Monday, August 12, 2013

Judge: NYC Stop-And-Frisks Are Unconstitutional

By David Downs
Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A police policy in the Big Apple that ensares tens of thousands of people for cannabis possession has been deemed unconstitutional by a federal district judge, Reuters reports.

US District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled Monday that New York's notorious stop-and-frisk policy constitutes "indirect racial profiling."

"No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life," Scheindlin wrote in her opinion.

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"She emphasized what she called the 'human toll of unconstitutional stops,' noting that some of the plaintiffs testified that their encounters with the police left them feeling that they did not belong in certain areas of the cities. She characterized each stop as 'a demeaning and humiliating experience,'" The New York Times reports.

A huge percentage of stop-and-frisks end up as pot crimes.

“Between 1996 and 2011, [New York] police made more than half-a-million (586,320) arrests for this misdemeanor, including a total of around 100,000 in just the 2 years of 2010 and 2011,” Human Rights Watch reports.

African-Americans comprise 22.8 percent of the New York City population, but 52 percent of all pot arrests in 2011.

The judge's searing 195-page opinion states that NYPD's policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment against racially based profiling and violates the Fourth Amendment standards for search or seizure. The judge also noted that more than 88 percent of stops resulted in no arrest or citation.

A federal monitor will be appointed to oversee police activity and some cops will be required to wear body cameras while on-duty.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg will a hold press conference today.

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