Stop-and-Frisk is a prominent New York City law enforced famously by mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani that gives police officers the power to stop, question and search pedestrians without probable cause. This practice was eventually ruled unconstitutional for breaking the 14th amendment’s right of equal protection for all people.
The anti-crime tactic, which searches pedestrians for weapons or contraband, gained traction in New York City under mayor Giuliani, now a top Trump supporter. Opposition to the practice led police departments in New York City, as well as Chicago and Newark, New Jersey, to agree to cut back on its use, in some cases submitting to outside monitoring and improving police training.
“Undoubtedly stop-and-frisk is a form of racial profiling and with this country’s current tension between police and movements like Black Lives Matter we can not afford to allow more laws like this to be put in place,” said librarian Alicia Clinton. “This law would only lead to more unnecessary problems and make the situation even worse.”
Several flaws have been identified with this law. First of all, over 80 percent of people stopped are African American which is considered to be racial profiling. Also, it is thought that the police department uses this policy to fill monthly quotas and was not being used like it was designed. The law was not very effective, the majority of the time there were no arrests made during these searches.
In 2011, Stop-and-Frisk peaked in New York City when over 685,725 stops were made however only 88 percent of these laws led to any convictions.
“I think this law was very ineffective and embarrassing for New York City and I do not see how anybody could support the use of Stop-and-Frisk,” junior Stephen Wilson said.
In recent years the use of Stop-and-Frisk has dropped significantly because the practice did not make any significant changes in crime rates and is not even considered to be a legal practice by the Supreme Court.
The issue has reappeared recently when Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump came out supporting stop-and-frisk.
“I would do stop-and-frisk,” said Donald Trump. “I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically.”
This has sparked controversy about the upcoming election this November. His opponent Hillary Clinton has adamantly stated that she is against this policy. Clinton claims that she aims to reduce racial tensions between the police and inner city residents instead of implementing laws such as Stop-and-Frisk.
“Stop-and-Frisk has been proven in the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional and therefore illegal, I could never support anybody who would implement this law on a wider basis,” junior Emma Rowe said, “With the state of the relationship between police and African Americans we cannot afford let this law be put in place.”
Stop-and-Frisk is yet another policy that voters have to wrestle with when deciding who to vote for in this 2016 election.
Photo from New York Daily News