Groundbreaking news for New York this week as a new mandate requires police officers to hand out receipts to every person they stop and frisk.
According to the NY Daily News, Jenn Borchetta, senior counsel of the plaintiff’s legal team in the federal class action lawsuit that led to the appointment of a monitor over the NYPD, said the receipt program is a “good step” but “doesn’t go far enough.”
The receipts include a blank space where officers input their badge numbers. Her group wants information about the officer already on the card.
There is also nothing connecting the receipt to the specific stop.
This first step to reign in this blatant violation of our 4th Amendment protections comes after extreme criticism to the stop-and-frisk policy which have long raised concerns over civil rights and racial profiling.
The disparity between the number of white versus black or Latino people stopped and frisked is enormous:
So far in 2015, 82% of New Yorkers stopped by police were completely innocent.
The Fourth Amendment requires police have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, or is about to be committed before stopping and frisking, but that hasn’t appeared to stop a recorded 686,000 stops since 2011; a mere 12% of which ended in arrest or summons.
The Supreme Court decreed half a century ago in Terry v. Ohio the standards for stop-and-frisk officers need only “articulable facts” and “rational influences,” two vague and unspecific notions.
Today just ‘looking’ suspicious, having your hands in your pockets or carrying a backpack can be grounds for a police stop.
Technically, you are allowed to question the police officers, though you should keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you.
Police have near immunity from the law should things go south so it’s best to be careful, cautious, and compliant.
But the take away is always be calm and respectful regardless of anyone else’s behavior.
We are all “response able” for our actions meaning we have the ability to choose how we respond to anything that comes at us in life.
Take the high road and be a bigger person.
If you find yourself mistreated it’s best to be wise — and file a civil suit off the streets than risk injury or worse.
I’m a big supporter of taking action to combat injustice — but safely and effectively.
An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
Let’s be the change we want to see in the world and set the example.
Mandating police to issue receipts is a small and perhaps positive step forward. I think we can do a lot better…
Get involved in local police reform campaigns, such as Communities United for Police Reform: http://changethenypd.org/take-action