Time to Stop Stop-and-Frisk?

“Those in favor of the practice at City Hall and One Police Plaza say the Stop and Frisk policy is especially effective at getting guns off the streets,” foxnews.com reports. Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? And while the debate over the S&F policy has often centered on racial bias—young black and Latino men account for over 80 percent of the searches—the larger question is this: is it worth it? Probable cause has more than probably damaged the relationship ‘twixt citizen and cop. “Statistics do show a steady decline in gun violence stretching back several years, an updated version of the primer expected to be released in the coming months shows that in 2011 only 0.4 percent of all arrests [stemming from 685,724 Stop and Frisk searches] were for gun possession.” I make that a definitive “no.”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

22 Responses to Time to Stop Stop-and-Frisk?

  1. avatarST says:

    Someone should offer a bill on the House floor transferring ownership of New York City to the United Nations.This way the liberals have their chance to build a utopia of free of the “colonial” interference of that pesky U.S. Constitution. Clearly these folks in charge at NYC think they’re doing the right thing , and we should offer them a chance to do so outside of American soil.

  2. avatarTom says:

    I am glad that I live in the USA and not some Communist Country such as NYC.

  3. avatarSanchanim says:

    Ok I don’t feel this is constitutional because it is illegal search. Having said that are they racial profiling? Maybe? Is it getting guns off the street, well law of averages says yes, and if you use probably cause just because then yeah that works. Is it right no….

  4. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I don’t understand why there’s a problem with the cops in the “PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF NY” searching people for no reason and violating all of their rights, because this is what you get when you chose to live in a COMMIE run slum where you allow others to rule your sad life. Some wise old guy once said something about people who give up liberty for safety deserve neither. NY’s not the only COMMIE run slum in our country, and hopefully people will smarten up someday.

  5. avatarCameron St. Peter says:

    So much for the 4th amendment. “Probably cause” is a dangerous term – it gives unconstitutional power to bend the rules to any who so choose to take it.

  6. avatarSilver says:

    People get what they vote for.

  7. avatarJohn says:

    Word of advice to all new Yorker’s. Kick the UN out of your city. Their policies and ideologies have infiltrated your government at all levels. Cut the head off the snake and the body will die!

  8. avatarDubya Bee says:

    I’d wager they’re crystal clear on the fact that they’re finding very few guns – the stated purpose for their program. I’d also wager they make quite a other arrests – a dime bag of pot, whatever’s in the pockets while they’re looking for guns.

    They sold this to the local courts as an exigency – a need so urgent that “practical considerations” had to be weighed along with the constitution. i.e. that the need to get guns off the street was so urgent that they needed to just bend the constitution a little bit.

    If they set up a gate and said anybody walking down this street is going to be searched, it would be essentially be the same program, but it’s reality would be so obvious that no one would stand for it – not even the wealthy NYC liberals who are all for the downtrodden classes as long as they’re kept well away and kept harmless.

  9. avatarRalph says:

    The thought of being felt up by a bunch of sweaty New York City cops is enough to dissuade me from ever visiting my old home town ever again. Besides, “stop and frisk” in New York is just an excuse to rob innocent civilians. If you’re ever frisked by the NYPD, kiss your wallet goodbye.

  10. avatarvirtualjohn says:

    I don’t know how the IV Amendment could be written any plainer.
    ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’
    How on earth we have the kind of judicial decisions interpreting this straightforward sentence into allowing police to do what they do now is beyond me.

    • avatarSilver says:

      Sort of like that “shall not be infringed” thing that so many antis find ambiguous and in need of clarification.

  11. avatarHasdrubal says:

    The frisk was originally intended to be a safety measure, to find out if unsavory characters contacted by the police were carrying dangerous weapons. Outside of NYC, there are supposed to be a range of factors determining when frisking is allowed, including things like time of day, whether it’s a high crime area, if the officer is outnumbered, if the person is acting in ways that imply criminal behavior or preparing to attack/flee, and many others.

    This is fine, as long as the police have a reason to stop a person. Look up the difference between a ‘Terry stop’ and a ‘social contact,’ as related to police work. If a person qualifies for a Terry stop, as in the officer has reason to believe the person is involved in immediate criminal behavior or linked to a recent crime, that puts you most of the way there already. If it’s a social contact (even police can say hello if you’re walking down the street minding your own business), it’s much harder.

    At least, in the sensible parts of the country.

  12. avatarAPBTFan says:

    Maybe its because I’m born, bred and always will be an Arizonan that I can’t even come close to imagining putting up with that kind of shit. Maybe if someone is born, bred and always will be a New Yorker it may seem reasonable but I think it would absolutely behoove every New Yorker to spend a couple months in a free state like Arizona to realize what an anti-constitutional state New York is. No other state in the Union is as hated and consistently sued by the Feds as Arizona which means we’re on the right track and need to stay the course.

  13. If only 1 out of 200 people who are stopped and frisked get arrested with a gun, that must mean the rest of NY gun laws are really working well.

    Personally, I don’t believe that 0.4%, it sounds like a made-up number to me.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      So screw the the other 199 folks that committed no crime? Here’s a link for you,

      http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110407152834AAYGZqz

      • avatarTotenglocke says:

        Remember, Mikey has established many times that he does not believe people have any rights.

        • avatarSilver says:

          Most antis don’t, whether they even know it themselves or not; it’s not about the guns, it’s about control.

    • avatargabba says:

      it wouldn’t surprise me. probably the overwhelming majority of arrests are for nothing more than bench warrants. that is that the frisk doesn’t produce anything but just merely stopping and running the ID results in an arrest.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Actually Mr. Bonomo if NYC gun laws were working then the violent crime rate in NYC would be like Virginia instead of being 3 times higher.

      The lesson here is that if you violent one of the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights you eventually start violating everything in the Bill of Rights. Each enumerated right is linked to every enumerated right.

  14. avatarLevi B says:

    Crime is low in most authoritarian states. If Bloomberg could just get there…

  15. avatarKWAL says:

    You know, in my youth I used to wince at the violence and bloodletting that sometimes occurred when some citizen, being detained by police, pulled out a gun and started shooting. At my current state in life I often wonder if any lesser response to police intimidation is just capitulation. The politicians and cops have manipulated the legal system of this once great country into such a bastardization of what the founding father’s envisioned, in their attempt at authoritarian control, that it amounts to treason. One small step at a time.

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