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Monday, December 9, 2013

Stop and Frisk: A Debate

New York City has a new mayor - something you may have heard about.  His name is Bill de Blasio and one of his key campaign promises was that he was going to put a stop to the practice known as "Stop and Frisk" - a program that the NYPD claims has been responsible for NYC seeing a dramatic drop in violent crime.  Opponents to the program, like the city's new mayor, argue that the program is nothing more than "racial profiling."

As with all great debates, there are excellent points on both sides of the argument.  Click the Huffington Post article below and read a great debate on this topic.  Carefully examine both sides of this debate and then, let's debate this topic here, in our blog.  While you form your opinion or "refine" your point-of-view, if you already had one on this topic, keep in mind the basic principals of the United States Constitution.  Before you think that makes it a much easier debate - THINK AGAIN.  The fact is, the Constitution is an interpretative document; therefore, laws can be passed which help protect the citizenry of a state.  It truly is a difficult topic and I'm sure that many of you will have different viewpoints, so make sure that you are respectful of each other's point-of-views.

Again, let me remind you - it is NOT YOUR JOB in these blogs to critic each others writing - in any form. So, don't waste time informing someone that they didn't support their "thesis" or their argument with enough facts....blah, blah, blah...  Debate each others point-of-views, only.


Blog Topic Question:  After reading the above article and of course, using your own opinions, argue for or against the Stop and Frisk policy.  Is the mayor elect, de Blasio making the right move in doing away with the existing policy?

Happy Blogging!!!

SPECIAL NOTE: This week's blog topic was suggested by one of my APUSH 2 students.  If you have a topic you'd like for us to discuss, drop me an email.  If I like it, I'll post it!!!

68 comments:

  1. In general, there’re most likely three groups/types of people who would argue against the Stop and Frisk policy: The African Americans and Hispanics (who, according to the article, are getting inspected more frequently than whites or other racial groups), the innocent once-frisked (common people who would have a more direct sentiment-based social evaluation on this policy), and the terrorists. With all three types adding up, a great percentage of the population would already be accumulated. The remainder would be broken down into four types: the people from a certain racial group who appear to have a socially “white” name (such as the whites who are only 9% among the total amount getting stopped), ones who never get frisked before (have no idea of the humiliation, embarrassment, racial prejudices, or psychological effects being brought along), ones who enact or run this policy (administrator or local frisking police department), and the last one which I name it the really-rare-KUMBAYA-people who really have a comprehensive thought for the country overall without personal bias.

    The nature of this situation is coincidently and virtually identical to the problem with PRISM, if the policy is put on open vote---who is without emotion? Who is willing to get inspected or monitored when they’re solely innocent, or they’re solely not innocent? Who is not going to turn over to the Fourth Amendment, which states that people shall be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures”? Who is not going to utilize their utopian ideals about “fundamental rights” or “free will”? Who is not going to debate over “majority rules”? People often time concern more about their political parties, but people always concern more about their personal interests and their racial groups.
    Nevertheless, the problem has always been, and will always be, a matter of gambling on possibilities, with our instinct and sentiment. On small-scale homicides or gun seizures, it may only affect very limited amount of people within the range, thus that such an argument like “are these very few cases worth sacrificing privacies for all of us?” can be presented. But on large-scale murder or terrorist attack, Stop and Frisk may save hundreds of people (Boston Marathon Bombing) or thousands of people (911). This would directly link to the argument over the Fourth Amendment---many people on the opposite side of this policy may catch on that half statement; however the full version to it is “[seizure is allowed only if] particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Its goal in defending the nation against the unforeseen dangers makes it a justified and reasonable action.

    Still, the racial inclination remains a conflict in many people’s mindset. Nevertheless, everyone, including the police, is with some prejudice which is part of our intuition as the whole. It’s impossible or naïve to believe that the police can treat and frisk people with equal chances regardless of the race they belong to. It’s also impractical to achieve “free will”---people are always under control or manipulation of the “better” or the “higher”. If you want tobe free of control, unless you’re the one who makes the policies, or live far away from the crowd in Antarctica or elsewhere…then you won’t even be able to survive.

    Yes, survival. Should life be the most precious gift no matter what field it’s in? Should survival be the essential thing we consider above everything else? If there’s no life, there’s no stopping and frisking, no racial discriminations or controversies. On the other hand, there’d be no entertainment or family or friendship or love…People can distrust and deny this policy and the mayor elect, de Blasio can repeal this policy in an effort to appease discontent. But IF, they’re to be among the victims in the murder case or terrorist attack, their humanitarian ideals would then only become tools to jeopardize their precious lives.

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    1. Carrie, you mention the fourth amendment and how it states that people shall be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures;” however, couldn't these searches in particular be considered REASONABLE because they are done to protect the masses?

      Another thing.... “Though blacks are outnumbered 5-to-1 in the population by whites, they commit eight times as many crimes against whites as the reverse. By those 2007 numbers, a black male was 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse.” Which was why more blacks were being stopped as opposed to whites. http://www.humanevents.com/2013/07/19/black-americas-real-problem-isnt-white-racism/

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  2. The effects of NYPD Stop and Frisk include decreased murder rate and gun seizures, but have caused a controversy because of the stereotypes that have been formed. The New York Civil Liberties Union shows African Americans make up only 4.7 percent of New York City’s population but 41.6 percent of this percentage is was stopped for search. Even though statistics show half of all murders are committed by African Americans, does not give the right to police to ONLY investigate them. Stop and Frisk goes against the fourth amendment, which is against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The Stop and Risk policy is too rigid and needs to be more flexible allowing the police only to investigate if they truly suspect someone NOT based upon the persons race.
    Yes, this policy has decreased crime but we cannot ignore the fact of racism. Also, if innocent people are stopped regardless of their race they should not resist the search. NYCLU’s statistics show 88 percent of people stopped last year were innocent. Therefore, if you truly are innocent there should not be an argument. Of course we must trust the police since they are there to protect us, but we can not ignore the fact the this policy is going against our rights.

