Target: The United States Department of Justice
Goal: To start a federal investigation of New York’s discriminatory “stop and frisk” policy.
The New York Police Department currently uses the tactic of “stop and frisk” searches in order to arrest people carrying illegal goods. A “stop and frisk” search allows a police officer to search virtually anybody who they believe to be carrying a weapon. Often, these searches will result in officers asking the stopped individuals to turn out their pockets, exposing small quantities of drugs and creating a situation where the officer can arrest the stopped person.
The stop and frisk program in New York is not a minor problem, and does not appear to be slowing down soon. In 2011, 685,724 individuals were subjected to stop and frisk searches in New York City; of those stopped, 88% were not charged with any crime.
Regardless of the morality or constitutionality of legally allowing police to institutionalize warrantless stops, this law has been applied in a discriminatory manner. A majority of those stopped during stop and frisk searches were younger male minorities, despite the fact that they are nowhere near a majority of the population. Only 9% of the individuals stopped and frisked during the year of 2011 were white.
It is the Federal Department of Justice’s job to ensure that the laws of the states are applied in a non-discriminatory manner. The NYPD stop and frisk statistics demonstrate a clear and unfair bias against minority citizens in the application of the stop and frisk law. Sign this petition to demand that the Department of Justice begin a full investigation into the unequal application of the New York stop and frisk policy, as well as to determine what actions should be taken to remedy this inequality.
Dear Department of Justice,
The New York Police department currently has a massive “stop and frisk” program, which may be being applied inequitably. Under stop and frisk laws, individuals can be stopped without significant cause and searched for potential weapons. Unfortunately, while this law is not inherently biased, it seems to disproportionately target minorities.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of American citizens are stopped by the NYPD thought he justification of stop and frisk laws. This law is clearly being over applied, proven by the fact that 88% of those stopped in 2011 were deemed completely innocent of a criminal act. Not only are innocent people being stopped in alarming frequency, but these people are disproportionately minorities – Only 9% of the people stopped and frisked were white.
I, as well as everybody else to sign this petition, implore you at the DOJ to begin a complete investigation into the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk policy. The statistics reported by the NYPD show a clear bias against minority citizens of New York, leading to massively disproportionate numbers of minorities stopped by the NYPD. It is your job to ensure that state laws are not discriminating against minorities, thus it is your duty to investigate the NYPD’s potential discrimination in applying its stop and frisk policy.
[Your Name Here]