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Stop-and-frisk in New York City

The stop-question-and-frisk program, or stop-and-frisk, in New York City, is an unconstitutional New York City Police Department practice of temporarily detaining, questioning, and at times searching civilians on the street for weapons and other contraband. This is what is known in other places in the United States as the Terry stop. The rules for stop, question, and frisk are found in the state's criminal procedure law section 140.50, and are based on the decision of the US Supreme Court in the case of Terry v. Ohio.

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At First Glance: A Normal Teenager In New York City

When you first look at this photo, you may suspect nothing more than a normal teenage boy leaning against a wall while his picture is being taken. If you look closer, he has his hands near an iPod and a small speaker. Still, this picture shouldn't raise any eyebrows or sound off any alarms. Sadly, what you cannot tell from this picture is that this boy was abused during a stop-and-frisk search. He recorded his entire interaction with the police and is playing the recording through his speakers for a journalist. During his encounter, Alvin (the teenage boy) asks why he is being arrested. The officer snaps back at him saying "For being a f***ing mutt." Even in the 21st century, the color of one's skin still does matter...

Contributed by Tony Hart

According to the NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union), "from 2002 to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped, and about 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of innocent New Yorkers." They go on to say that "Even in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, black and Latino New Yorkers face the disproportionate brunt. For example, in 2011, Black and Latino New Yorkers made up 24 percent of the population in Park Slope, but 79 percent of stops. This, on its face, is discriminatory." Something to think about the next time you are in New York or the next time you decide to think about race relations in the United States.

Contributed by Tony Hart

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