The Truth About Stop And Frisk

Photo by Reuters via

Train passengers walk through a train station have police and dog watch.
(Photo by Reuters via

By Sushmita Jitlall

Stop and Frisk, the name says it all. According to, this policy involves stopping someone based on “Reasonable suspicions” and if necessary, frisking them. From it’s creation, this specific policy has caused many people to voice their strong opinions and as time went on it became one of the most controversial policies regarding how it is used.

Some consider this policy to be an invasion of personal space and natural rights; however, others see it as just a precaution in order to improve safety measures. The Stop and Frisk Policy has caused much controversy especially in New York because of the way police officers handle the situation when it involves racial profiling. The policy in itself is effective when executed properly, but that is usually not the case.

Subway stations in New York City is a place where I frequently witness this happening to teenage boys who are being questioned and searched against a wall, by police officers. It is full of resentment and cursing, from both parties, portraying the hostility of the way this policy is carried out.

In a country that was founded on “Natural Rights” and strives to protect it, there are many rules and regulations that take those rights away from the people, the stop and frisk policy border lining this assertion.

The Stop and frisk policy comes with good intentions and it’s purpose is to protect, but the way some police officers use it is contradictory. Police officers are supposed to “Serve and protect” which to an extent they do, but the means by which they act regarding it can be considered unjust, such as using abusive language and being rough with those they approach.

In order for something to work, it must be done in a certain manner, which will ensure full success. Stop and Frisk aims at preventing more crimes from happening but is not truly successful when the public doesn’t feel much safer with it in place.

As posted on the nydailynews website “The bottom line is stop-and-frisk is supposed to be a tool used with precision, not a net cast crudely and widely.”

Doing something for the benefit of the people is what this policy set out to do, but overall, it isn’t having the designated effect on the public, which raises questions. How does the Stop and Frisk policy actually set out to achieve its goal of lowering the crime rate?


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