First we all have instincts or what some would call a six sense. It’s no different for police, stop and frisk may not the best way to combat crime works. However, it works because it allows for interaction based off of what’s right in front of you at the time. One’s mannerism or lack of eye contact may cause you to pay more attention to them than you would others. A reasonable suspicion could be anything which gives the police great latitude when it comes to stop and frisk. Without that ability it handcuffs the police and lets crime take over an area.
Because the Fourth Amendment is subjective when it comes to reasonableness suspicion. It would be very hard to say that stop and frisk is illegal. Until you think about how and when it’s used the fact that more than 80% of the people stopped are Black or Hispanic. Moreover most of those stop don’t lead to anything that is illegal. As reported by the NYCLU “Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent” (https://www.nyclu.org/en/stop-and-frisk-data). This alone is the tipping point for change when it comes to stop and frisk policing based off of what something looks like versus what it really is. That door needed to be closed to prevent what could have become a police state.
The most constitutionally sound argument is for stop and frisk to go away or the simplest reason being the lack of proof that it works. The following case is well known by most police do to that fact that it’s taught in many police academies. Graham v. Connor a case in which “Dethorne Graham aroused a police officer’s suspicion one day in 1984 by entering a convenience store and leaving again very quickly. The officer followed and stopped Graham, but apparently did not believe Graham’s explanation that he was a diabetic in search of orange juice to avoid an oncoming insulin reaction.” (Ristroph, A. Aug 2017, Pg. 1204). Here is example of why reasonableness suspicion is so hard to define. What was the reason for the stop other that the fact he went in and out of a store. The court ruled “The Court acknowledged that “[t]he test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application.”91 In the absence of a precise test, the Court identified relevant factors to the reasonableness inquiry, “including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight” (Ristroph, A. Aug 2017, Pg. 1204). What they also said was that under review 20/20 vision or hindsight could not be used but that those reviewing the case must treat it as if they were in those officers’ shoes at the time of the encounter. They did not address what or how much force could be used but left that up to the officer. However when applied to many other cases Eric Garner, or any other cases that started as a stop and frisk and end with someone death. Each aspect must be taken into consideration.
By: Ristroph, Alice. UCLA Law Review. Aug2017, Vol. 64 Issue 5, p1183-1245. 64p. , Database: Academic Search Complete
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