You are walking down an alley way, trying to take the quickest route home to make it to dinner on time. Suddenly, a cop stops you, telling you to drop your belongings and put your hands in the air. You are shocked, scared, and confused, while being stripped of your dignity. Stop and Frisk arose around the mid 90’s. It was a means of stopping crime before it occurs. However, the reason behind the sudden stops was categorized as racially discriminatory, and offensive. In March 1999, problems with stop and frisk began to sprout, due to it causing the death of an unarmed African Immigrant, Amadou Bailo Diallo. This heart breaking tragedy opened the eyes of many, and bit by bit people began to perceive the racial profiling that transpired when it came to stop and frisk. If we want the discrimination to stop, however still allowing police officers to fulfill their duty then there are some flaws that must be adjusted.
The mayor of the city should lay down restrictions on officer’s freedom and stabilize their training; to ensure peoples boundaries. Not only should the mayor take part in changing the system of stop and frisk, but our communities as well. In our communities, and neighborhoods with high crime rates, more charity events should be held explaining the consequences of violence, giving people a feel of what can happen if they begin or continue to explore criminal activities. If these changes towards stop and frisk are not constructed, then New York, the tri-state area, and the nation, will continue to fight back without hesitation.
Stop and Frisk needs to have restrictions, the officers executing it, have an excessive amount of rights. The idea of an officer randomly pulling an individual to the side and searching them, stripping them of innocence, simply because they “fit the description” is absurd! Especially since, this is after all, the United States of America, a nation of justice and freedom. Having restrictions on stop and frisk would limit police officers power of freely stopping people based on bias suspicions. I suggest ‘restrictions’ meaning, a warrant. Just as one needs a warrant to search your house, or to arrest you, there should be one that gives officers a clearance to search your body. This of course, would mean that an officer cannot simply search you on sight; they would need to report their discoveries to headquarters and wait for an electronic authorization to conduct their search, while still keeping their eyes on you, maintaining low profile.
In charge to make sure that this change is permitted, as well as funded would be the mayor, since titled “head of the city”. However, the person administering the warrant would be police deputy (whom possesses great experience with criminals, knowing how a criminal looks or moves should be their second nature), for they have the power to stipulate lower ranked police men, and make sure they are fulfilling their duties correctly. The theory of restrictions on stop and frisk has no guarantee of working, because it has never been done in the past. However, people requested previously that police officers have a different approach on training and “disciplinary policies”. No one knows how legitimate an officers training is, but it is safe to say, evidently their training on stop and frisking people is developing the mind of a discriminative police officer. Study shows that recently in 2011 a total of 685,724 people were stopped and out of that number 605,328 people were innocent.
Amongst that 350,743 were black, 223,740 were Latino, 61,805 were white, and 341,581 were aged 14-24. With such high numbers you can see that there is no restriction, neither is there any order. Nonetheless, if officers were trained with restrictions, having to obtain a warrant, then the number of innocents being stop and frisked would decrease, and ensure people’s boundaries, while still carrying out their responsibilities. Instead of trying to force people into submission and risking the chances of aimlessly searching a blameless person, charity events should be conducted. The same strength, power and wisdom a cop has to heedlessly invade the privacy of another, they can join forces with the community, together hosting events that carefully exhibits the consequences of violence.
Stop and frisk could go as far back as gun violence, gang banging, possession of illegal drugs, etc. No one could personally change someone’s character, but if told the ramifications it would implant options; something that people fail to realize they have. These events could lead to activities, buildings, and shows that could primarily keep people off the streets. Of course these types of things require money, which can be raised by the people of our communities. According to Ignite Tampa, it’s good to have a sense of community, meaning “a feeling members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and the group, and a shared faith that members needs will be met through their commitment to be together”. If these violent communities had more productive things occurring that made them feel that they belong then violent activities would decrease far greater than using an aggressive method like stop and frisk.
Community engagement can increase employment, economic growth, and decrease criminal movement, “pollution” and “ethnic disparities”. Getting involved in the community doesn’t only help others, but as well as you. Caring can go a long way, it can go as far as discontinuing stop and frisk. It is understandable that people don’t want the stop and frisk policy to change or cease because they believe it has slowed down many crimes in advance. However, keeping stop and frisk as is, without rectifying it would cause communities to feel uncomfortable and violated, simply because it is an erratic search officers are conducting. People may think that my solutions are expensive, or unrealistic. The average income of a community can range from $60,000-$200,000, and a small charity event cost from as low as $1,000 to $10,000, so as far as expenses, a community has more than enough money to fund for charity events.
As far as being realistic anything is possible, it all comes down to how far one is willing to go to fight for their rights and what they may believe in. My solutions will work with the dedication of many. If we want to fight against stop and frisk and regulate it we should together think of reasonable solutions of how that could be done. Two solutions that I presented were for the mayor to create restrictions that ensures one’s boundaries, and for the community to come together to host events stating the consequences of violence. Spread the word now and tell others of these solutions. Come together and volunteer to help out your community. Stop, stop and frisk and reduce criminal activities. What goes on in your community will affect you, take your stance.
Courtney from Study Moose
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