The Stop and Frisk Program within New York City Police Department

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The New York City Police Department enacted a stop and frisk program was enacted to ensure the safety of pedestrians and the safety of the entire city. Stop and frisk is a practice which police officers stop and question hundreds of thousands of pedestrians annually, and frisk them for weapons and other contraband. Those who are found to be carrying any weapons or illegal substances are placed under arrest, taken to the station for booking, and if needed given a summons to appear in front of a judge at a later date. The NYPD’s rules for stop and frisk are based on the United States Supreme Courts decision in Terry v. Ohio. The ruling in Terry v. Ohio held that search and seizure, under the Fourth Amendment, is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and frisks him or her without probable cause to arrest. If the police officer has a “reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime” and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous”, an arrest is justified (Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, at 30).
While the stop and frisk program ultimately seems like a great idea and that it will help residents of New York City feel safer while on the streets, there has been much controversy with this program. The issue of racial profiling is largely discussed when talking about NYPD’s stop and frisk program. Besides police officers targeting lower income neighborhoods, more stops are of African Americans or Latinos than of whites. These stops often end up with a higher arrest rate. Of the 685,784 stopped last year, 92% were male and 87% were African American or Latino (Devereaux, 2012).
When an officer stops a person in NYC, the officer ...

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...using the program, I feel that Bill de Blasio, who is preparing to fill Mayor Bloomberg’s seat as the mayor of New York City, has the right idea when it comes to New York City’s Police Department’s stop and frisk program. He plans not only to redevelop the stop and frisk program altogether, but he plans on focusing on making the program “racially color-blind”.
While making any program in the criminal justice system “color-blind” is not an easy concept, many regulations can be enacted to help ensure equality when finding a precinct and performing a stop and frisk among NYC civilians. The new policy can include regulations that make it necessary to use a higher form of discretion when stoping a person. Such as attempting to overlook the persons race and focus more on where they are coming from, how they are acting, and/or who they are surrounding themselves with.

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