NY Stop and Frisk Policy Challenged for Racism

By Andrew Lu on June 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

On Sunday, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march down Fifth Avenue in New York to protest the NYPD's stop and frisk policies.

The protest was led by members of labor unions, the N.A.A.C.P., student groups, Occupy Wall Street members, and even a group of Quakers, reports The New York Times.

If you knew some of the statistics involving minorities and New York's stop and frisk policy, you probably would have protested too.

Last year, NYPD stopped nearly 700,000 people. Shockingly, 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino. Of those stopped, more than half were also frisked, reports the Times.

During the ten years of the Bloomberg administration, police have performed 4,356,927 stops. Of African-American males between the ages 14 to 24, the number of stops last year was greater than their total population -- meaning that if you're a part of this demographic, the odds were that you were stopped more than once just this past year. Ridiculous.

Generally, a "stop and frisk" means that a police officer may stop you and then pat you down if they reasonably believe that you have a weapon and constitute a threat to the officer's safety. So without more, a police officer can only stop you and frisk you if they believe you're concealing a weapon and may use it.

Considering the definition of a legitimate stop and frisk together with the statistics in New York, NYPD must think that just about every black or Latino young person they see is a threat to their safety.

Various groups are protesting New York's stop and frisk policies that disproportionately affect minorities. Numbers don't lie and the NYPD needs to update their policy.

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