Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules

  1. In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration's crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms. ...

    ... The mayor cited the benefits of stop-and-frisk, crediting the tactic for making the city safer and for ridding the streets of thousands of illegal guns.
    But in her ruling, Judge Scheindlin found that in doing so, the police systematically stopped innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.

    The stops, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, as well as the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, according to the 195-page decision. ...

    The decision:
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   TopazLover
    Our previous mayor used to have police photograph young men who were in groups on a corner, not doing anything illegal that was seen. The suspicion of drug dealing was the reason given but the photos basically were to establish that certain people had connections with each other. After much pressure it was stopped. Recently there were some discussions about bringing it back. Illegal searches are a significant problem.

    All of us value our privacy. I would be rather indignant if police decided to search my purse. There is nothing to hide. It. is. mine. same for my vehicle, even more so for my person. Recently in Texas two women were stopped for driving issue. The police claimed they could smell pot. They had a female officer search the bodies of both women in public. The cop used gloves and checked anally, then vaginally, and then did the same with the second female. No change in gloves. Nothing was found.

    That case caused one loss of job. Why would anyone think that such a violation would be acceptable? Because privacy has been stolen by so many for so long for not so good reasons privacy has been trampled and is no longer seen as a right.

    I am glad that the court took up the case and hope it impacts other cities.
  4. by   herring_RN
    Bringing back the practice of acapella harmony singing groups lide the Doo Wop groups of the 50s or earlier Barber Shop Quartets would be a nice protest against harassment of teen on corners.
    I thibnk in cities apartment dwellers and teens from large families often hang out on stoops and corners.

    Review: 'Street Corner Symphonies: The Complete Story Of Doo-Wop' : NPR

    This is recent, a bit older than teens, and in the subway not on a corner:

  5. by   TopazLover

    Such wisdom being ruined by bad policing.
  6. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from aknottedyarn
    That case caused one loss of job. Why would anyone think that such a violation would be acceptable? Because privacy has been stolen by so many for so long for not so good reasons privacy has been trampled and is no longer seen as a right....
    "one loss of job"...well, almost.

    Trooper Bui was initialy fired after performing the cavity search. Her partner was suspended.

    On further investigation, the Texas Dept of Public Safety (and random cavity searches) decided to reinstate Trooper Bui on 8/9/13. Their justification was that the grand jury decided not to indict Bui, and that she (as a newbie) had been directed by a more senior Trooper to digitally rape...umm...I the "subjects."


    Trooper who conducted cavity search reinstated | The TexasFred Blog

    Trooper who conducted cavity search reinstated - Houston Chronicle

    Once again, it suuuure is GREAT to live in a free country. The Eichman defense "I was only following orders" is alive & well.
  7. by   TopazLover
    Thanks for the update. Tex as, well another s and it might be closer to the truth.

    I do believe that defense would not fly in states that have real laws and a clue about sepsis.
  8. by   OfficerRNBSN
    I'm not sure why this made it to AllNurses, but I'll chime in. I think this is actually damning for police, however, let me qualify in saying that I am pro-Constitution. I believe in our Republic, and the law we have in place to effectively manage our Republic including our Fourth Amendment. For those of you that think we have a democracy...time to crack a book. Capitalizations provided for emphasis.

    That said, Terry v. Ohio conceived the "stop" or detention based on reasonable suspicion (not probable cause aka reasonable cause) and a pat down or "frisk" based on reasonable suspicion (not probable cause). Prior to this the U.S. enjoyed either probably cause only or "we're the police, by God" approach to law enforcement.

    I have no background on the article quoted by the OP, nor the time to read it, but if officers were basing these searches on reasonable suspicion then we have lost something very important if the RS is now being questioned by judges.
  9. by   herring_RN
    The Wall Street Journal reports that NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk in 2011 questioned and frisked about 684,330 people.

    92 percent of those stopped were males, and 87 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic.

    12 percent of those stopped were arrested.
  10. by   TopazLover
    Basically it seems that in NYC as well as other locales "reasonable suspicion" was if one was a male person of color or with a male person of color. I have read reports of people who were stopped only because they were with a Black male. I suspect that the same would hold true if with a male Hispanic.

