Research Paper Stop and Frisk

1529 words 7 pages
Stop and Frisk: the Downside to a Decrease in Crime
By Boli Bencosme

Pace University
LAW 101 – 50271
2012 Summer 2 Session
Prof. John Paul

Research Paper

“Stop and Frisk” is a program put into effect by the New York Police Department that basically grants an officer authority to stop and search a “suspicious character” if they deem him/her to be as such. They don’t need a warrant, or see you commit a crime. 5They simply need to deem you “suspicious” to violate your 4th amendment rights without repercussions. Since its inception, New York City’s stop and frisk program has drawn much controversy stemming from the disproportionate rate of arrest. While the argument that the program violates an
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Granted, they still thousands of arrests a year for illegal firearms, but the case has been misconstrued to allow police to search anybody they suspect is up to any illegal activity, and If they so happen to stumble upon a person with a small amount of marijuana, then they were just handed a surprise gift for an arrest.

Another astound fact is the disagreement about the policy between Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. While Cuomo wants to limit the power of the stop and frisk policy, even going as far as wanting to lower the number of arrests for small amounts of marijuana, Bloomberg supports the program in its entirety, arguing that it has led to a decrease in crime. Ray Kelly went on the record and issued a memorandum to his constituents, stating that possession of 25 grams or less should not lead to an arrest unless it is “burning or in public view.” The problem is that the moment a police officer instructs someone to empty their pockets, the moment they pull any drug out, it is automatically in public view and they can be arrested. The increase in rate of arrest for small amounts of marijuana has been astounding. Under Mayor Bloomberg, himself a former smoker, over 350,000 misdemeanor marijuana arrests have been made. That is more than the three previous mayors combined. Last year alone, about 50,000 people were arrested misdemeanor marijuana possession. When taking into account the


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