Violence is still an issue in the United States despite the laws established to limit it. NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, passed during the Bloomberg Administration in 2002, claims to limit the amount of violence on New York City streets; it allowed for police officers to stop and question any suspicious civilians.
Stop-and-Frisk intended to reduce crime and create security within neighborhoods. Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s thoughts on how this would take guns off of NYC’s streets, the stop-and-frisk policy backfired. According to the New York State’s Civil Liberties Union, the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices raise serious concerns over racial profiling, illegal stops and privacy rights. Claims show that the policy targets minorities within certain communities, such as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
NYCLU 2011 briefing states that, “In 70 out of 76 precincts, blacks and Latinos accounted for more than half of all stops. Led by the 46th and 42nd Precincts in the Bronx with 98.5 percent of black and Latino stops, there were 33 precincts where more than 90 percent of those stopped were black and Latino.”
In 2012, 532,911 New Yorkers were stopped by the police and 473,644 of these citizens were innocent; 55 percent stopped were black, 32 percent were Latino and 10 percent were white. Mayor Bloomberg responded to media outlets about this issue by stating, “most serious crimes in this city are committed by male minorities [age] 15 to 25.”
On June 17, 2012, thousands of New Yorkers marched down Manhattan to Mayor Bloomberg’s office to protest against the campaign. The mayor refused to end the campaign claiming it reduced crime; although there is no research that states the effectiveness of the program.
Regardless of the uproar by New Yorkers, the United States Supreme Court did not rule this campaign as unconstitutional until August 12, 2013. Mayor Bloomberg sued the City Council and is appealing the decision in hopes to change the city.
-Davetta Belton, Secretary