Author Topic: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights  (Read 4026 times)

Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:36:01 AM »
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Finding that New York City's so-called stop-and-frisk program amounted to "indirect racial profiling" by targeting blacks and Hispanics disproportionate to their populations, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the installation of the department's first-ever independent monitor to oversee changes to its practices.
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Stops, by law, must be based on reasonable suspicion of a crime, a standard that city officials insist that NYPD officers have met. During testimony, it was revealed that more than 80% of those stopped were black or Hispanic, approximately 90% of whom were released after being found not to have committed any crimes.

The city argued during testimony that it focused a disproportionate share of its resources in minority neighborhoods with high crime rates and that its practices were "not racially biased policing."

Judge Scheindlin stated in her decision that the city adopted a "policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data." The result, she said, is "the disproportionate and discriminatory stopping of blacks and Hispanics in violation of the Equal Protection Clause" of the Constitution.
I'm not sure how to feel about this one.  On the one hand, I think Bloomberg is a control freak and the criteria for "reasonable suspicion" probably isn't very reasonable in NYC. However, I don't agree with the racially biased aspect of the ruling.  From what I've read, NYPD probably does hit those neighborhoods high in crime, which happen to have a higher percentage of minorities.
 
I have to ask the question.  If minority neighborhoods have a higher crime rates, shouldn't police concentrate on those neighborhoods?  And if they should, we should expect a disproportionate amount of police contacts with minorities.  Looking at a homicide map for New York City from 2003-2011, the race/ethnicity of perpetrators are 61% black, 29% Hispanic, 7% white, and 3% Asian.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Maybe there's a reason for the the disproportionate amount of stops.

Offline stromboli

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 08:44:17 AM »
I agree that it is racial profiling because "stop and frisk" was not pursued in equal measure to whites. Even if you are talking a high crime rate, they are effectively letting white people slide by not doing it proportionately. If the police could show that they made a strong effort across the board to do the same in white neighborhoods, I might agree. Personally I think stop and frisk is a violation of rights, no matter who the target is.
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Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 09:35:24 AM »
Quote from: "stromboli"
I agree that it is racial profiling because "stop and frisk" was not pursued in equal measure to whites. Even if you are talking a high crime rate, they are effectively letting white people slide by not doing it proportionately. If the police could show that they made a strong effort across the board to do the same in white neighborhoods, I might agree. Personally I think stop and frisk is a violation of rights, no matter who the target is.
There still needs to be some degree of suspicion for a stop-and-frisk, unless I'm mistaken, and if crime is higher in minority neighborhoods there will be a disparity.  Are you suggesting arbitrary stop and frisks of whites to make it seem fair?

As I said, if these stops are being made randomly, without reasonable suspicion, then there is a rights issue and that's what should be addressed.

Offline stromboli

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 10:31:29 AM »
No, but I guarantee to get a higher percentage of stop and frisk collars they had to hang out in non-white neighborhoods a lot more than in white neighborhoods. I expect the disparity can be shown that more time and effort was spent on one group than the other. If they could prove that stop and frisk was conducted equally in all neighborhoods, the ruling might have been different. It is about applying law equally across the board, not focusing on one group.
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Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 10:58:29 AM »
Quote from: "Jack89"
I have to ask the question.  If minority neighborhoods have a higher crime rates, shouldn't police concentrate on those neighborhoods?  And if they should, we should expect a disproportionate amount of police contacts with minorities.  Looking at a homicide map for New York City from 2003-2011, the race/ethnicity of perpetrators are 61% black, 29% Hispanic, 7% white, and 3% Asian.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Maybe there's a reason for the the disproportionate amount of stops.
One thing I have found while studying sociology is that a lot of minority individuals' opinion of law enforcement tends to be one of "fuck the law." They don't have the assurance most whites have that they'll be treated fairly; more often they are instantly treated with suspicion. Minority individuals and especially blacks are guilty of everything until proven innocent in this society. Under those conditions, there is just no incentive to continue being a law-abiding citizen, as being one won't result in better treatment for yourself or your family.
"Existence is beautiful, if you let it be. Life is not a question. There does not need to be an answer."
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Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 10:59:29 AM »
Stop and frisk is a bunch of police state bullshit.  "Reasonable suspicion" is not clearly defined and I guarantee there are cops stopping people to frisk them JUST because of the color of their skin.  The cops should NOT have this kind of authority.  If NYPD was doing sting operations and 90% of the people it targeted were innocent and released, I don't think anyone would have a problem saying they needed to stop wasting their time and do something else.

