Make it moot

New York City’s has a “stop and frisk” policy where the police stop, question, and frisk people they deem suspicious. If drugs or weapons are found the evidence is used in criminal charges against them. In a typical year 500,000 to 600,000 stops are made. 86% to 90% of the time the person is innocent.

A Federal Judge told New York City to knock it off. But then she was removed from the case. Paul Barrett wants the city to use this opportunity “to come to a consensus on how the NYPD can continue its decades-long successful campaign to reduce violent crime, while at the same time respecting the Constitution’s ban on discriminatory government policies.“

As near as I can tell Barrett doesn’t have a problem with the searches as long as they don’t discriminate by race on who is being stopped for searches. I find this almost surreal. What would get it through his head that ignoring Fourth Amendment rights is a dangerous path to travel? Barrett’s mother escaped Europe as a little girl. Many of her relatives died in the camps during WWII. Maybe if consensus were for the police to refrain from frisking people unless their papers aren’t order. Have the police ask nicely and say, “Papers please.”

No. The “consensus” should be for the cops to cease stopping and searching innocent people. And another thing is the people should pass “constitutional carry” legislation and also end the war on drugs. After that what would be the point of frisking people? Suspicion of stolen property? Sure. Wounds from when they got shot attempting to harm an innocent person? Sure. But only after articulable probable cause that the person was a person of interest in a crime.

The number of innocent people stopped should be on the order of 10% or maybe 20%. When the innocent stop rate is 90% that is conclusive evidence the police need tall shiny boots and a German accent.

4 thoughts on “Make it moot

  1. Considering that the stops were taking place in public, such as subway stations and city sidewalks, and that the stops were returning a 10% success rate, I’d say they were amazingly successful. Profiling by police for behavior and dress and age/gender apparently worked pretty well at finding bad ‘uns. That is was unconstitutional on its face is a different issue; of course unreasonable suspicion is not a just cause to stop and search people. But getting it right at anything over 1 in 100 is actually impressive, because I don’t think the ratio of bad guys to general population is anywhere near 10 in 100.

  2. One wonders exactly *where* these stop-n-frisks are taking place. With only a 10% success rate, my guess is that the cops are either playing it safe and maintaining the image by frisking up middle-age white men/women (the whole “animal rights activists never throw red paint on bikers” thing), or are specifically targeting a certain demographic that has proven to be mainly law-abiding and avoiding certain “oppressed” demographics that contain a large portion of the non-law-abiding. Either way, there’s a problem with the process, and it either needs a MAJOR revamp, or needs to be scrapped entirely. I vote for option 2.

  3. Hey, he’s got a Tea Party pin on his lapel! Get out the KY for the body cavity search…

    It needs to end, and now. How can anyone deem this to be Constitutional? Fourth Amendment, anyone? What the hell is wrong with New Yorkers? They are from another planet inhabited solely by sheep.

    I look at Mayor Bloomberg’s private army, the NYPD, as the precursors of the Brown Shirts. Just add a nice black armband to the shiny tall boots and the German accent to complete the look. If the NYPD doesn’t like being compared to Nazis, maybe they should act less like them.

  4. Hate to tell you…but along the southern border people are routinely stopped and asked for their “papers” way, way inside the border. I have a friend who lives outside of Brownsville. When she talks about the checkpoints down there I get sick to my stomach. We are already way past precedent for the US Government to say, “Papers please…or else.” Yeah, legally you can refuse…and then have them dream up probably cause to do a rectal exam.

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