Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Lisa Simeone, Mar 9, 2012.
Beyond the Numbers - Stop-and-Frisk from the Perspective of the Profiled
by Jason A. Otaño
This has got to be severely traumatic. I don't think anyone could ever forget this, and while they might forgive it they certainly would never trust anyone affiliated with the perpetrators. Stop and frisk is toxic to police-community relations.
This just makes me think that, in general, we need a massive overhaul of police-accountability laws. We've somehow arrived at the idea that police work should always be made as easy as possible for the police, that arresting suspected criminals (who are people) should be possible at the touch of a button and that things can "just be sorted out later." We somehow concluded that police are there to directly prevent crime rather than responding to it after the fact by catching criminals. While it is true that police work can act as a deterrent to crime, it's through the certainty of punishment (the old severity vs. inevitability argument) rather than by unconstitutional and unjustifiable measures like cracking down on peaceful protest or spying on private property with drones.
Police work is hard. It's supposed to be hard and it should always be hard. Police are there to pursue and catch criminals who have already demonstrably broken the law. They do not exist to directly prevent crime before it happens, and "just in case" (expletive deleted) like stop-and-frisk is a clear-cut case of preemptive preventive measures that should not be permitted. Read the book (or, failing that, watch the 2002 Tom Cruise adaptation) "Minority Report" by PKD for an examination of the philosophical ethics behind preemptive enforcement. It's not a direct parallel to this, but I walked away with the distinct impression that we should not be allowing police to put the cart before the horse when it comes to intruding upon the liberty of private citizens.
We need laws on the books that require, under penalty of imprisonment, police supervisors to take those actions that they try by any means to avoid taking these days. Maybe this rash of "administrative leave" for John Pike types will end once their superiors know that they themselves (the superiors) can lose their jobs and go to jail for failing to properly punish their subordinate police officers for official misconduct. And when cop unions and politically-involved police officials whine about "These laws treat our cops like criminals!" the public response should be "Gee, I wonder why that is? Maybe you should ask them what they did to prompt legislation like this. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? ...Pike? Spicuzza?"
And failing that, we need strong laws that protect the right of people to personally fight back against police misconduct.
Standard police responses to anyone against Gestapo "stop and frisk".
Then cops wonder why they are considered a domestic enemy.
Your link just goes to a Google search, nothing specific about stop & frisk, nothing specific about "standard police responses ...".
the Terry frisk was a mistake to have allowed. these are not even Terry frisks. Lawsuits need to be filed and pursued. the problem is, the victims are minorities who have no money. Being minorities means they can't get sympathy from the majority needed to make political change. When non minorities start getting random frisked, then you'll get change...so much for equal protection under the law.
Correct, these are not even Terry stops to start with. Terry allows an officer who has already stopped someone based on probable cause or reasonable suspicion to frisk him for weapons to ensure the officer's safety. It does not provide a primary basis for such stops, and it does not allow the officer to extend the search to backpacks, briefcases, etc., nor to search specifically for contraband other than weapons.
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