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    1. Iqra....just somewhat confused as to exactly what side you are on in this argument. You make the argument that it is, in some degree, racial profiling, yet you also make the argument that 88% of those stopped were innocent, "Therefore, if you truly are innocent there should not be an argument." So, again, not 100% sure if you are for or against Stop & Frisk.

      On a different note, I have a question for you. Not that I promote racism in any form, can one make the argument that if, as you state, 1/2 of all murders are committed by African Americans (not sure where you got that statistic), would it not make sense to investigate the group (racial group) that commit the most murders? Actually, ex-Commissioner Kelly (top cop of NYC under the Bloomberg administration) stated that the 75% of all violent crimes are committed by African Americans. So my point is this - would it make since for the police to be stopping a majority of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans or Whites... or would you target the ones that are committing the majority of the crimes?

      Just food for thought......

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    2. BTW.... my source was: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/commissioner-kelly-defends-stop-and-frisk-targeting-african-americans-article-1.1332840

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    3. Iqra, I believe you're against the policy based on the majority of your points, but your statement that "if innocent people are stopped regardless of their race they should not resist the search" is actually contradicting your argument. And then you says that police's protection weighs the same as the fact that they violate our rights. First of all, the situation here is slightly different from surveillance of electronic devices which is ongoing, whereas this case is only random on the street and temporary. Therefore it's more "reasonable" which doesn't go against the 4th Amendment. Well, if one firmly interprets it as unconstitutional, would you agree that these crucial protections are far more important than the fixed rights?

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    5. Iqra, you definitely know what you are talking about, but I was a little confused by your post, as others similarly were. Were you for or against Stop and Frisk? Actually, did you form your own separate opinion, that Stop and Frisk is useful but is used incorrectly by the NYPD? Since you brought up how most of those searched are African-Americans, which could count as racial profiling, but then said that if you are innocent, you shouldn't resist the search, are you saying that your opinion of Stop and Frisk should be based off of your personal level of guilt? This brings back memories of the Alien and Sedition Acts, where anyone caught speaking against the government could be jailed or deported. Your post reminds me of an article written on August 9, 1798, in the Columbian Mirror & Alexandria Gazette that said "Benedict Arnold complained bitterly of the Treason bill, as unconstitutional; and parson Burroughs thought laws against Burglary ... an abridgement of natural rights, yet true patriots, and honest men, feel no alarm at these laws, and would not, were they ten times as severe as they are."

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    6. I feel this has too much to do with ethnic groups getting searched, it needs to be looked as a whole problem with all groups. Even if Africans, Hispanics, or even Whites get frisked its not a problem of "who is getting frisked the most?", its more along the lines of "why are we getting frisked?" Is it for protection of actions we did not commit? Why should we go against the 4th Amendment which gives our privacy?

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    7. Mr. Gehm and Carrie, by "Therefore, if you truly are innocent there should not be an argument." i meant that the Stop and Risk should not be totally deleted but refined. In my perspective, the fact that the Stop and Risk policy allows for anyone to be searched is not as big as the police intentionally searching someone dues to their race.
      Second, Mr.Gehm I still don't feel it makes sense to ONLY stop the race that committed the most amount of crimes. Someones race does not correspond to their behavior as the Sop and Frisk policy has morphed to.

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    8. THANK YOU BRANDON!!! Thats exactly my point! i believe the Stop and Frisk policy is being used incorrectly. It would make much more sense if there was some type of system in which everyone was searched equally and not based upon their race. Even though the policy goes against our rights it is needed but should be implied differently.

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    9. Dylan, the police's job is to keep us safe, this is why we are being searched not just for the fun of it. That would not make any sense. If you know you're innocent they're should not be an argument. On the other hand this policy is being used incorrectly and only focusing on African Americans which can be seen as "racial profiling"

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    10. Iqra, it's not really racism as the reason that african americans are being stopped and searched as it is the individuals behaviour and the fact that statstics show much crime is committed by black people

