Congresswoman Clarke Disturbed by Acceleration of Stop-and-Frisk Policy
Yesterday, a Wall Street Journal article highlighted that 684,330 people were detained last year by the NYPD carrying out the policy of Stop-and-Frisk. Almost one in fifteen New Yorkers were involved with law enforcement in 2011 as a result of the program by itself. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke expressed her concern:
“I am appalled by the numbers that were released. Unfortunately these numbers only point to the culture of fear and excessive profiling the NYPD uses to patrol New York City. New York residents deserve better,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
The policy of Stop-and-Frisk obstructs the movement of individuals in order to conduct searches. As pointed out in the article, ‘approximately half of the incidents result in a pat-down, and 12% of those stopped are arrested or receive a court summons.’
The policy disproportionately affects minority communities —the majority of individuals searched are black or Latino. According to a study conducted by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), ‘during the first nine months of 2011, 514,461 New Yorkers were stopped by the police […] 88 percent of those individuals who were stopped were innocent, 54 percent were black, 31 percent were Latino, while only 9 percent were white.’
“This policy undermines our commitment to the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which mandates that the government “shall not deny to any person…the equal protection of the laws,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke. In addition, “Stop-and-Frisk” eliminates the common-law right to freedom of movement, which has existed for centuries in our law. “Know that my office is looking at federal alternatives to address this policy,” concluded Congresswoman Clarke.