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CI: The City that Never Stops Frisking

May 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Prison Industrial Complex

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Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Criminal InJustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST.

The City that Never Stops Frisking
by nancy a heitzeg

New York City has many nicknames — The Big Apple, Gotham, The Empire City, The City that Never Sleeps and more. Since I am here again — in a New York State of Mind – I am going to coin my own –

The City that Never Stops Frisking.

View the Center for Constitutional Rights Times Square Ad

NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk policy is again under scrutiny. Despite decades of expressed concern, stops and frisks continue to escalate.

This, despite no evidence that such practices have any impact on crime. Stop and frisk policies are highly inefficient - NYPD finds “contraband” in only about 2% of all cases. An, nearly 700,000 stops have produced about 800 guns.

Legal scholars have long considered these stops to be unconstitutional; nearly all stops occur without sufficient legal grounds for suspicions. “Furtive movement” is the most common reason cited by police.

And of course, it is the furtive movement of young Black and Latino men that is the target of police attention. The racial disparity in NYPD stops is nothing short of stunning. Blacks and Latino represent the overwhelming majority of stops, and are more likely than whites to be subjected to extensive frisks, be issued citations, and to encounter excessive police use of force during said stops.

This is racial profiling, and as such, NYPD policy is being challenged by a federal class action lawsuit, Floyd, et al v. City of New York et. al.

NYPD is not the only city that practices racial profiling and aggressive stop and frisk policy under the pretext of “crime control”. Far from it — this is a nation-wide malaise.

Racial profiling is a failed police tactic has been roundly condemned for more than 2 decades. I don’t have the time to fully cite and link two decades worth of research and outrage now – but trust me, it is out there.

Taxpayers – even those hypnotized by “fear of crime” and calls for “law and order” – need to realize that all constitutional questions aside, aggressive stop and frisk and so-called public order policing is nothing but a waste of time and resources.

Stop that.

14 comments
rubyr
rubyr

I just realized that you actually mean that you are in

NYC. Welcome!! I hope this city is very, very good to

you. If you need anything at all, email me.

rubyr
rubyr

Thanks so much, Nancy, for another great diary. 

 

This frisking policy is one of the most dehumanizing/frightening

methods of racial profiling because it can happen anywhere and

anytime for no reason at all.

 

Our controlling mayor is at the root of a lot of this!! He is a danger.

 

I have been so relieved to see this come to the full attention of the

public, recently. No one here wants this crap to go on.

 

It's bad enough that you can't walk 5 feet without being photographed.

 

Huge thanks to the Center for Constitutional Rights for all of their hard

work!!

 

 

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

Stop and Frisk - another key element in the New Jim Crow and criminalizing people of color.

 

Thanks, Nancy.  Have fun in NYC!

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

Stop and Frisk - another key element in criminalizing people of color - and particularly Black people.

 

Thanks, Nancy, for this timely post.

 

Happy NYC!

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

Hey all - i am on and off today..NYC demands my presence :)

 

But let me just say - as anyone who has paid any attention to this city or any city -- there is plenty for police to be ding that does not involve needlessly harassing citizens of color

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @rubyr thank you ruby :) appreciate it

 

and love your city -- always the best for me

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @rubyr Bloomberg is a menace as was Rudy G before.. too ong

 

hope the CCR gets everyone some relief

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

 @rubyr I'm glad this is making a public stir, too, rubyr.  Great to see you.

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

sorry for double posts - one of them didn't seem to "take" - but I guess it did!

Vikki
Vikki

 @nancy a heitzeg Welcome to the city. Hope you're staying cool (you're coming at the tail end of our first heat wave). Give a holler if you have a chance to meet up.

Vikki
Vikki

 @nancy a heitzeg In some ways, he's even more of a menace because he poses as a benevolent dictator rather than the out-and-out unfeeling tyrant that was Giuliani. For instance, while brutally slashing childcare and afterschool programs, he puts his own money forth to create a (privately-funded) initiative to supposedly help young men of color stay out of the criminal legal system. BUT, what happens when the initiative is no longer a sexy PR thing and that private funding goes away? And how much of that program addresses the racism of policing and the larger society that views young men of color as criminals? (I think you know the answer to both questions)  With Giuliani, we at least recognized that we were dealing with the devil. Bloomberg knows how to make himself seem as if he's genuinely concerned about social issues while doing all that he can to undercut the social supports that would address these problems.

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @Vikki hey i am over at NCORE -- saw the PM Press people yesterday so let me know if/when you are gonna be around there

 

thanks!

Vikki
Vikki

 @nancy a heitzeg Heya, Not planning to be around NCORE, but if you have some time off from the conference, give a holler.