A federal judge has just put a stop to the “Stop and Frisk” controversial program in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to appeal claiming the judge to know nothing of law enforcement.
The Stop and Frisk program has been on the news for quite some time. The case of Trayvon Martin has also been brought up in the debate. With Stop and Frisk, the NYPD or New York Police Department makes selective stops on people they deem suspicious.
Those individuals are then handcuffed and frisked for contraband. There has been a huge outcry over this practice because the majority of those who are stopped and frisked are African Americans and Hispanics in urban areas.
Activists claim this practice is the enforcement of racial profiling, or linking certain behaviors to a particular race and using that link to enforce the law. Their claims are valid indeed. The amount of Blacks and Latinos stopped is incredibly high. Non-Hispanic whites are barely stopped at all based on the statistics. This has put tensions between minority communities and the NYPD which exists to protect all citizens. The NYPD are trained to automatically think a minority in a hoody, or “gangster” looking clothes is up to no good and must be stopped and frisked. Some Latinos and Blacks have complained that they have been stopped even while hanging out in front of their homes doing nothing but drinking water or talking with family and friends.
The practice seems to have good intentions, but it is not carried out correctly. The way Kelly is running the program is indeed racist. People dress any way they like in America. There is no such thing as “criminal attire.” Some investors at Wall Street have stolen millions and did not wear a hoody or baggy clothing. It is wrong to identify people as criminals based on how they look. I would be extremely upset if my son or relative were walking minding his own business and cops stopped him and treated him as a criminal.
This does have an affect on a person’s psychology. If a person is made to feel like a criminal, he or she will eventually act like one because he/she will rationalize that since he/she is not respected for his/her good conduct, then there is no point in continuing that good conduct since the police will automatically suspect him/her as a criminal. He/she will then play the role of the suspected criminal.
Moreover, this program has really done nothing to slow crime down in NYC despite the claims of Bloomberg and Kelly. Almost every week there is a shooting somewhere in NYC. The innocent are being hauled in along with the guilty with this program. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” What’s next? Will a priest be classified as a child abuser just for wearing a priest’s collar? Will a Rabbi be classified as a money hungry tyrant? Will a gay guy be classified as a carrier of HIV just for looking gay?
Lookism and racial profiling are not good for any society and are immoral. We are all made in God’s image. NYC must find a better way to deal with crime. Education and putting more work with the youth so they would not even think of doing any kind of crime must be used. People usually commit crimes because they feel that is the only way to survive. If cities can help people stand on their own feet, then they will not resort to using crime as an “easy way” to survive.
Bloomberg is getting too carried away and wants to over-police New Yorkers. Whether it is by controlling what they eat and drink or by stop and frisk; he needs to stop it.