Stop-and-Frisk Goes to Court

By SAMUEL MARTINEZ, age 11, and MALIK SHAH, age 9

Young people protesting the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies in New York City. PHOTO: J-No
Young people protesting the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies in New York City.

The New York City Police Department is being criticized for a controversial policy called stop-and-frisk. Stop-and-frisk is when police officers approach people that they find suspicious and pat them down to search for illegal drugs and weapons.

Stop-and-frisk is controversial because it affects certain minority groups unequally. According to the New York Times, NYPD officers stopped and frisked people 685,724 times in 2011. Of that number, 87 percent were people of color, and most were Black or Latino.

David Floyd, a Black medical student, is challenging the constitutionality of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy by suing the City of New York. He claims the policy violates rights protected by the fourth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments protect people from being searched without permission from a judge and ensure all people are treated equally under the law, no matter their race or ethnicity.

According to Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the case to federal court, “In over 90 percent of all stop-and-frisks, police officers end up realizing the person they stopped was innocent. This tells us stop-and-frisk is not an efficient way to fight crime.”

In recent years, New York City has seen its lowest number of serious crimes in decades. The NYPD says that the declining crime rates mean stop-and-frisk is working, and states that, “Precinct by precinct, the rates at which minorities are stopped are consistent with the rates at which minorities are identified as crime suspects.”

Floyd claims that minorities are being unfairly targeted under the policy because most of the people stopped are Black or Latino, who only make up 52 percent of New York City’s population. “Blacks, Latinos, whites, Asians, we all have equal protection under the law,” says Warren. “The Center for Constitutional Rights is making sure the NYPD abides by this basic principle.”

15 thoughts on “Stop-and-Frisk Goes to Court”

  1. Brenda Vazquez

    I like this article because, yes, we need police officers to search for people who look like if they have drugs or some kind of weapon but, like what it say in the srticle, it doesn’t matter if of the racism or ethnicity, everyone should be treated with the same respect. We all have voices including Blacks and Latinos. Blacks and Latinos are people and they should be treated equally and aren’t we called the United States where all people are treated with some respect that we deserve, aren’t we free?

  2. Yes i like this article because police offixers have to look if people have drugs or weaponds put the article said that the 4and the 14 amendment proyect people from being searched without permission from the judge .and i did not like that the article said that officers stopped and frisked people 685, 724times. And the number 87precent people were from color and most were black and latino.i did not like when officers arres people that are from color and they think that latin people are crimentes

  3. yamilet liranzo 7p5

    I think that police officer should do their jobs which is be around streets and do what they are told to do. but another thing is that they are complying with their duty and being racist.
    There is no need to stop blacks or Latinos or anybody just because of how they look or of how they act.Everyone has their own rights and that’s why people come to this country because its a free country the “country of opportunities “and something else that i think is that people are ment to be treated the same way. We aren’t animals we are human being and we all deserve to be treated the same way and with the same respect.

  4. mamadou balde

    i think stop and frisk should continue to fight crime because they shouldn’t be judged on their skin color but on how they act.

  5. Yes because the 4th and 14th amendment protect the right of people being searched without permission. Also officers shouldn’t judge people just because they have a different skin color. So I think they shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  6. Anthony Velez

    I don’t think police officers should do that because they have to check them and then if hey want to bring them to the police station because they have drugs then they could

  7. The 14th amendment states that all Americans have equal protection of the law. So, skin color is not important. This is a free country where skin color is not important or where you come form. The 4th amendment protects people from unlawful searches and seizures of property by the government and no warrents shall issue, but upon provable cause.

  8. jennifer peralta

    I think that they should not arrest the skin color people because its not fair they should have the same rights as the white people and the police officers should not judge the skin color people they shouldnt be focusing in their skin they should know how they act and police officer should be doing their job and not being racist and be judging the skin color people!!!

  9. Jennifer Peralta

    I think that its not right that officers are judging the skin color peoople becuase they are supposed to have the same rightss as the white people and yes, the 14th admendment says that americans have the protection equal law and that the skin color it snot important but the officers should not judge the skin color people or being racist.

  10. Elizabeth Palacios

    This article talks about how the cops search for people who many have illegal drugs or any weapon. So the police mostly thinks that blacks and Latino people are the mostly likely to have drugs or a dangerous weapon, just because of their skin color. Which is racist to people, it is unfair to judge a person by their color. We’re a free country and deserve to have some respect.

  11. Dennys Arroba

    New York Police shouldn’t check color skin because they all think he did something bad. To add on, this is a free country. The 4th amendment protects color people from being search. They shouldn’t be judge by their color skin. This Is the United States Of America all people should be treated with the same respect as other do.

  12. This Aritce “Stop-and-Frisk Goes to Court” it is about the black people that get stop and they Frisk and people say that is not equal right and not freedom to the black people.This equal and the countnry said that eneryone is equal

  13. i think its just bad that there is even just such thing as stop and frisk. i thought our civil rights leaders fixed this problem about being judged by our race and i wont stand by and let this happen again and loose our equal rights!!!!!!! will you!!!!!! i know i wont. so we should bring stop and frisk to an end

  14. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooottttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  15. Since I’m white I don’t experience the same thing other people do, I want to make signs to stop the stop and frisk thing.

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