Sky News: Anger Mounts At Stop-And-Frisk Policy

Most people in the south Bronx have an opinion on the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactic.

In the face of mounting public and legal pressure, officers have more than halved the use of it city-wide, from over 500,000 instances in 2012 to nearly 200,000 in 2013.

But this part of New York, just north of Manhattan, still has some of the highest rates of stop and frisk, and in the day we spent there many people told us it had been unfairly and overused.

Young men in particular expressed anger and resentment that they were routinely stopped on the way home from work or school.

They said they felt that sometimes they were being targeted because they dressed or looked a certain way or were walking in the wrong part of town…

Campaigner Robin Steinberg runs the Bronx Defenders, a company that provides criminal defence for those who cannot afford private lawyers, as well as other social services.

She says there is no convincing evidence that stop and frisk reduces crime.

She told Sky News: “If you have a strategy that leads to that much distrust, you have members of the community who no longer call the police when they need police, they don’t want to cooperate with the police when the police need their cooperation, and I would argue that it makes the community less safe not more safe for just that reason.

“I think if stop and frisk were used in a lawful way, a constitutional way and a respectful way, and where race and class and neighbourhood and clothes don’t become a proxy for ‘reasonable suspicion’, which is what it’s become, stop and frisk may be a legitimate policing strategy, but certainly the way it is being conducted, it is not.”

See full article and video clip here.