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  3. One of the scariest statistics a city can collect is the murder rate; this is the percentage of a city's population that has been victimized by homicide. While, in a perfect world, the global murder rate would be 0%, our world is FAR from perfect. New York City's method of controlling its murder rate is known as "Stop and Frisk." Here, anyone who the police think is behaving "suspiciously" can be stopped and searched by law enforcement. While this tactic has brought New York City's murder rate down by 21%, many factors showcase Stop and Frisk's redundancy. First, it is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment specifically states "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." You could bring up how the Constitution is a very interpretive document. However, one key fact is that the Fourth Amendment protects against any UNREASONABLE search and seizures. This, therefore, transforms the entire debate about Stop and Frisk into one pivotal question: is it actually useful? Is there really a point to this so called "madness"? In my opinion, the answer is "no." Statistically, Baltimore's "Safe Street" program, and Chicago's "Ceasefire" program both reduced their respective city's murder rate substantially greater than Stop and Frisk did to New York - 56% for Baltimore, and 73% for Chicago. So why, I ask you, does New York publicly humiliate its citizens on a daily basis when the NYPD can simply encourage ex-convicts to solve the problem for them? It apparently works! Also, as the article said, Stop and Frisk could potentially spark anti-Police sentiment in NYC. Hey, if my town's police department turned into Big Brother, I'd be upset too! Most importantly, what begins as an anti-Police "sentiment" could quickly and easily become anti-Police "violence." Lastly, Stop and Frisk is like a mortar strike- brutally efficient if it hits where you want it to, but it hardly goes in the EXACT spot you want it. It tries to crush would-be murderers before they get a chance to act. This sounds great on paper, but is quickly falls apart when put into action. While Baltimore and Chicago's anti-homicide programs try to attack the concentrated problems themselves, the NYPD simply tries to blindly attack any behavior they find remotely suspicious. What happens if someone holds up a bank at gunpoint because police began a wild chase on the other side of the city for someone who wasn't even doing anything? What if this happened because a cop was trying to punish someone for their skin color? Statistically, African Americans and Hispanics are 41.6% of the time the targets of Stop and Frisk. What if they don't NEED to be? What if a little more trust for the minorities in NYC actually reduced violence, rather than letting it run rampant? As you can see, Stop and Frisk is both inaccurate, redundant, and above all, ineffective.
    P.S. This was actually the second time I typed this post. The first time, I actually got to the end, then my computer magically deleted my entire post. THANK YOU TECHNOLOGY!

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    1. I agree it seems like a needle in a haystack to frisk everyone until you find a murderer. Even if you do are you going to arrest them for a crime they did not commit? The best this will do is catch people with illegal drugs which isn't very often among the public. This issue can turn violent easily and needs to be handled with caution. "Stop and Frisk" will cause more distrust among the government and it's people.

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    2. Brandon, I have to say that anything established by the government is there for a reason---which might harm the public to some degree since everything has its counteraction, but its starting point is for the common welfare. NYC's Stop and Frisk should not be repealed solely because people's disagreement. Let's use an analogy here...can we cancel all the homework assignments simply because we dislike them? Perhaps there is a scenario in which a teacher purposely targets on one single individual to assign them more homework than other students, but it's only because that person often miss an assignment or being lazy all the time. Even though the students rise up against homework by denouncing it or making various excuses or evidences, it still can't deny the fact that homework is necessary for our progress. And that's what Stop and Frisk is supposed to be.

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    3. I absolutely agree with Carrie on this. Although many disagree with the policy, it is something that is needed to ensure the safety of the country. It exists for a reason. Just because people want it gone doesn't mean it should be gone.

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    4. The policy actually doesn't correlate to NY's decreasing crime rate; it's actually more of a coincidence since crime rates (across the US) had already started going down even before it was implemented. The success rate of the policy is also not quite as big as supporters prim it to be: less than 1% of the almost 5 million stops recovered an illegal gun. And even then, less guns found on the streets doesn't necessarily mean fewer guns. It just means people have gotten better at hiding it.

      Overall, I have to agree with you, Brandon. The policy sounds great in theory, but the way it's been implemented has achieved little yield over the past decade.

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  4. I believe that the "Stop and Frisk" policy is clearly based on racial profiling. If its not that, than its just a big coincidence that mostly African Americans and Hspanics are being searched. The world is a sick place, at this point its all about stereotypes. Just because a man is black,doesnt mean hes commited a crime or gone to jail. Everyone is judging these social groups based on their looks, it obviuosly has nothing to do with anything. Im strongly against the "Stop and Frisk' its demonstarted how the justice of the peace can be so racist. Obviously society has played a big role in this. In movies the black man is always considered the criminal, blacks were always slaves, they were always segregated. And now once again their own rights are being taken away from them. Same things apply with hispanics, its not the polices fault its the way society treats these social group.

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    1. Can't this issue effect other races as well? Not all Africans and Hispanics get frisked. Whites are also under suspicion. I do believe that there shouldn't be a "Stop and Frisk" at all, for it's an invasion of our privacy given to us in our 1st Amendment. This issue doesn't just deal with race it's also about how far can the police be involved in what we do and what we have.

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    2. EXACTLY MY POINT! The fact that the policy allows for search of anyone is not such a major issue compared to WHO is actually being accused. Last year 53% of African Americans were searched, but why them? Why were only 9% of whites searched? The answer is definitely "racial-profiling"

      Oh and Dylan if whites are under suspicion why are only 9% searched compared to the 53% of African Americans?! -Doesn't this reflect racism?

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    3. I'm most definitely not going to sit here and say that all police officers treat everyone equally, because they don't. I am going to argue, however, that the fact that Africans and Hispanics are searched more frequently than all other races is NOT a coincidence. Much of the crimes, such as murders, were committed by African Americans. The Stop and Frisk policy was created to help hinder or slow down the crime rate in the country, and in order to slow down the crime rate, you must target those committing the crimes.

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    4. Stop and Frisk is definitely NOT racial profiling. It is done on the basis of felony rates by race. Check this out: http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/eon0514hm.jpg But even based on that, Blacks are still understopped!

      Also, its not true! " In movies the black man is always considered the criminal" Prime example, the antagonist in the Chronicles of Narnia is the "WHITE witch" and she is respectively played by a fair skinned actress.

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    5. Oh and in MIB, Jay (Will Smith) plays a protagonist.

