So the NYPD spends most of its time illeaglly searching and arresting minorities — Brooklynian

So the NYPD spends most of its time illeaglly searching and arresting minorities

Awesome.

They stopped and frisked 600,000 people last year.

600,000

And:

Even though national studies show young whites between 18 to 25 years old smoke pot more than non-whites that age, almost 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana in the city are black or Latino.

Targeting minorities and netting largely the lowest level drug offenses.

This is what they NYPD does with our time and money? This is keeping us safe?

It gets harder and harder to take the NYPD seriously.

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/apr/26/marijuana-arrests/


Comments

  • Not a lot that you can say other than, "that's fucked up."

    I particularly like this bit -

    "If an officer conducted an improper search, he is instructed on how to do it properly; unless it was particularly egregious in which case he would face more severe disciplinary action," said Browne.

    So, violate someones constitutional rights and you get... well, nothing other than one-on-one instruction... although I'm curious to know what make one illegal search "eh, not so bad," and another "particularly egregious." If you're searching someone without cause, you're searching someone without cause. If you're sticking your hands in someones pocket without feeling something that could be a weapon, well, guess what? There's no fucking gray area there. They're all egregious.

  • If the NYPD actually followed the law and didn't do this sh-t, think about all the free time they'd have to pursue actual crime.

    Such as moms on bicycles with tote bags on the handlebars.

  • From the WNYC coverage of the stop and frisk issue:

    “But the police say they’re getting results. They claim cracking down on low-level offenses like marijuana reduces violent crime. Rivera’s precinct saw murder drop 85 percent in the last 20 years, and it has one of the highest marijuana arrest rates in the city.”

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/apr/26/marijuana-arrests/

    OK. So compared to 1990 or 1991, there are many fewer murders today. That is good! Note, however, that twenty years ago was the peak number of murders in NYC. It was also during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. These people in the current WNYC article are being arrested for marijuana. And the numbers of stop and frisk increased only these last few years.

    Why isn’t the comparison to before and after the increase in the number of stop and frisks? (If the goal to determine its effectiveness?) Is it because that would not support their claim?

    Stop and frisks: In 2002, the police citywide documented 97,000 of these stops; [in 2009] the department registered a record: 580,000. [Since broken by 2010’s “over 600,000.”]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/nyregion/12frisk.html

    (By the way, 2002 is the year Ray Kelly started this his current stint as the Commissioner.)

    The murder rate: For ten years the NYC murder rate has been relatively stable (at historic lows). It was 587 in 2002 and it was 534 in 2010. But in 1990 and 1991 it was 2245 and 2154, respectively. (Tho’ seeing as how they are obviously looking for dramatic numbers it was probably the higher one they used?).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_New_York_City_crimes_and_disasters

    I am not a statistician but I can not see the correlation. Are they saying that the murder rate would have been higher if not for the stop and frisks? Then it is doubly effective, because it also keeps elephants off the streets. (You don’t see any, do you?) (Old joke)

  • This bears repeating: The United States Supreme Court has held that in order for police officers to stop someone, they must be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of a crime. To frisk them, they must have a reasonable belief that the person is armed and dangerous.

    This reasonable suspicion must be based on "specific and articulable facts" and not merely upon an officer's hunch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_v._Ohio

    Chief Justice Warren noted:

    "In this case, for example, the Ohio Court of Appeals stated that 'we must be careful to distinguish that the "frisk" authorized herein includes only a "frisk" for a dangerous weapon. It by no means authorizes a search for contraband, evidentiary material, or anything else in the absence of reasonable grounds to arrest. Such a search is controlled by the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, and probable cause is essential.' " (392 U.S. 1, at 16, Fn 12, quoting State v. Terry, 5 Ohio App. 2d 122, at 130)

    (ibid.)

  • More NYPD goodies:

    http://gothamist.com/2011/04/27/cop_beats_handcuffed_perp_avoids_ja.php

    Cop Beats Handcuffed Perp, Avoids Jail

    You can repeatedly punch a handcuffed man in the face and not do any jail time if you're an NYPD officer, a judge essentially ruled yesterday when he declined to sentence ex-cop John Cicero to jail. Cicero, you may recall, was caught on video last year beating a handcuffed man during a roundup at a Bronx housing project. The incident happened after undercover narcotics cops were hit by bullet fragments fired by a colleague at a pit bull. Cicero admitted to repeatedly slamming Jonathan Baez's head into the ground because Baez reportedly told him it should have been Cicero, not the dog, who should have been shot and killed.

    more:

    http://gothamist.com/2011/04/27/cop_beats_handcuffed_perp_avoids_ja.php

  • Sandcastle-

    Couldn't the police simply state that they were searching for a weapon, and not contraband?

    Are their circumstances in which one can be legally searched for a weapon, the police find no weapon, but do find contraband that is admissible? If there are not, why haven't the cases been thrown out as a result?

    I think the law must be blurry on this subject.

  • Frisk = pat down, strictly outside of the clothing

    Search = police inside the pockets

    Police can only search if a frisk (strictly outside the clothing) yields a hard object that could be a weapon. If police were to frisk you and feel a bag of weed, they still could not legally stick their hands in to or under your clothing.

