Stop-and-Frisk Policy

1057 WordsJun 25, 20185 Pages
The stop-and-frisk policy could be considered a big controversy facing New York in recent times. The whole concept behind this stopping-and-frisking is the police officer, with reasonable suspicion of some crime committed or about to be committed, stops a pedestrian, questions them, then if needed frisks the person. This policy started gaining public attention back in 1968 from the Terry v. Ohio case. A police officer saw the three men casing a store and he believed they were going to rob the store; this led to him stopping and frisking them. After frisking them, he found a pistol and took the weapon from the men. The men then cried foul and claimed they were unconstitutionally targeted and frisked. One of the biggest reason…show more content…
“Once in a high-crime area, the police use every tool they have to send the message that law and order remains in effect” (Mac Donald). Knowing that police cannot take people from these high-crime areas and take away their weapons may spark fear in the residents living in those areas. Stop-and-frisk was initially employed as a sort of crime deterrent, a way to keep crime off of the streets. Without this policy, criminals will not have any incentive to stop carrying concealed weapons; this will cause crime to rise again and citizens to live in fear. With the abolishment of stop-and-frisk reasonable suspicion will have a stricter definition. In the Alabama v. White case an officer got an anonymous tip and then detaining the men based on that tip. (“Stop and Frisk”). The case questioned whether that tip was reason enough to detain White. People question whether the police have enough reasonable suspicion to stop half of the people that are stopped because of the stop-and-frisk policy. Rolando del Carmen, a professor of Criminal Justice at the Sam Houston State University, wrote, “A stop is valid only if an officer has reasonable suspicion that a suspect has committed a crime or is about to commit a crime… In contrast, a frisk has only one purpose: officer protection. A frisk for any other purpose is invalid even if evidence of a crime is later discovered” (57). This clearly states under what conditions a police officer can
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