In a New York Times op-ed today, Professor Bennett Capers hailed the ruling in Floyd v. City of New York, which asserted that stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities. The NYPD has stopped more than four million individuals since 2004, approximately 84 percent of whom have been black or Hispanic, according to Professor Capers. He dismantled the reasoning behind racially motivated stop-and-frisks, citing sheer numbers – only about 6 of 100 stops result in arrests – and the more subtle ramifications of community distrust. Not that stop-and-frisk should be scrapped, Professor Capers noted – good police work can and must be driven by reasonable suspicion. “Instead, the New York Police Department has watered down the standard so that almost any black or Hispanic male can be deemed suspicious without need for further investigation,” he wrote. “That means me. Now imagine if it meant you, too.”
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