Random Frisks: Keeping Us Safe or Keeping Us Down?

You would be hard pressed to find a Black man who hasn't had an experience being stopped and questioned by local police for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since 2009, the New Orleans Police Department has used data gathered on "field interview cards" to document stops that didn't result in arrests. Recently, officers in Charleston, S.C. have responded to a surge in homicides by executing "stop and frisk" in specific neighborhoods. The New York Police Department has stopped and interrogated nearly 320,000 people, mostly Black and Latino men.   Now a state law in the Big Apple prohibits cops from storing the names of those questioned in a police database. Law enforcement officials across the country are taking note, saying this will make fighting crime more difficult, while civil liberty advocates believe spot searches encourage racial profiling and are invasions of privacy. ESSENCE examines this issue to see if this is the right way to ensure the security of our neighborhoods...


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