The New York City Police Department is requiring NYPD officers who stop and frisk people on the street to provide an explanation for their actions.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The New York Police Department is changing stop and frisk forms to include a new field called “Reason for Force Used.” This addition will require NYPD officers who stop and frisk people to give an explanation for their actions. New York civil rights violation lawyer David Perecman supports this move.
“There is a need for more accountability, oversight and reform in the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk, and every improvement helps,” said Perecman.
According to the New York Daily News, the field allows police officers to check off a box of six options: suspect reaching for suspected weapon, suspect flight, defense of self, defense of other and overcome resistance. An “other” box gives police room to provide a more detailed reason.
Police made the change after reviewing the results of a study performed by the Rand Corp. The study was designed to evaluate how officers stop, question and frisk people.
Apparently, officers needed to better explain stops. While the study said “whites and minorities have a roughly equal chance of being stopped by police,” there have been statistics that say otherwise.
In 2009 in New York City, 576,394 people were stopped, 87 percent were African-Americans and Latino – although they comprise only about 53 percent of New York City’s total population. African-Americans were the subjects of 55 percent of the stops and Latinos made up 32 percent of stops.
“Stop and frisk searches may reduce crime, but officers must have
a valid reason for suspicion before they conduct a stop or search of someone’s
property or person in New York,” Perecman said. “Racial discrimination,
ethnic discrimination or discrimination of any kind creates a divided
New York State law allows a police officer to stop, question and frisk a person he or she reasonably suspects has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.
“This means that no one should be treated differently or put under suspicion because of his or her race or ethnic origin. Civil rights violations are taken seriously in New York,” civil rights violation lawyer Perecman explained.
Stop and frisk practices are among the most controversial police procedures. The use of this practice has led to many accusations of civil rights violations, including racial profiling and privacy rights.