Dy’er Sez: Although the police departments involved claim that this is an excellent crime deterrent and cite the legality of these searches based on a 1968 Supreme Court ruling which came up with the idea of ‘reasonable suspicion’ as a way to allow cops to question or search you without probable cause, carefully read the next paragraph:
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
These searches are illegal. Period. End of story.
Story from the AP:
Police stop more than 1 million people on street
By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK – A teenager trying to get into his apartment after school is confronted by police. A man leaving his workplace chooses a different route back home to avoid officers who roam a particular street. These and hundreds of thousands of other Americans in big cities have been stopped on the street by police using a law-enforcement practice called stop-and-frisk that alarms civil libertarians but is credited by authorities with helping reduce crime.
Police in major U.S. cities stop and question more than a million people each year — a sharply higher number than just a few years ago. Most are black and Hispanic men. Many are frisked, and nearly all are innocent of any crime, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press.
- Letters: Police Actions: Stop-and-Frisk, Unfair Ticketing (nytimes.com)
- More on NYC’s Zealous Embrace of Stop-and-Frisk (themoderatevoice.com)
- Stop & Frisk: Where’s the Outrage? (themoderatevoice.com)