This isn't just a matter of statistic, this is a matter of the law overstepping it's bounds and giving cops the ability to circumvent "innocent until proven guilty" AND is unconstitutional search and seizure.  

This law is a disgrace not only to the city of NY but also to the entire country.
"Death can not be killed." -brq

Offline Colanth

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 11:45:25 AM »
Quote from: "stromboli"
I agree that it is racial profiling because "stop and frisk" was not pursued in equal measure to whites. Even if you are talking a high crime rate, they are effectively letting white people slide by not doing it proportionately. If the police could show that they made a strong effort across the board to do the same in white neighborhoods, I might agree.
In NYC, if you concentrate your policing in high-crime neighborhoods, you're concentrating it in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.  Concentrating your policing in white, read: low-crime neighborhoods is a waste of manpower.

So if you have more cops in black and Hispanic neighborhoods, your suspects will overwhelmingly be black or Hispanic.  It's not racist, any more than it's surprising if you get wet when you go out but only if it's raining.

I predict that the monitoring will show almost no profiling, but that the crime rate, which has taken a LONG time to bring down (they were working on it before I stopped taking a city pay check in 1979), will rise again.

As far as stop and frisk being a good or bad thing:  When you have a few thousand kids (and I'd be surprised if it's that few) carrying (and using) concealed weapons, NOT stopping someone you reasonably suspect of carrying is a crime.  (It's easier to buy a firearm on the street in NYC than it is to get a healthy meal.)
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Offline SGOS

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 03:04:47 PM »
NPR did a piece on this yesterday.  Both sides of the issue made some good points, but I still had the feeling there are reasonable questions to ask.  Crime rates across the country are down significantly in recent years, and even more so in NYC.  That's a good thing.  But are they down for some reason that has nothing to do with police behavior?  That's an important question, but no one dared venture an opinion.  It would be good to understand the reason for lower crime rates.  It's hard to imagine that it is not affected by police behavior, and difficult to know whether it is directly related to stop and search.  I would not think there has been a sudden culture shift.  And if there were, what would possibly cause that?

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 04:22:51 PM »
Here's a interesting report from the NYPD that shines some light on the subject:
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Offline Nonsensei

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 06:48:43 PM »
Its pretty hard to argue that theres no racism being employed here when 4 out of 5 stops are non-whites and 9 out of 10 of them produce no results.
And on the wings of a dream so far beyond reality
All alone in desperation now the time has come
Lost inside you\'ll never find, lost within my own mind
Day after day this misery must go on

Offline Thumpalumpacus

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 07:55:35 PM »
I don't trust many police officers, I don't appreciate most courts expanding their powers to perform intrusive searches, and while I know that most officers abide by the laws they enforce, I've seen too much badge abuse, personally, to give an officer the benefit of the doubt.
<insert witty aphorism here>

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 08:16:11 PM »
Quote from: "Nonsensei"
Its pretty hard to argue that theres no racism being employed here when 4 out of 5 stops are non-whites and 9 out of 10 of them produce no results.
If you consider that 80-90% of murders, rapes, robberies, etc are committed by blacks and Hispanics in NYC, it's much easier to argue that it's not racism (see the link in my post above).  If you allocate most of your resources to high crime areas as you should, which in NYC's case are apparently minority neighborhoods, you can't help but get the high number of non-white stops.  On the other hand, the lack of results tells me that there probably wasn't reasonable suspicion for the majority of the searches.
So what i'm seeing is probable rights violations but of the illegal search variety, and maybe not because of race/ethnicity.  I wouldn't completely rule that out though.  

Consider it from another point of view.  I would venture to say that over 90% of stop-and-frisks were done on men rather than women.  Is that sexist, or is it because men are usually the perpetrators?