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    6. It IS based on what US District Judge Scheindlin calls "racial profiling based on local criminal data." Yes, blacks and Hispanics have done more crimes than whites; however, the ensuing logic applied is simply not fair: blacks account for more than 50% of the total frisks, even though whites make up more or less 30% of the total NY population. Many blacks have testified that they've been searched multiple times, to the point that some already start "lifting up their shirt and doing a little dance" as soon as an officer approaches them, even though they've never even participated in any sort of criminal activity.

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    7. Uh racial stereotypes are not as dominant in this country as you might believe, this is one of the main countries in the world who truly frowns upon racism...the president is an african-american, the "blacks" who are being searched are not being searched because they are black but on account of suspicious behaviour and because the areas they come from have a higher crime rate.

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  5. “Stop and Frisk” should not be used against people unless under arrest or legal warranty to do so. The 4th Amendment states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” The same argument as the NSA is made here “If you’re innocent why hide anything?” My answer is it is not the job of the government to supervise our every move. If one can violate our rights of one’s items on them why not just let them in at the door without a warrant? The worst possible substance obtained by “Stop and Frisk” would probably be marijuana which is controversial between states. US citizens are protected to carry arms from the 2nd Amendment and “shall not be infringed”. With any issue race will become a problem with athletics, intelligence, and also crime rates so I don’t find it surprising that it happens here as well. This law shows the constant paranoia of our government who believes by searching the public you’ll find criminals who work on an underground network.

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    1. I disagree with your point that “If you’re innocent why hide anything?” My answer is it is not the job of the government to supervise our every move."
      The government is OBLIGATED to serve the people. A government represents the people and serves them. Therefore, it does have the right to supervise the crimes and murders taking place. The policy has obviously taken place to help keep the people safe. However, it has gone wrong on mostly searching African Americans compared to the rest of the population.

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    2. I absolutely agree with the fact that the Constitution has given people rights and freedom; however, if one is causing harm to the community, the government has every right to stop them. The government's main job is to protect us, the citizens, and this policy is one way they can do this. If a person is being searched, it is because law enforcement and the government feels that they are a danger to society.

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    3. You make a very good point Dylan. However, I'd like to talk about how you brought up the second amendment. Where are it's limits? At some point, the second amendment becomes redundant, and the issue spills in over into the fourth amendment, about what should be the qualifications for a "reasonable" search. When the Founding Fathers had the Bill of Rights in their heads, the right to bear arms was most likely for two reasons - one is that people use guns for hunting, and the other is that people use guns for self-defense. At that time, the guns the people could get their hands on easily were practically identical to what the military was armed with, and it was much harder to commit mass murders with a single shot musket. Today, it someone has an M-16 on them, that is very much a sign that they are out to cause serious harm to society, since it is useless for hunting and "overkill" for self defense. I agree with you that Stop and Frisk isn't a winning idea, but I feel that the second amendment shouldn't be freely interpreted so that anyone can get their hands on (as pointed out in the Crash Course videos) unmanned combat drones. Otherwise, people would be able to run rampant with such violent weaponry, which might actually make Stop and Frisk (in said scenario) worthwhile.

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    4. The Constitution does give the right to property, but if the property is illegal, doesn't the government have the right to confiscate the aforementioned property? This is true especially if the property is an illicit gun which has the potential to kill many people. The fact of the matter is that while the government does not have the power to confiscate property, it is equally obvious that this only applies to property acquired legally.

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    5. Dylan, what would our government be paranoid of us doing to it? We need them in order to survive and they are merely playing the parent role amongst us, ensuring us of their promised safety. Is the life of an innocent much more worthy than our own personal safety?

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  6. The Stop and Frisk Policy may be biased or somewhat racist, however, they are necessary when it comes to keeping the country safe and under control. A country without control would not last. As the article states, this policy has "led to a falling murder rate and more gun seizures, with homicides down 21 percent this year and the number of illicit guns seized up 31 percent from last year." This says something. If those people that are committing crimes aren't warned in some way, crimes would be out of control. The Stop and Frisk policy has somewhat tamed crimes. The government's goal is to ensure the safety of the citizens and the states and this policy is one way to achieve that goal.
    Also, many may characterize the fact that 41.6% of all the stops were either Latinos or African Americans as racism, but that is not entirely true. Many of those people were stopped for a reason. Statistics show that half of all murders committed were done by African Americans. Therefore, police officers being biased isn't the main reason why African Americans are being stopped; they are being stopped because of their history of violence.
    Now, people may argue that many of those being stopped are innocent, which is a valid argument. But, if they are innocent, they should have nothing to worry about. Once again, those being stopped are being stopped for a reason, whether it be aroused suspicion or to ensure the safety of the community. If the person being stopped is, in fact, innocent, they are free to go. They are not being harmed in any way.
    The Stop and Frisk policy has allowed for people to feel more safe while going out. Crime will not be eliminated entirely, but crime rate can be slowed down and decreased. Obviously, this policy hasn't completely terminated crimes, but it has put a stop to much of them.

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    1. Oh and btw; PLEASE don't mistake my post as me being racist in any sort of way. I'm against racism, but I thought it necessary to make some of those points. Thank you! :)

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    2. Fedah, the country definitely needs some sort of regulation and policies to keep it "safe and under control" as you stated. Otherwise, the criminals would have gone more rampant and wild. That would create an even worse community---an unchecked anarchy---which can manufacture more racists and bloodshed. Your arguments remind me of a popular saying that would you rather prefer a cold or kind ruler. Although there's no right or wrong to the question, in this melting pot society with an extended territory, a kind administration might lead to a negligence and an irrecoverable mistake.

