Stopping and frisking has become a major issue around the world. It affects thousands of people as well. It is defined as a situation in which a police officer who is suspicious of an individual detains the person and runs his hands lightly over the suspect’s outer garments to determine if the person is carrying a concealed weapon. This procedure usually takes place in order to stop a crime from occurring. On the other hand, many find the technique to be inappropriate and just down right wrong. Several have different opinions about the stopping and frisking process. Many individuals have different views on the whole stopping and frisking technique.
Dennis C. Smith, who is a professor of public policy at New York University and was a paid consultant for the New York Police Department in litigation involving stop and frisk, believes that stopping and frisking has decreased crime rates in New York City. He also thinks that it is more helpful for the Hispanic and black communities since they are “disproportionately” victims and criminals of violent delinquency. I agree and disagree with his point of view. I do believe that the crime rates in NYC have decreased but what I don’t agree on is that it’s all the blacks and Hispanics fault that have to do with it. I don’t think it has to do with simply just those two races. I consider it to be with any kind of race, whether you are black, Hispanic, Native American, white, etc. There have been many crimes that have to deal with different races not just with the African Americans and Hispanics.
Another individual with a different view of this matter is Heather MacDonald, who is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an author. She explains how although it may be embarrassing to be stopped and frisked when you are in fact innocent; she finds it to be beneficial for many communities in the New York City area. Just like Dennis Smith, she too states that the crime rates in New York City have reduced since this technique was pursued. I support her opinion. Who wouldn’t feel humiliated being stopped and frisked knowing you are innocent? On the other hand if you in fact are innocent, then you should have nothing to worry about. But I also feel that police should give a thorough explanation on why it is taking place as well. Paul Butler is another individual with an opposing view on this topic. He is a law professor and a former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor. Paul clarifies that stopping and frisking is not an effective policy.
He says instead of it being helpful with the law enforcement, that it may encourage major crimes since many get irritated when they are stopped and know that they are not doing anything wrong or trying to harm anyone. I see where he is coming from since he stated that he was a victim of racial profiling, but I don’t think it would increase crime rates. Sure it may get annoying being stopped and frisked but like I said before, if you are not guilty of anything then you should have nothing to worry about. You just have to cooperate with the law. Overall, I believe that stopping and frisking has its good and bad views. I am personally stuck in the middle on whether this technique is a good or bad thing. Many have different views on this subject as well. I believe this topic is going to keep being a major issue unless there is another form to handle it.