stop and frisk Research Paper

Submitted By Shanelia-R
Words: 866
Pages: 4

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Shanelia Rice
Professor Clarke
English 112
December 12th 2013
Research Paper: Stop and Frisk “All men are created equal" is a right stated in the United States Constitution. However, when it comes to the stop and frisk tactic used by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and other authorities, that right is disregarded for minorities and Latinos. Stop­and­Frisk is seen all over the news, and congregation of police officers being in certain neighborhoods. Because of this, I agree that Stop­and­Frisk is racial discrimination.
Stop­and­Frisk “is when police temporarily detain somebody and pat down their outer clothing when there are specific articulable facts leading a reasonable police officer to believe a person is armed and dangerous” (Stop and Frisk Law & Legal Definition). The Stop­and­Frisk tactic is becoming an issue statewide, because minorities and Latinos are being abused by NYPD and other authorities, based on the color of their skin. According to New York’s District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, “Police officers can legally stop and detain a person only when they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is committing a crime.(Racial Discrimination in Stop­and­Frisk)” However, NYPD targets and stops people based on their race. Not every Black or Latino is going to commit a crime. For example, my uncle was stopped and frisked because the police told him “he fits the profile.” But once they arrested the right person, my uncle did not match the profile; they were two different

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skin tones; the height, the clothes and facial features did not match. My uncle stated that he “was targeted because he was ‘Walking While Black’ (WWB)” (Patrick). In another scenario, my other uncle was coming home from work and was stopped and frisked by the police because he had a backpack and was walking late at night. These are examples of what happens in Black and
Latino communities.
According to an article by Jason Oberholtzer posted July 2012, “85% of those stopped were black or Hispanic even though those groups make up about half of [New York City’s] population” (Oberholtzer). Based on those statistics, black and Latinos should not be the most stopped. It should reflect New York City (NYC) population. Another example, in another scenario, was the shooting in New Jersey’s mall (Thompson). The gunman was caucasian and the authorities didn’t Stop­and­Frisk him to see that he was armed and putting innocent lives at risk. Typically, the authorities wouldn’t Stop­and­Frisk him, but if it were a black or Latino, they would have been stopped and frisked, because of what they would be wearing or the color of their skin. This is an example of minorities and Latinos being racially profiled by authorities, by not stopping caucasians but stopping people of color.
I agree with Judge Scheindlin that Stop­and­Frisk is racial discrimination. It has been reported that the NYPD targets people of color more than they target caucasians. According to statistics, “there are more caucasians than minorities living in New York (Andrew);” but NYPD stops more minorities than they do caucasians. As Judge Scheindlin mentioned, “Over the years, the Police Department has adopted a strategy that encourages police officers to stop and question mainly minority citizens first and to come up with reasons for having done so later”(“Racial