Thursday, May 23, 2013

New York Judge Expresses Skepticism on Stop-and-Frisk

Judge Scheindlin expressed skepticism about the efficacy of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, noting that almost 90% of the stops did not find evidence of criminality. Since such such stops are based on reasonable suspicion, one would expect a lower error rate. If the stops so rarely find the criminal activity, suspected,, justifying the stop, are they reasonable? An additional problem for the judge is ruling on the justification not of a single stop, but thousands. After two months of testimony, the ongoing program may be on shaky ground.
Joseph Goldstein, in The New York Times:
Observing that only about 12 percent of police stops resulted in an arrest or summons, Judge Scheindlin, who is hearing the case without a jury, focused her remarks on Monday on the other 88 percent of stops, in which the police did not find evidence of criminality after a stop. She characterized that as “a high error rate” and remarked to a lawyer representing the city, “You reasonably suspect something and you’re wrong 90 percent of the time.”