Stop and Frisk: Bringing Safety or Revealing Broken Police System?



By Yaribel Genao

Between 2002 and 2011, according to the New York Civil Rights Union, African Americans and Latinos have been stopped over 4 million times and they made up 90 percent of people stopped by police officers. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so.

First of all, it is a ridiculous idea that police officers are able to stop a person that is walking normally. There are many people out there carrying dangerous items, such as, knives, marijuana, and weapons-which are carried now by any people, since our gun possession laws almost allow anybody to have one, but they never get stopped.

Most of the people getting stopped are innocent, why?

The police system is just broken. There are policies such as Stop and Frisk that are not helping. There are gangs in neighborhoods, people getting their cell phones robbed, young men on bicycles on the sidewalks, and people getting assaulted on the trains. These are the type of things that the police needs to focus on, instead of doing stupid things like stopping people on the streets.

I remember one night coming from Downtown, on the D train. I was going home from watching “Fast and Furious” that came out that day. Unfortunately, my friends stayed on stops before Kingsbridge where I live, so I was completely alone at 12:30pm.

When I got out of the train, there was a young man-with a hoodie, he was about 5’9 in height, following me, and I was changing the song on my iPod when I realized that he was behind me, so I tried to walk faster. I think he wanted to take my iPod or something since I was alone. The D train stop at Kingsbridge was under construction and there were no MTA workers during the night, surely because of the MTA cuts, there are no police officers there either. My brother was waiting for me outside the train stop so I ran to him, the young man did not run but he started to walk faster as I ran looking back, when he saw that my brother was there, he crossed the street.

Stop and Frisk on the streets. Photo by Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Stop and Frisk on the streets. Photo by Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

This is something that the police should focus on; during the night when people come from work., Where is the safety when we really need it? Oh they are looking for people to stop for no reason, while criminals and robbers are doing their thing.

My sister works at McDonalds at 42nd street. She was coming home when an African American boy was looking at her phone. She told me she was nervous when she got out of the train and the guy tried to take her phone and run, thanks to two men that were there and stopped the boy nothing happened to my sister. Again, where was the police?

This is a serious topic that not only the New York authorities have to pay attention, but also all the states that Stop and Frisk has been performed.

Stop and Frisk is simply the fact that innocent people are getting stop, but also it is preventing police officers from doing more useful things. Americans safety should be the first priority for the police instead of the people that are out there getting stopped for no reason.

It is time for Americans to stand up, and make authorities change their policy on stop and frisk, so we can get more safety and fewer injustices.


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