Offline Nonsensei

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2013, 10:06:13 PM »
Quote from: "Jack89"
Quote from: "Nonsensei"
Its pretty hard to argue that theres no racism being employed here when 4 out of 5 stops are non-whites and 9 out of 10 of them produce no results.
If you consider that 80-90% of murders, rapes, robberies, etc are committed by blacks and Hispanics in NYC, it's much easier to argue that it's not racism (see the link in my post above).  If you allocate most of your resources to high crime areas as you should, which in NYC's case are apparently minority neighborhoods, you can't help but get the high number of non-white stops.  On the other hand, the lack of results tells me that there probably wasn't reasonable suspicion for the majority of the searches.
So what i'm seeing is probable rights violations but of the illegal search variety, and maybe not because of race/ethnicity.  I wouldn't completely rule that out though.  

Consider it from another point of view.  I would venture to say that over 90% of stop-and-frisks were done on men rather than women.  Is that sexist, or is it because men are usually the perpetrators?

Like it or not, if 80-90% of stop and frisks were done on men then that would be a strong indication of sexism. The police simply aren't doing their jobs if they don't approach the evaluation of every person with a clean slate. When it comes to busting people with drugs, which is what I imagine the overwhelming majority of these stop and frisks were searching for, theres literally no reason to presume that women would not be carrying just as often as men.

But maybe some of the police officers have a soft spot for the ladies. Or maybe they aren't even trained to look at or recognize the external signs that a woman might be carrying drugs or a weapon. Or maybe they just don't want to feel up a woman on the street. Either way its sexism plain and simple.

You may think it makes sense for police to overwhelmingly focus their attention on the groups that statistically commit the majority of crimes.

1) That doesn't change the fact that 90% of their frisks ended up being cases of unjustified racial profiling.
2) You fail to consider the possibility that arrest statistics are formed by the policing practices of the NYPD. Remember: the people responsible for creating the arrest figure the NYPD uses to justify their profiling campaign is the NYPD themselves. You cannot discount the possibility - probability - that arrest figures are skewed not because blacks and hispanics commit 9 in 10 crimes but rather because the NYPD is possibly a lot more enthusiastic about monitoring ethnic communities and arresting ethnic criminals.
And on the wings of a dream so far beyond reality
All alone in desperation now the time has come
Lost inside you\'ll never find, lost within my own mind
Day after day this misery must go on

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2013, 11:12:34 PM »
Quote from: "Nonsensei"
2) You fail to consider the possibility that arrest statistics are formed by the policing practices of the NYPD. Remember: the people responsible for creating the arrest figure the NYPD uses to justify their profiling campaign is the NYPD themselves. You cannot discount the possibility - probability - that arrest figures are skewed not because blacks and hispanics commit 9 in 10 crimes but rather because the NYPD is possibly a lot more enthusiastic about monitoring ethnic communities and arresting ethnic criminals.
OK, then it's a big conspiracy leaving us nothing to work with, and you can make up whatever you want.

Nationwide statistics show that blacks especially have a high rate of violent crime compared to the rest of the population accounting for 50% of all homicides, for decades, per the DOJ.  The NYC stats are not much off the mark, especially considering population concentrations. Hispanics also have a high rate of violent crime compared to the average.  Here's something from CDC (an actually encouraging chart):


I point this out because most people tend to ignore the problem and go the more politically correct angle, even when it's pointed out to them time and again.  It's willful ignorance at its best.  Politicians and the media won't touch these facts for obvious reasons, but I believe in the long run it's to everyone's detriment.  

Could there be a racial bias in the NYPD? Sure there could.  Are there good reasons for the disparity?  Of course there are.  Decades of oppression, segregation, poverty, poor education, and more, significantly contribute to increased crime in minority populations.  But just because there have been past and even present injustices, you shouldn't ignore the fact that segments of the minority population account for the majority of violent crimes in NYC, and the rest of the U.S.

Offline Shiranu

Re: Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 01:16:18 AM »
They wouldn't find as many criminals in white neighbourhoods?

I take it you haven't been to Wall Street then...
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