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    3. Fedah, you make a very good point about how an anarchist society would fall on itself. However, do you agree that Baltimore and Chicago both have policies that work for the same cause, that don't involve humiliating potentially (and probably) innocent citizens, and actually lowered their city's murder rate at a more substantial rate than Stop and Frisk? Also, when you said that it is the government's goal to protect its populous, would you agree that the purpose of government is less about PROTECTING each and every citizen, or rather keeping ORDER among it? That would thus bring us to the question "What is the bare minimum purpose of government?" The answer varies greatly between each person, and might even make a good blog topic (or did we already cover it?) Also, I read Carrie's post, and Carrie, if you read this, when you talked about whether a kind or cold ruler was better, were you referencing The Prince? I read it for WCH, and your comment instantly reminded me of good old Machiavelli. Those who would agree on a strict, cold ruler would probably agree that government is mostly for enforcing a sense of discipline and general order among its citizens, as order can be kept at a large scale through the cooperation with local governments, but it is harder to protect each and every citizen without it being considered "overbearing."

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    4. I don't understand how someone could consider this policy racist or even "somewhat" racist in the least. The policy doesn't blacklist the African American and Hispanics. It merely, rationally searches people based on the felony rates. It is the no the color of their skin that makes them a target. It is that they have become notorious for committing such crimes.

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    5. I certainly agree with your point that the Stop and Risk policy has brought about safety. However, the fact that many more african americans are being searched compared to whites calls for "racial profiling." Wouldn't you agree that the stop and risk policy should be changed to the point where everyone is searched equally? Wouldn't this eliminate the idea of "racial-profiling?"

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    6. You say that it's only logical for blacks to get searched more often because statistics show that the number of crimes committed by people of that color are higher than non-blacks, because of their "history of violence." Therefore, just because the number of blacks in jail are higher than the whites, it's perfectly okay for hundreds of thousands more innocent blacks to suffer through this degrading policy. Does that not count as a discriminating stereotype then, to generalize that black=higher likelihood of crime=needs more searches? I know I'd be pissed if I have to get patted down multiple times a month simply because strangers I've never met in my entire life did stupid things and landed in jail, strangers who are slightly related to me by skin color.

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    7. If there is a trend in crime by a certain race, it does make sense to pursue them since they are the cause of the problem. It is like cancer, they are cells that are causing damage and need to be taken care of, or else they will kill the host. An effective way of handling the disease is by using chemotherapy, which however, attacks the whole body in general. Although, they can save the life of the host.

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    8. Fedah, I feel like we have the same points, and I agree when you say that the citizens have nothing to worry about if they know they arent doing anything wrong. For the people that may be causing trouble and getting away with it, it may just cost us 20 more peoples' lives that we can't just risk to lose at a time like this.

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    9. I love that analogy Iamka! And exactly my point Juliet! People shouldn't feel worried if they know they are innocent. People need to approach the policy by looking at it as a way of keeping control of the country, and not as racial profiling. Yes, Brandon, I do agree that the government's job is to control the states. I also believe that the Stop and Frisk policy allows the government to control e states, which you just said was their job.

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  7. “STOP AND FRISK” is a policy created to protect the masses and is intended for maintaining a safe and secure environment. Most people are making the argument that this is “racial profiling” and other things; alas this is not the case. Prepare yourselves because I have come to shun you all.
    It is NOT a mere COINCIDENCE that the majority of people stopped are African American and Hispanic. Let’s start with some statistics. “Blacks committed nearly 70 percent of all robberies. Whites, by contrast, committed 5 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009, though they are 35 percent of the city’s population (and were 10 percent of all stops).”
    http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0514hm.html
    It cannot be racist because they stop more blacks than whites. Doesn’t it seem logical to “stop and frisk” on the basis of felony rates?
    Take a look at this graph: http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/eon0514hm.jpg.
    It shows felony rates based on race as well as the corresponding percent of persons stopped and frisked. Blacks are actually understopped! African Americans and Hispanics are not stopped simply because of their race or because they are a minority, but instead because they have been notorious for such felony. “Though blacks are outnumbered 5-to-1 in the population by whites, they commit eight times as many crimes against whites as the reverse. By those 2007 numbers, a black male was 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse.”
    http://www.humanevents.com/2013/07/19/black-americas-real-problem-isnt-white-racism/
    Another supporting point is that the majority of people stopped are men. Does that automatically mean they’re sexist as well!? NO, it doesn’t. It’s the same kind of thing. There are fewer crimes committed by women than there are by men, just as there are fewer crimes committed by Whites than there are by Blacks.
    Some may also make the argument that “Stop and Frisk” is the work of racist cops; however, according to New York Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, a majority of his police force, which he has been able to cut from 41,000 officers to 35,000, is now made up of minorities. Therefore, it cannot be said that these police officers are biased.
    To counter the point made about the Fourth Amendment, which states that people shall be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures,” I say this is not “unreasonable.” These “searches” are being done for the welfare of the people. Thus, the fourth amendment does not apply.
    The stop and frisk program has helped to lower the NYC murder rate. People feel the stop and frisk policies help the police get guns off the street, and that benefit outweighs other costs. Overall, the policy should be kept.

