stop and frisk is a program within the New York Police Department (NYPD) where the Police have the right to stop any pedestrian, question them and frisk them for any weapons or contraband. This policy was effected was effected by the Criminal Procedure Law section 140.50. This law was triggers by the decision of the United States Supreme Court owing to the case of Terry vs. Ohio.
This policy and law that is employed has solicited quite a number of opposing and proposing views. The policy is greatly championed by most NYPD officers and the Supreme Court as it helps to address the great social problem that faces the city and state of New York, i.e. insecurity. It is undoubted that this policy has gone to great lengths to help curb levels of insecurity on the city and state of New York. However, this has also been faced with opposition.
Arguments against the Stop-and-Frisk policy state that the policy has been used as an instrument of racial profiling. This is clearly seen in the fact that over 80% of all the pedestrians who are stopped and frisked are of African-American or Latino decent. This has been the biggest and most significant flaw of the policy. Activist groups claim that the policy has gone as far as instituting illegal stops and violating citizens’ rights to privacy, this is withstanding that individuals from the African-American and Latino community are victimized by the policy.
I am interested in studying the Stop-and-Frisk Policy to find out the validity and purpose of the policy, how the NYPD is utilizing the policy, how the policy affects individuals from the minority groups and how the policy is being misused by the NYPD. This is because amid the 21st century revolution for equality, there remains certain aspects of the society that is even engraved in the Law that still allows for racial segregation in the form of racial profiling.