Judge Shira A. Schneindlin ruled today on what every person of color in New York City has known since 2004, stop and frisk is racial profiling aka walking while black, brownish, tannish. This is a massive win for the civil rights community but I do wish that the focus of the judge’s ruling had been on the fact of an unlawful search rather than racial profiling. What this will do is remove the overt racial aspect of the practice, possibly by mixing in more searches of more White people. Regardless, the search practice itself, regardless of race, is highly questionable/obviously illegal since it allows officers to stop persons for no reason and search them, also for no reason.
This is Brown Shirt stuff at its finest and a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. So, while I’m glad it’s been ruled illegal, I’m not glad that the reason it was ruled illegal is because it was being done to minorities via profiling. No offense to anyone but that is completely secondary to me. The 4th Amendment should be acknowledged regardless of race. That should be the reason ‘stop and frisk’ is illegal, not because only a certain segment of the population is being exposed to it. Essentially, the judge’s ruling seems to be “violate everyone’s rights equally or you have to stop violating rights.” Well done, Judge. Way to stick it them. Have we slipped so far down the drone, wiretapping, killing of US citizens hole that now we have to find “social reasons” to rule gestapo tactics are illegal and immoral?
Some of us remember how this started though. Some of us remember how the NYPD got carte blanche back in 2001 to search pretty much anyone anytime they wanted no matter the reason because of the September 11th attacks. It worked so well for finding a reason to search someone that they kept using it under the auspices of national security and New Yorkers, being the independent thinkers we know they are, allowed them to keep doing it “to keep them safe.”
To all the pro-fascism elements out there though, it’s not too late. Watertown, MA was under complete martial law for an entire day after the boston bombing and no one cared at all, despite the abuses and house to house searches. But I guess that’s okay as long as you don’t profile…