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    1. The statistics you had offered were strangely logical. I had always thought that police were simply racist and identified only Arabs, African-Americans, and Hispanics simply of the stereotypes. However, these statistics can also be wildly interpretive, as some may argue that the crime rate is so high in these specific races as a result of anger against authority for their plight, or even because of simply conforming to their respective stereotypes because that is what they interpret as expected behavior for those races. Basically, is the rate of crimes by these demographics are a result of pure coincidence, or rebellion against policies like stop and frisk? The answer is up to one's views on the topic.

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    2. Nirali, I liked how you used the Fourth Amendment, but then counteracted it with other points. You used outside knowledge of the constitution which made your opinion and points stronger. Also, if this certain policy is being done for the welfare of the people, why should it should it be questioned in the first place?

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  8. First off, your link for the first graph does not open. Second I noticed the statistics you used to support the fact that African Americans are much more likely to commit a crime compared to a white. But, honestly do you think ones skin tome has anything to do with the crime rate? In this case, stereo-types are being created and this may not even be the reason on why these crimes are being created. Furthermore, we will not now the actual reason and people have just settled upon what they are seeing.

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    1. There should be a way to post pictures on here.....
      http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/eon0514hm.jpg

      Maybe the link got messed up? Idk

      Ok, One's skin tone shouldn't have anything to do with the crime rate, but statistically speaking, they do correlate. The policy doesn't blacklist the African American and Hispanics, but instead rationally (ratio-wise) searches people based on the felony rates. It is the not the color of their skin that makes them a target. It is that they have become well-known to have committed such crimes.

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    2. Also, even though they hold the highest percentage of those stopped, the people of this race are still frisked significantly less than they should be.

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    3. You really didn't pick a side, you basically just star facts about stereo types being created. now if you think about the way they see that they frisk and search blacks more than whites, then wouldn't this just promote racism or do they really believe that they are doing some sort of crime? and btw, this law breaks the 4th amendment, so way is it here? do we need to get rid of the amendment from whats supposed to be the "law of the land".

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    4. Mike, I did pick a side. If you read my entire post, you'd know that I specifically stated that the policy should be kept.

      They majority of people stopped are Blacks. This is not coincidental because crime rates have shown that the majority of crime HAVE been committed by people of this race.

      This policy does NOT break the 4th amendment as the frisking is being done to decrease crime rates and make the masses feel safe and secure. There is no need to "rid the amendment" because Stop and Frisk doesn't even go against it.

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  9. In an utopian society, a stop and frisk policy would not be necessary due to low to zero crimes occurring. However, there cannot be such a society, and that makes stop and frisk policies absolutely necessary for a more protected and safe society. The PRISM blog has many parallels with the argument for and against the stop and frisk policy: it is a matter of personal freedoms against the betterment of society. For a society to be as safe as possible, it is necessary for the people to sacrifice some freedoms, and this is the only way society can progress. As of today, the rates of varying forms of crime and terrorism have never been higher, and to protect the people, which is the government's highest priority, policies such as stop and frisk are necessary. According to CNBC, about 100 billion US dollars are lost in physical crimes, and the deaths caused from these crime are priceless. With the stop and frisk policy, among other proposed policies, would not only help prevent at least a fraction of these crimes from happening, but will also dissuade people from participating in crimes. As Michiavelli, author of "The Prince" argued, it is better to be feared than loved.. This has not been more true than in modern times. A well-loved government like the US's (principals, not actual government) allows the people to be more complacent will lesser consequences. There has been a well documented correlation between "freedoms" such as no stop and frisk policies and crime rate. If one has nothing to hide, then there should not even be a reason to not be fine with this policy, and thus, freedoms would not even be truly be lost, but will still help lower crime rates. If stop and frisk policies help avoid even one major crime of a death, it should be classified as successful.

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    1. Pranav, we share the same viewpoints. If this law can prevent deaths, and we have nothing to hide, then why are we to oppose it? Is our privacy really that important?

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    2. I agree with your beliefs regarding the stop and frisk policy, it helps our communtities to stay safe, if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't have to worry about it

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    3. Pranav you are correct when you state, "For a society to be as safe as possible, it is necessary for the people to sacrifice some freedoms, and this is the only way society can progress." People shouldn't lag on this one topic that may not even be as bad as some other laws that are set in countries around us. The government needs to start setting a few ground rules, because if not we will soon become an autocracy, which is definitely not the direction we want to be going in, especially in a time like this. This stop and frisk policy is only for the safety of the people, and if you cant abide by these rules, maybe it's time the victims begin to do something about it. If they don't, then this matter may not really be as important as everyone thought it would.

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    4. Our privacy is important, what if one day you were walking on the street of new york, and you were stopped and frisked for reasons of racial discrimination of random acts of suspicion, wouldn't that make you feel violated?

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  10. While I most certainly agree that something must be done to lower NY's murder rate, the stop-and-frisk method is simply not the way to go. Much like trying to go through the grains of sand in the Sahara, frisking hundreds of thousands every year in an effort to find illegal guns is clumsy, inefficient, and a waste of resources. In the first three quarters of this year, roughly 89% of the frisks were of completely innocent people. Not only that, it's often a humiliating experience, especially to Africans and Hispanics. While many supporters say that the majority of crimes are done by the aforementioned races and conclude that it only made sense for the police to search their peoples more often, it still raises eyebrows that whites make up only 11% of the searches done this year. Non-whites are also more likely to be subjected to aggressive searches and verbal abuse, even after speaking up. As Judge Steindlin wrote, there's "no basis that the racial distribution of stopped pedestrians will resemble the racial distribution of the local criminal population if the people stopped are not criminals." In other words, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be stopped even in areas where the population was predominantly white, even though most didn't even fit the description of criminals: a racial profiling based on local criminal data.

