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Thread: Judge rejects NY's argument that the illegal stop and frisk was an isolated incident

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran Verd's Avatar
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    Judge rejects NY's argument that the illegal stop and frisk was an isolated incident

    partly because there were 601,055 "isolated incidents" in 2010 alone.

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2012/01...ts-a-year.aspx


    Between the various programs, including the street stop-and-frisk program that's been the source of constant tension, the fact is that New York City has become a constitution-free zone when it comes to detaining and frisking people. And the statistics make is overwhelmingly clear that the people being frisked are not only people of color, but innocent of any wrongdoing. Despite being roundly criticized, it continues and the City continues to defend the practice of ignoring the rights of its residents to walk, ride or breath without being molested for no reason under the sun.

    This time, the City argued against the action by claiming that the defendants' frisks were isolated incidents. Judge Berman rejected the argument, not because he concluded otherwise but because the plaintiffs alleged the incidents to be routine, making their claim sufficient to overcome the rhetoric. Yet, given the numbers involved, and the fact that its been so well documented that there can be no reasonable question that the police use any excuse, or none, to stop and frisk at will, and that more than 90% of those frisked come up clean, and just walk away, it would be awfully nice if someone finally concluded that this is happening.
    I get so tired of the "isolated incident" argument about cops.
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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    IIRC Rudy instituted, or reinstituted, the stop and frisk policy to combat rampant violence. And it worked. Street thugs learned real quick that they were going to get caught with an illegal gun, so they stopped carrying them. Sounds like it's time to reevaluate or curb the policy since it's used more often than on the prison yard. Freedom isn't free...
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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    That isn't "Freedom". That is nothing more than the old Nazi trick demanding "Papers!"
    That was sorta my point, I guess I didn't make it obvious. I guess brevity and sarcasm don't work well together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    That was sorta my point, I guess I didn't make it obvious. I guess brevity and sarcasm don't work well together.
    Tone is difficult to transmit in the medium of the Internet. Using "smilies" or emoticons or various emotional tags helps a lot.

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    Why would anyone expect otherwise than that police would make numerous seizures (stops) and searches (frisks) on slim or no evidence?

    The point of the Fourth Amendment which often is not grasped by zealous officers is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate, instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime. US vs Johnson 333 US 10 pg. 13-14

    Justice Douglas warned in his dissent in Terry v Ohio: "To give the police greater power than a magistrate is to take a long step down the totalitarian path."

    Justice Douglas also quoted Henry vs US:

    The requirement of probable cause has roots that are deep in our history. The general warrant, in which the name of the person to be arrested was left blank, and the writs of assistance, against which James Otis inveighed, both perpetuated the oppressive practice of allowing the police to arrest and search on suspicion. Police control took the place of judicial control, since no showing of "probable cause" before a magistrate was required.



    Remove the oversight, and of course you are going to have abuses. Add, then, since relief only comes by way of the Exclusionary Rule, or expensive and time-consuming federal litigation, you practically guarantee abuses will become entrenched. Abuses are free to grow until so numerous that irrefutable documentation stacks up and somebody with deep enough pockets can afford to take it to court.

    So, cops seize and search people on little or no basis? No surprise there.

  6. #6
    Regular Member sawah's Avatar
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    I wonder what really drives a LEO to arrest or not.

    Paperwork excessive?
    Driving the other direction - ignoring a blatant traffic offense
    Bad mood?
    Met quota already?
    Hungry?
    Perp is pretty female?
    Perp is not a pretty female? (think about it, lol)?
    Perp looks too scary? (horde of Hell's Angels)?
    Perp is another LEO?
    Perp reminds him/her of someone they hate?
    Profiling?
    Perp looks like a pushover?

    I get the feeling that the 'crime' is quite far down the list.
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  7. #7
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    If you remember the NYC cop that was caught planting MJ on a person...He said it was all about the number of arrests per day that were required to justify the position (of the LEO)

    If the officers are graded the number of contacts and arrests they make in a period of time you can expect that type of activity by the individual LEO that wants to move up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    There was an article in the local paper about this town's police chief wanting his officers to institute two self-initiated contacts per 12 hour shift. (This has been his directive for over a year now.)

    No probable cause, no reasonable suspicion, NADA. These can be traffic stops, pedestrian patrols, etc.

    As a result of this directive, ticket counts, including warnings, are way up. Many of these ARE just warnings but it is the idea of "random stops" on a "just because" basis that bugs the "H" out of me.

    How about you?
    First, lets clear up our terminology. A contact and a stop are not the same thing. A stop is a seizure--Terry Stop, stop, detention, detainment. A consensual encounter--consensual on the citizen's part--would be a contact. I imagine a stop would also be a contact; but, I don't know whether police use the word contact to differentiate from a stop.

    Now, a truly "random stop" on a "just because" basis would not only annoy the hell out of me, but, depending on what happened might have me seeking redress in court. Terry v Ohio lays out the basics of a stop and the need for RAS, which takes it out of the realm of random and just because.

    An random investigatory consensual encounter on a "just because" basis would also annoy me, especially if it was about my personal defense handgun. My policy is that every single investigatory police encounter about my gun results in a written formal complaint at a minimum. Because 1) such an encounter automatically says the government agent (cop) considers an enumerated right is suspicious, which is completely intolerable, and 2) the cop can always observe from a distance. And, 3) since cops seem to have a knack for screwing up even consensual encounters, there is a good chance I would have fodder for a formal complaint anyway. Thus, I'm not adding much by my personal policy of always making a formal written complaint at a minimum for even a consensual investigatory encounter.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-30-2012 at 12:56 AM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    The premise lives. A consensual encounter is only consensual in the eyes of the law. consensual

    If you do not consent, if you do not acknowledge, it is not consensual if the LEO persists. Therefore....

    LEO: ....excuse me Sir, do you mind if I have a word with you in private?
    OCer: ....yes, officer, I do mind, I am otherwise engaged. Thank you for your service, have a good day and be safe.
    LEO: ....(thinking what to do next)
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The premise lives. A consensual encounter is only consensual in the eyes of the law. consensual

    If you do not consent, if you do not acknowledge, it is not consensual if the LEO persists. Therefore....

    LEO: ....excuse me Sir, do you mind if I have a word with you in private?
    OCer: ....yes, officer, I do mind, I am otherwise engaged. Thank you for your service, have a good day and be safe.
    LEO: ....(thinking what to do next)
    I was getting out of my car after parking on the street just as two officers in a cruiser drove by, saw my holstered pistol, u-turned and stopped in the traffic lane to "make contact". Actually one of them lightly put his hand on my strong side arm.

    Rapid fire questions ensue: Got ID for me? Why you carrying a gun? Where you headed?

    My response to the lot of them was simply, "Am I free to go?". They quickly conference and then begrudgingly agree to "allow" me to leave.

    I come back 30 minutes later and there's a ticket on my windshield for parking too far from the curb.

    It's that vindictive behavior, being anything but isolated, that gets my goat. Never in a million years would they have stooped to parking nazi status if A: My pistol hadn't grabbed their attention and, B: If I had shown my papers and then politely participated in the ensuing interview. And those interviews so often and so quickly stray into irrelevance that I just won't even start them anymore.
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith45acp View Post
    SNIP I come back 30 minutes later and there's a ticket on my windshield for parking too far from the curb.
    Another bitter citizen thoughtfully created by police seeking better community relations.

  12. #12
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Another bitter citizen thoughtfully created by police seeking better community relations.
    Better community relations through tough law enforcement.

    Ole Navy saying: "Liberty is secured until moral improves!"
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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