Friday, November 16, 2012

New York City's "Stop-and-Frisk" Policy

Many foreign students believe that the USA is the "land of freedom" and that this extends to the way the police interact with people.  However, the Mayor of New York City and NY City's Police Chief have established a very controversial policy which many New Yorkers object to.  It is called "stop-and-frisk."

Basically, if a police officer feels that a person might be a criminal, or if the police officer feels the person might be acting suspiciously, he can stop the person and "frisk" him or her.  "Frisking" also goes on at airports where security guards run their hands over a person's body to try to detect any type of weapon.

So the police in NY City have the authority to stop ANYONE at any time and frisk him/her, supposedly if the person looks suspicious.  It is up to the police officer to determine what "suspicious" means.

Here is an article about the "stop-and-frisk" policy.

1)  How do you feel about this policy?  Do you think the police have the right to stop a person just because they think he "might" be a criminal or that he "seems" to be acting suspiciously?

2)  Does this happen in your home country?

3)  Did you know that this occurs in New York City? Does this change your perception of America and its freedoms?

4)  Why do you think the city is doing this?  Do you think this can be an effective way to stop
people from carrying weapons?

5)  An opponent of this policy states that it is wasteful of resources and that the police should be doing something more meaningful.  How do you feel about that?

6)  How would you feel if you were just walking down the street and a police officer demanded that you put your arms against a wall so he could frisk you?

7)  Do you think that this policy helps or hurts the relationship between the police and common people?

8)  Most of the people stopped and frisked are Black and Latino.  Do you think that "stop-and-frisk" is a racist policy?

9)  Only a small number of weapons have been found through this policy.  Is the policy worth all the effort? - over 1,000 people are frisked every day and hardly any weapons are found.

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