    Two major 'hints' police officers look for are if the person acts suspiciously or if he dresses like a criminal, that is, if they "look like a threat." While there may be a general pattern of clothing criminals often don, looking for these 'hints' is not a surefire way of telling one's innocence. You can't confidently determine if a person will commit a crime just because they act or dress different from 'the norm'; a man in a suit can just as likely go crazy and kill as one dressed in a basketball shirt and and shorts. What, then, must one do to become less suspicious? Walk differently? Wear more sophisticated looking clothes? Wear a different skin color?

    Supporters of the stop-and-frisk policy also bring up statistics that seem to support it, ones that show NY's lowering crime rates. They fail to recognize that it's more of a case of flawed assumption as crime rates across the country had already started to lower even before the policy was implemented (perhaps the fact that thousands of new officers were hired had something to do with this). They also forget that this is far from a perfect world we live in, and the numbers reported by the NYPD are rife with manipulation and unwritten quotas. Point in case, NYPD officers Adhyl Polanco and Pedro Serrano testified that their supervisors demanded that cops meet the 'monthly arrest quota' under threat of severe punishment, and the system they use for promotions is based on said quota. Thus, cops are often forced to arrest people over the most trivial things (Polanco himself once had to arrest a thirteen-year-old walking home from school).

    Finally, unlike television shows that show cops chasing down criminals on streets and in buildings, real life investigations need critical information that only the everyday masses can give. This degrading policy builds mistrust and insecurity among the citizens, ensuring that they'll be less likely to go to the police in case of actual emergencies. Do people honestly think that those who have been aggressively 'patted down,' especially those who have been through the process multiple times, will feel safer and more confident in the people who've practically harassed them?

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    1. I feel as your statistics goes against your point. If one thinks about it, and 11% of all the people frisked, (which is only a small fraction of the total population anyways) actually have some illicit item that is able to be confiscated, that is a great success rate. If you equate this into the amount of crimes,11% are avoided just by one simple method. As for your point of people being embarrassed, if people have nothing to hide they have nothing to be embarrassed about, so the point is mute.

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    2. Pranav, you misinterpreted the statistics I quoted. I said that whites only account for 11% of the hundreds of thousands of searches conducted each year, not that 11% is the success rate of the policy. The success rate of the policy is actually really pathetic. For example, in 2011, out of the 685724 frisks done, only 780 guns were seized: a success rate of roughly 0.001%.

      And the whole "if you have nothing to hide, you're fine" thing, it's really easy for people to repeat that, if one has never undergone through multiple aggressive searches (with a side order of verbal abuse) simply because a cop felt that you dressed like a stranger who did stupid things and landed in jail.

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  11. Over the past couple of years, it has been observed that people are now more frequently questioning the morality and ethics of our new society. Recently due to high crime rates, New York City has enacted the Stop and Frisk law. Many are opposed it since they feel it contradicts their freedom and their privacy. People who get stopped and interrogated feel insulted of being categorized as a criminal due to their appearance. Although, most fail to recognize the fact that as a result of being stopped, many crimes have been prevented. Yes, it has been acknowledged that the majority who get stopped are Hispanics or African Americans, with very very few White males, however, the statistics clearly identify a significant decrease in illegal guns, drugs, alongside with the prevention of murder. Additionally, evidence has proven that most of the convicted criminals are of Hispanic or African American origin. This gives law enforcement a legitimate reason to believe that these specific races are to be questioned more often then others.
    At this point in time, especially in our violent, technologically advanced society, we must focus on ensuring the safety of our population. This issue is practically the same as the Patriot Act; should the government stop spying on us if that means it can (and has been proven) prevent terrorist attacks?
    It seems as if our individual privacy is much more important than granting the general population their well deserved safety. People living in a country as free as ours deserve the satisfaction of knowing that they have the right to walk without someone taking it away from them.
    Human life is what we want to preserve, our individual needs should not be a liable reason for the death or harm of another.

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    1. Yes your points may be valid, but i thought the constitution was the "law of the land" and was supposed to be the supreme law throughout the states. so how can we just make a law against our constitution, this should be disbanded. also for a second point, its more for racial profiling for blacks and other "higher crime races", which is anther resason to get rid of this, cause it basically promotes racism.

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    2. Iamka,
      The points you made are true as I mentioned some of this information in post. The reason that most people stopped are African American is because that they account for half of all homicides, so wouldn't it make sense to stop more African Americans in prevention of these homicides. The police isn't racially profiling but keeping every safe. Everyone should feel safe and a measure like this should be enforced for that reason alone. The comparison between Stop and Frisk and the Patriot act was also effective as well.

