Stop-and-frisk policy

Stop and friskFor those who have never heard about this topic, first of all, we’re going to explain it succinctly. It is a native of New York City and it is a practice developed by police officers from NYCPD (New York City Police Department). It basically consists of stopping, questioning and frisking pedestrian with the final intention of finding a weapon or smuggled goods. So, why is this issue so controversial? It is because more than 90% of these citizens are black or Hispanic. 

It is known that since 2002, New Yorkers have been subjected to street interrogations and frisks more than 4 million times. According to the statistical results, more than 80% of homicides or rapes are committed by black or Latino communities. However, nearly 90% of those stops and frisks occurred to pedestrians who weren’t guilty of any crime. Thus, is it proactive policing or racial profiling? Let’s see the confronted positions.

On the one hand, supporters of this policy point out that the murder rate has dropped and also residents can now feel safer because the police act before the crime is committed in order to prevent it. On the other, citizens who feel unfairly targeted by police or people who are worried about being targeted defend that stops and frisks are racially biased (the vast majority of people are African Americans and Hispanic) and it is ineffective because only 6% of them lead to arrest. They also explain that this modus operandi has effectively wrecked trust between citizens and the police force as they feel unprotected.

As we can see, the debate is open. What do you think about this?


Sources| Stop-and-frisk

Video| YouTube: NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk: Racial Profiling or ‘Proactive Policing’?

Image| Stop-and-frisk

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Pilar Gómez Escacena

Double degree in Business Administration and Law at Pablo de Olavide University (Sevilla). Read Full

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