In a ruling on Monday August 12, NY Supreme Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, ruled that NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy was being implemented in manner that infringed on people’s right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures and that all warrants must be accompanied by judicially recognized probable cause. The judge commented the procedure contributed to a “policy of indirect racial profiling (where) blacks and Hispanic would not have been stopped if they were white.” Citing the statements of NY mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly, the judge said in her 195 page brief, “I also conclude that the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner.”
The judge didn’t order the practice stopped however, instead she seems to have slipped through the net of culpability for these system failures by ordering two insignificant measures. She ordered police in five precincts to wear body cameras to record stops and called for the development of a “joint remedial process” which would allow community members to voice their recommendations about the tactics.
In over-the-top fake outrage at the decision, Bloomberg and Kelly whined about not getting a “fair trial” and that they would appeal the decision. While the judge imposed no oversight committee or halt to the procedure, Bloomberg’s fake outrage at police having to wear a camera was completely unfounded. One might start to wonder about the lack of “teeth” this ruling really has.
First, the ruling states that the practice can continue. Second, there may be some community meetings and third, police will have to wear cameras. This is hardly a win for those who seek to have their Constitutional rights protected.
This is just the sort of thing which makes some question the future of America and the police state we live under. When around 2.2 million people reside in prisons, many for minor drug possession offenses, a policy like this shows you how they get their numbers. The for-profit prison business in America is a major factor in the decline of the country, not the hypothetical threat of criminals walking around with guns waiting to do harm. Statistics showed that around 90% of the stops resulted in no charges or arrests. The policy has only proven to be an harassment technique, not one that deters or stops crime.