In 2013, a federal court in New York held that the City of New York was practicing stop and frisk in a way that was unconstitutional. This is what Trump and Clinton were talking about during the debate. The City of New York had been using stop and frisk very aggressively to clamp down on crime. But statistics strongly suggested that New York police were racially profiling those they chose to stop. While New York City is only about 25% Black, over 50% of the people the police were stopping were Black. In addition, 80% of the people the police were stopping were completely innocent.
Based upon these results, the district court held that New York’s stop and frisk policy was unconstitutional and ordered New York to change its policy. The court did not decide that stop and frisk in general is unconstitutional but that New York’s current stop and frisk practices violated the Constitution. The court gave New York specific instructions on how to do stop and frisk correctly.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
So, New York and other states can continue to use stop and frisk. However, other city police departments have realized that their stop and frisk programs may be found unconstitutional if they are racially discriminatory. As a result, some cities may choose to re-evaluate their stop and frisk policies. For now, however, stop and frisk itself is constitutional and used by many police forces.
If you have any questions about stop and frisk, or if you think that the police have stopped you illegally, talk to one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at White Law PLLC!
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