13 Ways Essay Stop And Frisk
1000C November 30, 2013 NYPD Stop and Frisk Laws: The Inevitable Reform New York City being one of the original immigration destinations for people immigrating to the United States should represent freedom; it should be a land of equality where an individual’s race will not hold them back and they will not be judged upon their accent or ethnicity; isn’t that the whole idea of the United States? If all of this is true, it makes no sense how the New York Police Department is allowed to use such intrusive, abusive, and embarrassing tactics such as Stop and Frisk.
Being an average white suburban teen, I haven’t personally seen the effects of Stop and Frisk on a first hand account but to me it is clear that these practices are a problem. Stop and Frisk practices are associated with illegal stops, racial profiling, and violating privacy rights, the worst part is that this is all caused by the people who are supposed to be protecting citizens, the police, reform is detrimental for the future of New York City.
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For anyone unaware of Stop and Frisk Laws, they pretty much give police officers the right to stop whomever they deem as suspicious.
After stopping an individual with little to no evidence of any crime stop and frisk gives police officers the right to question them and search them for weapons and other sorts of contraband. This leaves a lot of room for error due to the fact that police officers receive no extra training to help them decide who is or is not suspicious looking(Mathias). I couldn’t have put it better than one of my peers who answered one of the questions on my survey saying “No one knows how to judge who should be frisked and who shouldn’t.” Honestly there is no way anyone can decide who is suspicious and who isn’t; police officers simply have to go with their gut and this is what usually leads to racial profiling. Stop and Frisk can lead to racial profiling because if an officer already has a preconceived idea that a certain race is more violent, more likely to commit crimes, or simply more sketchy then this will drastically affect who they stop and don’t stop. Sadly Black and Latino citizens are the one’s being profiled and discriminated against. The amount of data supporting this is uncanny, for example 87 percent of the people stopped in 2011 were Latino or Black (Mathias).
To go even further, this gives racist police officers the power to stop and harass someone simply because they don’t like the way they look or talk. This practice put so many people at risk it is insane! Another problem of the Stop and Frisk practices are that they violate citizens’ right to privacy. It is completely intrusive and simply embarrassing to be stopped while you’re walking the street just because an officer thought you looked like a criminal. Now if police aren’t protecting citizen’s or their rights, rather they’re violating them this must take a toll on the NYPD-Citizen relationship.
Thanks to Stop and Frisk practices the NYPD is looked down upon and even seen as lazy. These laws lead to citizens losing faith and trust in the NYPD, and without the police to depend on for security society could crumble. If people don’t believe that the police have their best interests in mind and are not there to protect them, they will feel defenseless and naturally will look somewhere else for protection; this could lead to a boom in gangs and mafias. All of this may seem far-fetched but thinking long term if Stop and Frisk laws are not reformed this is very possible.
If these laws are not reformed there is potential for chaos…imagine riots lead by the thousands of people who feel singled out and discriminated against calling for a revolution. Although many people believe stop and frisk is bad for everyone, some people disagree and think that the stop and frisk laws are helping keep people safe. An example of this is when I interviewed one of my old martial arts instructors who is a police officer, he said that even though some police officers use racial profiling when deciding who to frisk not all police officers do and the entire NYPD shouldn’t be judged upon a few bad apples.
He said at the end of the day no one created these laws with malicious intent. Another thing people might say to condone stop and frisk is that it is a necessary evil, that even though people’s rights are violated in the end these laws are there just to keep people safe. Bloomberg supports stop and frisk saying that NYPD finds 900 guns per year thanks to stop and frisk. Police officers say that even if an innocent is stopped it was a necessary precaution to keeping society safe because what if that person was bad and that hadn’t stopped them.
And dealing with the racial profiling lawsuit against the NYPD some people may argue that there is no way around claims of profiling and it would be counterintuitive to not stop someone just because they are a certain race after all said and done no matter race is stopped people are going to have something to complain about. In my opinion although stop and frisk can be proved effective in some cases it is not worth risking people’s rights and mainly these tactics are illegal.
So clearly that view is very different from mine, but another view is one where people say that instead of reforming the stop and frisk laws people say that these laws or practices are so despicable the need to be stopped completely without reform. Clearly the two sides discussed in this paragraph are extremes and I think my side is the most rational. I surveyed five of my peers to see how they felt on the topic, and as I suspected most of my peers strongly support the reform of stop and frisk. One of my questions was, has anyone in your family been affected by any of these laws?
One individual responded with, “Yes my boyfriend has been stopped twice. He is the most straight-laced person I know, it is ridiculous that he has been stopped at all! ” This quote proves my point that people are stopped completely without cause and if I had to guess I bet this girls boyfriend was stopped due to his race or color. Another example of my peers supporting my thesis is the majority of them said police officers misuse their power instead of using it responsibly and 100% of participants agreed that police officers use racial profiling when deciding who to stop.
Another unanimous response was my question asking what ethnicity or race was most likely stopped the most frequently and everyone said African American. Some of the people who took my survey were black so imagine how they feel that the NYPD singles them out. Obviously these stop and frisk laws should clearly be reformed so that no one is being picked on or discriminated against. If you are white and do not care of feel affected by any of this, just imagine the roles were reversed and you were the one being discriminated against and stopped unjustly.
I don’t know about you but I would definitely want everyone to help change this no matter what race they are, simply because these practices are wrong and everyone is supposed to be equal. Some ways we can fix this could be making stricter rules and regulations for officers and having the police department take responsibility when someone is wrongly stopped; the NYPD needs to be accountable for their actions. There should be a supervisor that the NYPD specifically has to answer to when dealing with stop and frisk so this problem gets the attention it deserves.
In conclusion there are many ways to fix stop and frisk and reform is inevitable, so lets make it happen now! Works Cited Mathias, Christopher. “NYPD Stop And Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts About A Controversial Program. ” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost. com, 13 May 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. . “Stop and Frisk Practices | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) – American Civil Liberties Union of New York State. ” Stop and Frisk Practices | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) – American Civil Liberties Union of New York State. NYCLU, n. d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. .