The article, by Garrison, A. H., and L.P.D. (2014). NYPD stop and frisk, perceptions of criminals, race and the meaning of Terry v Ohio examines the effects of street stops also known as Terry stop. Which were first ruled on in 1968, and its effects on people of color in a community. It also investigates the views from within the judicial system. These stops are permitted so that police may briefly delay a person based on a police officer’s reasonable feeling that the person may have a connection to a criminal action.
These stops are also known as a stop and frisk. This article considers how police execute these stops and how they may shape the attitudes of the public towards the police within a community. Also examined is if these stops have a racial overtone. Stop and frisk has been a disputed and political topic for decades. The city of New York seems to change its ruling on these stops depending upon who is elected to office.
The case of Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. (2013) is a set of cases that were included in a class action lawsuit filed against the City of New York, Raymond Kelly, who was a Police Commissioner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and several New York City police officers. The claim was that they had used and permitted illegal stops and frisks. They felt that the NYPD had based these stops on a person’s national origin and that this was a violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The data shows that although many Caucasians carry weapons and illegal items, it is the people of ethnic background, primarily blacks and Hispanics who are delayed and searched. The primary reason according to the NYPD, is that the detainees are in high areas of crimes. Although the NYPD claimed that most of the delays were due to radio calls, 78% of the stop and frisk activities were due to the detainees bringing it upon themselves by their actions. A mere 22% of the stops were initiated by radio calls. The NYPD tried to explain the inconsistency of detaining blacks and Hispanics and the low rates of arrest, to the fact that most of these stops prevented crimes from happening. The court did not agree. What was convincing was that stop, and frisk did not stop crime, but was a tool to observe if a crime was in progress. This is important because to be delayed by a policy that did not prevent crime but interfered in your daily activity as well as minding your own business, just to be terrorized and obstructed is an infringement of your constitutional rights. Police can only interrupt your activity if they have a rational purpose for doing so. When 88% of the 4.4 million stops that the NYPD conducted did not lead to any official activity, there appears to be something suspicious going on by the NYPD itself. On August 12, 2013, Judge Scheindlin made the ruling that the police department had indeed violated these amendments. That the department had employed measurements of arbitrary searches by systematically making stops and frisks in a racially discriminatory way. On October 31, 2013, the City filed an appeal stating that Judge Scheindlin was biased because she had been interviewed on television about the case which seemed to look as if she was definitely partial and not qualified to decide on the case. The city eventually dropped the request, and the ruling held. Kavanagh (2014). The article by Tyler, Fagan and Geller (2013), looks additionally into the power of the court rulings of Terry v Ohio. This study was done by phone as a self-report by roughly 1,261 random samples of young men of color in New York City who had experienced stop and frisk by police officers. Either recently (within the previous year) or in their past. They evaluated the impacts of unprompted stops, as well as the respondent’s evaluation of fairness and whether they thought the police action was lawful. The data showed that the more often a person was stopped by a police officer, the more likely that person saw a lack of validity for those stops. Also measured was if the amount of stops or lack thereof, had an effect in the observation of police presence as positive or negative, if these police actions had any effect on future rates of violence or other crimes as well as the effects of the lack of legality on public safety. The research showed that the higher the view of validity the lower the level of crime, as well as the increase of police cooperation by the community. On the other hand, if the intrusions were forceful or an arrest was made, there were negative results as to the validity of the police action. The conduct of police also formed the opinion of the community. Fairness in which the police handle an incident was paramount to the acceptance of the police decisions in matters. This was particularly true of those who had personal knowledge of exchanges with police. The idea was that it was not the actual stops or intrusions that shaped the opinion of police validity, but if the person who was the subject of those stops felt that they were treated with fairness. The study showed that the more interactions or stops that a person was involved with, the more likely the negative perception of police validity. An act of being constantly stopped by the police on the street or in a car, made people feel that they were being treated unfairly and unlawfully. This may be since the more a person is stopped by the police, the more likely that their attitude may change because they feel as if they are being singled out. According to Weisburd et al. (2016), there is little indication that stop, and frisk tactics deter crime in NYC. The reason may be that stop, and frisk is in response to crime in certain areas and that because of this more crime is reported. It is also thought that if stop and frisk is applied and seen in an area then crime will be reduced but is that proof as to its usefulness. Constitutional democracy seems to not apply to several cases of stop and frisk in many instances, especially when it comes to racial profiling. Many have spoken of the unfairness of this discrimination. The views of many politicians are mixed, not surprisingly, since it is a complicated issue. Genesis 1:27 states, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Racial profiling has no place in the Christian view. To believe in the word of God is to believe that we are all equal and should not be treated any different from one another. The scripture,1 Samuel 16:7 states But the LORD said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Christians need to always keep in mind that it is not what is on the outside, but what is in the heart that matters. For only God sees the heart, people do not have the power to do so. Stop and frisk should be a tool and not a way to specifically discourage crime.