Depending who you talk to, New York City’s stop and frisk policy is either an important tool to reduce crime, or a racist policy that primarily focuses on young men of color.
On October 15, 2013 Reentry Central posted a Vera Center on Youth Justice Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk: Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implications.
The study found:
For many young people, stops are a familiar and fre¬quent experience and also perceived to be unjustified and unfair. 44 percent of young people surveyed indicated they had been stopped repeatedly—9 times or more.
Less than a third—29 percent—reported ever being informed of the reason for a stop.
Frisks, searches, threats, and use of force are common. 71 percent of young people surveyed reported being frisked at least once, and 64 percent said they had been searched.
45 percent reported encountering an officer who threatened them, and 46 percent said they had experienced physical force at the hands of an officer.
One out of four said they were involved in a stop in which the officer displayed his or her weapon.
Trust in law enforcement and willingness to cooperate with police is alarmingly low.88 percent of young people surveyed believe that residents of their neighborhood do not trust the police.
Only four in 10 respondents said they would be comfortable seeking help from police if in trouble.
Although Manhattan Federal District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that NYC’s stop and frisk policy was unconstitutional, Michael Bloomberg, who was mayor at that time vowed to appeal that decision in court. Now, the New York Times reports that New York’s City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio announced his intention to settle the law suits against stop and frisk in an effort to “end a turbulent chapter in the city’s racial history.”