Last night during the Presidential debate, moderator Lester Holt raised the subject of “stop and frisk.” What is “stop and frisk?”
“Stop and frisk” was a police procedure implemented by the New York City Police Department with the hopes that it would help reduce crime and get weapons off of the street. The police were frisking, or “patting down,” anyone they thought might be involved in criminal activity.
The “stop and frisk” policy received many complaints claiming the program was racist and unconstitutional. On August 12, 2013, a federal judge ruled that “stop and frisk” was unconstitutional because it violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches, and also the Fourteenth Amendment for racial discrimination. Floyd v. City of New York, 959 F. Supp. 2d 540 (S.D.N.Y. 2013).
“Stop and frisk” remains an unconstitutional policing strategy.