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Stop-and-frisk law: protection or discrimination?


In 1994 New York's mayor Rudy Giuliani initiated the stop and frisk law. This gave police officers the right to stop, question, and frisk anyone they deem to be reasonably suspicious. In an effort to reduce crime and gun violence on the streets of New York city, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are stopped every year. However, since its implementation, stop and frisk has been used to detain higher numbers of minorities over whites.

In 2012, 532,911 New Yorkers were stopped and about 90% of them were totally innocent. However, more than half of those (55%) that were stopped were black, 32% were Latino and just 10% were white. For years these percentages have pretty much stayed the same and they don't look they'll be changing anytime soon. In the first three quarters of 2013, police stopped 179,063 people; 56% of them were black, 29% were Latino and 11% were white.

Whether or not stop and frisk is racially discriminatory, is it actually doing any good in keeping the streets safe? In 2002 there were just 97,296 stops and 587 homicides were reported. Compared to 2011 where there were 685,724 stops and 532 homicides reported. Though there were fewer reported homicides, the increased number of stops doesn't seem to add up.

What do you think about stop and frisk? Take a look at this infographic for more and let us know in the comments.