If you're not familiar with Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., you need to be. He's getting quite vocal about having to deal with stop-frisk problems throughout New York. While people in Manhattan are probably less affected by this technique, many others across the city have to deal with it on a daily basis. The stop-frisk law is very unpopular with a lot of people all over NYC, even in Manhattan.
When stop-frisk goes wrong, it usually goes really wrong - ending up in a lawsuit. According to a story in the New York Post, Vance said that in Manhattan, New York, only a tiny percentage of stops ended with someone actually being arrested. Even more, he noted that some police had lied under oath concerning stop-frisk cases. This is not a positive sign at all.
Vance isn't the only one seeing problems with stop-frisk in New York City. Others have come forward with horror stories of being stopped by police - with or without good cause. And when they're stopped, the stories usually get a lot worse. When you add in police lying under oath, it's not a good situation at all. And the problem is only going to continue getting worse if nothing is done.
For example, what if someone is stopped, frisked and the police find a small bag of green coffee bean extract - which is definitely not illegal. Would they recognize it and know it was legal or would they bring the person down to the station for questioning and so their labs could test it? This is just one example of everything that could go wrong with Stop-Frisk in NYC.
As you may recall, earlier this year in August, Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin handed down a ruling that the police department in New York was stopping minorities in ways that were unconstitutional. This is big news. Someone was appointed to keep close tabs on the NYPD, but some say things are still really bad for a lot of people in New York. And this is why Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. has spoken up repeatedly about the situation.
NYPD spokesman John McCarthy declined to give any comments about Vance to the New York Post, but there's a very good chance they're not happy the DA is not backing them up more. Whether it's political or something else, the sides are being drawn in Manhattan and the rest of NYC as people try to decide where they stand. Stop-frisk is a big issue and will only continue to get bigger, especially if the police continue to pull over a lot of people unnecessarily.
As the holidays approach in the Big Apple, it's going to be interesting to see whether police relax a little bit or double down and intensify their efforts. If they do the latter, there's a good chance the Manhattan DA and others will start to be even more vocal. While Stop-Frisk hasn't affected the Manhattan lifestyle of most (yet), it may in the future if the police continue to grab more and more power.