Target: Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan
Goal: Thank federal judge for ruling that the New York Police can no longer stop and frisk individuals without reasonable suspicion
Until recently, the New York Police Department regularly used “stop and frisk tactics” to reduce the crime rate in the Bronx. Stop and frisk tactics involve stopping and searching people outside of private buildings that are suspected of trespassing. The police claim that these tactics are a big contributor to the reduced crime rate in the area. However, a federal judge ruled that these tactics were unconstitutional since many searchings seem to be racially motivated and without reasonable suspicion. Thank the judge for halting this racially motivated and unconstitutional police practice.
The stop and frisk program was partially inspired by business and homeowners who enrolled in the Trespass Affidavit Program in the Bronx. The several thousand property owners enrolled in the program requested the police parole their neighborhoods and arrest any trespassers that they find. Instead of simply patrolling the area, however, the police were regularly stopping and searching people outside of private properties without having reasonable suspicion that they had been trespassing.
These searches brought about three lawsuits, one of which accused the police of stopping thousands of people a year based solely on their race. Jude Scheindlin reviewed the evidence, and ordered the police to stop detaining people unless they had lawful and reasonable suspicion. The judge ruled that entering and leaving a building, moving fugitively, and coming and going at odd hours were not enough to warrant reasonable suspicion. The police often cited “moving fugitively” as the reason for their searches. The decision by Judge Scheindlin was motivated, in part, by the fact that a large portion of the people stopped were indeed guests of the homeowners.
The police department has been ordered to change its ways, and to alter its training to correctly teach officers how to conduct lawful stops. Sign the petition below, and thank Judge Scheindlin for putting an end to this unlawful police practice.
Dear Judge Scheindlin,
Thank you for stopping the unlawful stop and frisk tactics used by the New York Police Department in the Bronx. Even though many property owners did enroll in the Trespass Affidavit Program, they did not ask for their friends and family to be detained outside of their homes and businesses. It is important that police use discretion when stopping and searching individuals.
The evidence you reviewed indicated that many of the people stopped were guests of the property owners. These people were clearly on trespassing, and had a right to be there. In the police reports, many officers listed “fugitive movement” as the cause of their suspicion. Stopping someone due to fugitive movement is inadequate and does not constitute reasonable suspicion. Thank you for protecting the people of the Bronx, and halting this unconstitutional police practice.
[Your Name Here]
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