Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stop and Frisk: Police must ignore that minorities are more likely to be commit crime

NY Times   The long-awaited decision declaring the New York Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk tactics unconstitutional was mostly expected; even the staunchest defenders of the practice anticipated that Judge Shira A. Scheindlin would find the stops violated the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. 

But it was her other finding — that the police had violated the 14th Amendment by engaging in racial profiling in carrying out those stops — that drew blood. 

The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said he found the racial profiling characterization “most disturbing and offensive,” as well as “recklessly untrue.” 

There is little precedent for a local police force to go to trial in such a case, or for a judge to issue such a verdict. In the process, Judge Scheindlin coined a term, “indirect racial profiling,” to explain how the department’s reliance on data indicating that black men committed a disproportionate amount of crime led to what she saw as violations of the Constitution.[...]

The “city’s highest officials,” Judge Scheindlin wrote, “have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘the right people’ is racially discriminatory.”

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