  • whynot_31 said:[...] why haven't the cases been thrown out as a result?

    Evidence that is obtained illegally is not admissable in court. But that defense has to be made to the court. Lawyers are expensive. The public defender programs are overloaded.

    Interestingly, your question is partially addressed in the second part of the WNYC series.http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/apr/27/alleged-illegal-searches/

  • I suspect this is also largely a matter in which people serving their sentence before you entering a guilty plea.

    step 1.I get stopped by a cop.

    step 2.Either because I don't know my rights, or because I don't in actuality have a choice in the matter, I am searched (not frisked) [using whyfi's definitions]

    step 3.They find ganja, and take me to the station, then central booking, then detention.

    step 4.48 hours (or thereabout) elapses. I am fed a bologna sandwich every 8 hours, and must poop on a toilet that has no stall. It is merely in the corner of my 60 person holding cell.

    step 5.I am given a legal aid atty, who I inform "I wanna go home". S/he informs me that this will mean pleading guilty to a violation

    (is simple weed possession a violation, or a misdemeanor?)

    step 6.I plead guilty and am told to "go home" by the judge.

    Assuming this is a violation, I can repeat this cycle endlessly. Assuming this is a misdemeanor, I probably end up spending 60 days in jail after a bunch of arrests because the judge starts to get frustrated with my inability to avoid the police when I have weed on me.

    Am I right? ...if so, we have a situation in which there are no resources to defend the weed smoker AND said weed smoker is probably not interested in taking his case to court even if there were resources.

    Note: I am not claiming any of it makes any sense, and it might be a violation of the unreasonable search rules, but I'm just trying to see if we all agree on the context that this is occurring.

  • Yes, that is a plausible scenario for larger amounts, but I feel like the dialogue needs to be a little punchier. Can you work something up? (j/k!)

    It is just a summons for lowest level violations. Simple possession (in pocket, less than an ounce) is a $100 civil citation for first offense.http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4554

  • So, as per NORML, the first two times I get caught with weed, I can't be arrested ON THAT CHARGE?

    It is only on the third offense that I am actually arrested, and get to have the above adventure? ...and there are 50,377 people who have already been fined twice and then get caught again?

    Are we sure it isn't the same 1000 people being arrested 50x each for weed?

    Of the 60,000 searches each year, do we know how many of them are done over and over on the hapless guy who gets off work at 2 AM?

  • If the officer asks you to empty your pockets and you pull out some weed, then it is in public view and you can be given the elevated charge with the 3 months penalty. So remember to say, “I do not consent to this search” and keep it in your pocket.

    I do not have the stats you are asking for. Can you google them?

    The problem is not just with those that are given a summons or arrested based on illegal search but also those who are stopped, frisked, and not charged with anything. Literally hundreds of thousands of people are affected. This is the database issue that a NYCLU class-action lawsuit is about.

    “Since 2004, the NYPD has stopped and interrogated people nearly 3 million times, and the names and addresses of those stopped have been entered into the department's database, regardless of whether the person had done anything wrong. Last year, NYPD officers stopped and questioned or frisked more than 575,000 people, the most ever. Nearly nine out of 10 of those stopped and questioned by police last year were neither arrested nor issued a summons. And more than 80 percent were black or Latino.”

    http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/nyclu-class-action-lawsuit-challenges-nypd-stop-and-frisk-practice-keeping-innocent-n

    There is another class action lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is about the disproportionate percentage of stop and frisks that Black and Hispanic individuals have been subjected to.

    http://ccrjustice.org/racial-disparity-nypd-stops-and-frisks

    The whole thing is a hot mess! Does Ray Kelly use the Bill of Rights as a dartboard in his secret bunker, or what?

  • A very accurate indictment of "law" and "justice" in this country.

    * * applauds solemnly * *

    whynot_31 said:I suspect this is also largely a matter in which people serving their sentence before you entering a guilty plea.

    step 1.I get stopped by a cop.

    step 2.Either because I don't know my rights, or because I don't in actuality have a choice in the matter, I am searched (not frisked) [using whyfi's definitions]

    step 3.They find ganja, and take me to the station, then central booking, then detention.

    step 4.48 hours (or thereabout) elapses. I am fed a bologna sandwich every 8 hours, and must poop on a toilet that has no stall. It is merely in the corner of my 60 person holding cell.

    step 5.I am given a legal aid atty, who I inform "I wanna go home". S/he informs me that this will mean pleading guilty to a violation

    (is simple weed possession a violation, or a misdemeanor?)

    step 6.I plead guilty and am told to "go home" by the judge.

    Assuming this is a violation, I can repeat this cycle endlessly. Assuming this is a misdemeanor, I probably end up spending 60 days in jail after a bunch of arrests because the judge starts to get frustrated with my inability to avoid the police when I have weed on me.

    Am I right? ...if so, we have a situation in which there are no resources to defend the weed smoker AND said weed smoker is probably not interested in taking his case to court even if there were resources.

    Note: I am not claiming any of it makes any sense, and it might be a violation of the unreasonable search rules, but I'm just trying to see if we all agree on the context that this is occurring.

This discussion has been closed.