    In our area, racially predominantly Black in the city and mixed with white majority in the suburbs, Some places are totally integrated and mindsets have changed from the past. Case in point: Today I went to Home Depot with my friend who does a great deal of the maintenance for our building. He saw a worker and asked for help finding a part. I walked up the same isle a few steps behind as I had stopped to look at something else. The worker helped him, acknowledged me, and continued to help my friend. Obviously he did not know we were together. In the not so distant past I could imagine my friend getting a brushoff by the worker to assist someone like me. Today no one looks at us funny as we travel together. A few years ago in a different community I did something similar with another friend who happened to also be black. The sales person immediately stopped helping that person and wanted to help me. At least in some places color is not as much of an issue.

    The police here certainly are not that open minded. We have huge problems of violent crime. My friend and I were talking about the easy access to guns. His POV: those who are supplying the guns illegally to those who are involved in violent crimes are doing so in hopes that the AA youth will kill each other off. My job includes me looking at crime photos. The guns used for murders are so marked up. One gun photo I recently saw had notches scratched into the metal. I hope my thoughts are wrong but my friend confirmed that yes, they were what I thought.

    I am not sure what reasonable suspicion might be. I see tinted windows as a frequent reason to stop and search in police reports. Brake lights, tail lights that magically work before and after the stop are also used as reasons. Just this week "weaving in one lane" was given as reason to stop and search. I believe there may be reasons to stop. If you want to search then get a warrant. If a judge will not sign it then you don't get to search. The judge can decide in some cases what reasonable suspicion might be. In NYC as elsewhere those in power will continue until a big enough lawsuit is presented to drive it to a higher court.
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from OfficerRNBSN
    I'm not sure why this made it to AllNurses, but I'll chime in.
    This story made it to the 'blue side' of (a.k.a. the Break Room), where we discuss current events, politics, finances, family life, and all types of topics that are not directly related to nursing.

    Anything unrelated to nursing is fair game for discussion in our virtual Break Room.
  12. by   StNeotser
    Not stop and frisk................but this story is maddening. There seems to be a different Youtube video every day of police harassment, or stories of SWAT teams coming to serve warrants or other routine duties. How are we supposed to think these people protect and serve the public?

    A photo of police forcing an off-duty firefighter to the ground has gained national attention after it was revealed that the police action was taken after the man waved to the officers.
    George Madison Jr., an African American firefighter and youth pastor in Evansville, Indiana was threatened with a taser by police when he committed no crime.
    Madison says that he was riding his bike when he saw a police car approaching the same intersection.

    Read more: George Madison: The moment when an African American firefighter and pastor was handcuffed because ¿he waved at police¿ | Mail Online
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
  13. by   herring_RN
    Aren't the police taught to investigate first?
    Why did they think it was OK to taser and handcuff someone because they THOUGHT he flipped them off? He did not, but that is not a crime.

    When I was in my thirties I dropped my son off at a home school football game. He called me neat the end of the second quarter so I could come and hear him play a trumpet solo with the band at half time.

    After that I was returning home in my old car. Two motorcycle officers followed me to about a block from home and then turned on their lights.
    As I wwas wondering if i had accidentally done a "rolling stop" and getting out driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance one officer opened the door, grabbed me by the upper arm, and pulled me out of the car. The other officer said, "Listen SISTER! Do exactly what we tell you!
    I had to put my hands flat on the hood of my car. I asked him to please take my papers from my hand. He pulled out his gun and aimed it downward toward the street.
    The other officer picked up my ID etcetera while his partner patted me down.

    Then the one with my papers said to the other, "Look at this."
    Suddenly they were apologizing. "We didn't know you were a nurse." "Why are you driving this old car?"

    Then, "You have to understand. These Black and Mexican teens drink and use drugs under the bleachers. We thought you were one of them or were dealing drugs. You should be flattered."

    (The next day I had a bruised arm from the big fingers and thumb of the officer. Hurt, not flattered.)

    I was not a big dangerous looking Black man. I was 5'2" 130 pounds, a chubby short woman.
  14. by   TopazLover
    WATCH: Corrupt sheriffs exposed by their own dashboard cameras

    It would probably be as easy to show bad cop videos as it is to show stupid gun accidents.
    Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous police.This one shows how easy it is to slip into illegal behaviors based on personal preferences. Like many other professions it does not take many bad apples to give all a bad name. That is why nurses are the most trusted profession. We have to separate our personal from our professional being.