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  12. Stop and Frisk, has been around in order to stop or prevent the crime and homicides, that have been increasingly going up in the New York area for the past few years. When Mayor Bloomberg was elected for office, he was able to establish this law, allowing the NYPD to randomly check people on the streets if they became suspicious of certain citizens that may be holding a concealed weapon. Now many argue that this is a show of racism, because of the constant checkings of Latino- Americans and African-Americans in the past couple years. Quickly thereafter the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, is willing to change the law, in order to extend his gratitude towards other people so that everyone gets treated fairly.
    For my first point, I believe that Mayor Blasio, may feel strongly about this topic, and many may agree with him, however since he has JUST become mayor, may it be true that the power could be getting to his head? Maybe he just wants everyone on his side in order to be liked and favored while governing the city. Now that may not be the case, but it is just something to keep in mind as I continue to state why the stop and frisk policy may be in great need for not only New York, but for the country as well.
    As a policeman, it is their duty to keep the town/city safe. No matter how many suspicions they have, they should be on the lookout at all times, even if its not to stop and frisk. The stop and frisk policy was just something that allowed the police to, not abusively but carefully, examine apprehensive people that may be a threat to the community as a whole. That is basically what our main goal as a city, town, or country is to do. People may have wants and needs, however the government as much as they try cant tend to every single problem that you may encounter. Now, if it is between life or death, it may be a different situation, however if you are being searched for the sake of the people's safety, the least you can do is cooperate for a few checkups here and there and you won't have anything to worry about.
    The government cannot tend to every single problem, therefore the Africans and Latinos may feel some discomfort because of the way they are being treated, however no one ever stated that this was a way to show racial profiling, and it was never intentionally mentioned along those lines. If you have something against getting searched that may be your own problem, but it may not involve the color of your skin, or your ethnicity in that one moment you may be examined. It isn't like they are stopping EVERY single Latino or African American they see. If you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't worry about the quick few minute searches that the police attempt just to make sure that there isn't a cause of danger to their people.
    Racism is something I am definitely against. The stop and frisk was made to keep the community INCLUDING the Africans and Latinos to be safe. Showing that homicides went down 21% directly proves the point that this was a huge help that showed people that they can enjoy the city, without being afraid of random shootings or constant crime happening on the streets. Now keeping the law may not cause any harm, but what will happen if that policy is quickly stopped? Will it ever be the same?

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  13. My opinion on the matter is that this "Stop and Frisk" policy should be disbanded. from the constitution's fourth amendment stating that "...unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." clearly states that theses searches can't legally happen without "probable cause". in this case there is no probable cause to search these people. even if they look suspicious, you can't accuse someone with no proof, its like going to jail for a crime you didn't commit, but someone random person is searching you and your private property without a warrant or a probably cause, this makes completely no sense

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    1. Michael,
      I understand that we have the right to be protected from "unreasonable searches and seizures," but isn't safety also a major concern. These searches have substantially dropped crime rates in large cities like New York City because it scares away violence. With that being said, if lives could be saved, it should make complete sense to enforce this policy.

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  14. The "Stop and Frisk" policy should definitely not be revoked, since its beginning it has slowed crime and the rates of crimes have dropped a lot. It is not at all "racist profiling", that belief is just absurd. These people being frisked are not be frisked because they have a different colour of skin but because they are considered suspicious to the aouthorities. The only reason that certain ethnic groups seem to be targeted is that much of the time these individuals do in fact come from a place with a higher crime rate or they are acting in a suspicious manner. The reason that the crime rate has been dropping due to the Stop and Frisk regime is that it works. By going out and frisking these people, who some say the only reason they are being searched is due to stereotypes about their ethnic group, the police are making headway in the preventing of crime. The statistics clearly show this, so why then is the Stop and Frisk policy working if it all it is, is a bunch of racist cops carrying out searches on other ethnic groups? It works for the simple fact that the opposite is true, the searches are done for reasons beside the colour of your skin, for suspected criminal activity or that you are just up to no good, it just so happens that those who seem to commit much of the crime come from poorer areas inhabited by people of different ethnicities.

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    1. Rob,
      I agree with you on most of your points. It is not considered racial profiling, but if we look at it from a different perspective, the police are trying to keep us safe rather. The crime rate has dropped greatly and for large cities that is important due to the larger population. Stop and Frisk gives police the right to search suspicious people to help prevent crime and save lives before a shooting happens. You are correct in stating that the searches shouldn't happen because of the color of your skin, but it does happen sometimes. Theoretically the police shouldn't frisk you because of the color of your skin.

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  15. The "Stop and Frisk" policy is one that has to continue to be enforced in New York City for years to come and it must be addressed. "Stop and Frisk" is the idea that the police could stop residents at any time to search residents for items such as knifes or guns. Although to a certain degree, it does violates rights of privacy that that Constitution guarantees, the policy is definitely necessary. Stop and Frisk ensures that citizens could feel safe within their hometown because any suspicious characters could be searched by policeman. This policy helped to reduce the crime rate by 29% in New York City alone, which is a substantial decrease in violent crime occurrences. This policy could actually have the ability of scaring away crime before guns and weapons enter the city to begin with. Many opponents argue that searches are a form of racial profiling, but that is actually not the reality of the matter, The police wants to keep the police safe. In the article, Jon is correct in stating that although 53% of those who were stopped by stop and frisk were African Americans, half of all homicides were committed by African Americans. That means it would rationally make more sense to stop more African Americans to protect them from things like homicide, rather than trying to racially profile. In fact, in 2011, only 1.8% of African Americans had weapons on them when stopped, while 3.8% of whites who were stopped had weapons. Since cities like New York City have large populations, stop and frisk helps to keep residents as safe as possible even though all violence prevention is inevitable. The main goal here is to avoid as much death as possible and if something as small as a ten second stop if necessary, we should push for this policy to be kept. Stop and Frisk has made cities like New York City a safer place and De Blasio's choice to keep this policy is a great idea.

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