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March 29, 2013 Edition
An Intern’s Take
The Far Rock Perspective
I want to thank everyone for their support and well wishes. I take this as an honor to be able to come to you each week with thoughts and ideas. First and foremost, I’d like to wish those who celebrate Passover a happy Passover and those who are about to celebrate Easter, the same.
What a difference a week makes. If you don’t follow the headlines then you wouldn’t know that we are in the beginnings of a mayoral campaign. As the candidates take sides, one of the issues that may play a significant role in this year’s election is the NYPD’s policy of Stop and Frisk. The Stop and Frisk program of the NYC Police Department allows a police officer who reasonably suspects a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or penal law misdemeanor, can stop and question that person. If the officer reasonably suspects he or she is in danger of physical injury, he or she can frisk the person for weapons.
After being tried in the court of public opinion, this controversial practice has finally reached a forum where it can be properly addressed: our judicial system.
Now for the record let me state, I am not anti-police when things are done correctly. In a world full of chaos, order is necessary. The stage has been set. Floyd vs. City of New York, the landmark court case that will decide the future of Stop and Frisk, started this week. The trial stems from a class-action law suit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights. They believe that Stop and Frisk not only racially discriminates, but also violates the U.S. Constitution. The Stop and Frisk policy currently practiced by the NYPD is based on the decision of a landmark US Supreme Court case, Terry vs. Ohio; which states that the 4th Amendment prohibition on reasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street due to reasonable suspicion.
What is reasonable suspicion? This is where the discrepancy lies. When there is not a clear cut definition, officers are left to decide the fate and future of young Black and Latino men. Between 2002 and 2012 there has been a 600 percent increase in the amount of stop and frisks in New York City. During that time the number of victims of gun violence has virtually remained the same.
What do you think? Has the Stop and Frisk policy made our streets safer? Has crime decreased in the Rockaways? Has your child or loved one ever been stopped by the Police for reasonable suspicion?
I want to hear your story. Let me know what you think. Send your comments to Shiverswave@gmail.com.
More importantly read The Wave!!
2013-03-29 / Columnists