Stop and Frisk Essay

485 WordsDec 8, 20142 Pages
Stop and Frisk Since its introduction in 2002, New York City’s stop and frisk policy has been a cause of extreme controversy. The aforementioned policy gives law enforcement the ability to stop someone and search their persons for any contraband if they consider them to either be suspicious or conducting any suspicious activities. Due to its controversial status there are both those who support the policy and those who oppose it. Those who oppose the policy have some convincing arguments. The first complaint about New York’s stop and frisk policy is that it gives the police too much power in deciding what is determined to be “suspicious”. The idea behind our legal system is to separate opinion from law and make laws concrete but instead we are leaving the law enforcement agents to determine what they think is suspicious. The second complaint is that because the law enforcement agents have to make the decisions on their own it leads to racial profiling. “Although African-American and Latino young men aged 14-24 make up only 4.7 percent of the city's population, they account for 41.6 percent of all stops in 2011, with similar numbers in the first three months of this year” and this shouldn’t be the case. The third and most important complaint is that the policy is a blatant and utter violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states that “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.” This means that a person is protected from an illegal search unless there is a warrant or probable cause not just suspicion and in the case of the stop and frisk policy it states that they

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