The NYPD “Stop and Frisk” policy is by far one of the most controversial police procedures that have people either for it, or against it. There is not much room for in between when it comes to this subject. The purpose of this policy is to allow NYPD officers to stop and pat down anyone whom they feel is about to commit a crime, or may be carrying a concealed weapon. Those who are in favor of this policy stand by it simply because they feel it helps maintain a low crime rate, and it keeps us safe. But on the other hand, the people who oppose this policy see it as acts of racism. When looking at the statistics of exactly who is mainly subjected to this stop and frisk procedure, the numbers clearly show that the main group of people who were victimized were either African American or Latino. They say the numbers don’t lie, and in this case, these numbers only strengthen the fact that this so called help to maintain low crime rates may just be another act of racial profiling and racism.
The NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg both agree that this procedure is a good thing that we have because it is what is helping us maintain, what is now, a historically low crime rate for NYC. When put that way, we would agree with them and think that this can be is a good thing, but when the majority of the people who are really being pulled over are blacks and Hispanics, it starts to raise some questions. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), “about 3 million innocent New Yorkers were subject to police stops and interrogations from 2004 through 2010, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics”. If people of many races were being subject to this procedure, then maybe the idea of racial profiling would not really come to mind, but when you read information like this, racial profiling and racism might just be the first thing that pops up in your head. Investigative reporter Jim Hoffer held an interview with an un-named man who caught these police acts in action with his camera. His footage clearly shows that these people being pulled over were either innocent, young children, and (you guessed it) blacks or Latinos. Below is the video of the entire interview.
Nine out of the ten people stopped were innocent, and only 9-11% of the people being stopped were white. Why is it that we still live in a society where the people we feel will commit a crime are people of color? Yes these random stops may be helpful in preventing crime, but does that mean the NYPD is allowed to check who ever they feel like – which is majority of the time blacks and Latinos? The “Stop and Frisk” policy might not be as controversial as it is if people of all skin colors and races were being stopped and questioned, but when we see that there are only two main groups of people that are experiencing this, you can’t help but to think that it isn’t fair. Any person from any race can commit a crime; it’s not just blacks and Latinos who are criminals.