Thursday, February 20, 2020

'Stop and Frisk' is Unconstitutional, Inaccurate, and Racist

Sources: New York Civil Liberties Union, NYPD Officers Stop-and-Frisk Teen for Being a Fucking Mutt

Stop and Frisk, which should more accurately be called suspicionless detention and harassment, was a gun control and drug war policy implemented by the Bloomberg Admin in 2002 and which is continued to a much lesser extent by mayor Bill De Blasio. Reasonable suspicion is the prerequisite for detaining an individual under the 4th amendment. The vast majority of residents that NYPD detained, questioned, and molested were black or Latino (or both) residents under the age of 25, which does not in itself constitute reasonable suspicion of a crime. The vast majority of residents detained were also found innocent; at its height in 2011, 88% of the 685,724 New Yorkers that NYPD detained on a hunch were found innocent. Suspicionless detention has improved in accuracy as far less residents have been detained in later years but the vast majority (68%) are still innocent. Bad faith arguments, mainly on the right, presume that NYPD officers were ‘just trying to save lives’, but the record suggests racism played a much more pivotal role than imagined benevolence. When police don’t know they’re being recorded their true nature tends to come out as one NYC teen, who was detained for being ‘a fucking mutt’, found out the hard way at the height of stop and frisk. Of course, these unconstitutional abuses of police power aren’t limited to New York City. As a recent story relayed through the Free Thought Project revealed, you can be detained and harassed even when you’re explicitly obeying the law if you happen to have a suspicious phenotype. Ace Perry was pulled over by a Sampson County North Carolina Officer for driving 65 mph in a 70 mph speed limit. Perry was driving a rental car at the time, which is not reasonable suspicion of a crime, and also happens to be a black male, which is also not reasonable suspicion. The officer gave him a written warning for driving 5 mph under the speed limit. The speed limit means the maximum speed you’re allowed to drive not the exact speed you have to drive. I’m sure there were plenty of drivers exceeding the speed limit at the time, but the pig decided to detain Perry of all people. In a similar incident that occurred a few years before, a black man was harassed by police for legally open carrying in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Police followed DonTrell Brown around town demanding to see his permit even though they could not articulate any reasonable suspicion that he was involved in or was about to be involved in a crime. Under Connecticut state law no gun owner is required to show an officer their permit unless they are detained, which requires reasonable suspicion, or if they are the victim of a crime. However, this fact did not stop Bridgeport Police from harassing Brown even to the point of following him into a Subway. It seems ignorance of the law is no excuse unless work for the gang in blue, and if you’re the wrong color you might get more backlash for exercising your rights.

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