Stop And Frisk Essay

3171 words - 13 pages

Law Enforcement within urban communities has always been a difficult task for police. They are forced to deal with vastly different variables when trying to maintain order. The ability to identify who is a potential criminal is a daunting task for police. In order to assist these officials in their guest to stop a potential crime before it would happen, New York State adopted the “Stop and Frisk” law. This law was created in order to enable the police to fight a more efficient and effective war on crime. It gave them more options in identifying individuals who may commit crimes and to make communities safer. This was a policy whose origins had all of the best intentions and if implemented correctly could be a huge asses in lowering the crime rate. However, there has been an unexpected element that has been added to the enforcement of the law. Through poor interpretation of individuals rights. As well as inadequate training of police officers, this law has become one that is viewed as being biased and racist. The enforcement of Stop and Frisk serves as a catalyst for class and race division within the city of New York and as long as it continues to be enforce the way that it is, minorities will always be at a disadvantage.
“If the courts force policy to obey the law, then the legislature should give the police a law worth obeying.” Richard Kuh expressed this idea to the New York State legislature during a hearing in January of 1962. This in response to the Supreme Court ruling in the Mapp vs. Otto case. The ruling barred unlawfully seized evidence from admission in state criminal proceedings. In this particular case the police forcibly entered Dollree Mapp’s residence after she told them they were not allowed to enter. While in the residence, Mapp was handcuffed and her dwelling searched. During the search, lewd pictures and obscure material was discovered. Miss Mapp was arrested and initially convicted until the Supreme Court overturned her convictions.
In the early 1964 State Assembly member Julius Volker from Erie New York sponsored a bill for a statute titled “Temporary Questioning of Persons in Public.” Governor Rockefeller signed the bill into law. This statute empowered the police to “stop a person in a public place located within the geographical area of the officer’s employment. When he reasonable suspects that such person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime (NY Sess Law 1964). When this stop is taking place, the officer may demand to know the subjects name, address and an explanation of his behavior. If the person is able to provide answers sufficient enough to quell the officer’s suspicions, the officer must allow them to leave and continue on their way. However, if at any time during the questioning; the officer reasonably suspects that either himself or others are in danger of physical harm he may search the subject for any type of weapon that is capable of inflicting...

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