FBI Director calls 'stop and frisk' an important tool when used right


#1

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey told a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday that the police tactic known as “stop and frisk” is an important tool when used right.

Comey told the panel that police who search citizens without stating the reason should explain after the encounter why they decided to do so.

The tactic has been struck down in some courts as a form of racial profiling, but Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for its return.

reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-police-idUSKCN11Y27E?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social


#2

Terry vs. Ohio, 392 US 1, a case decided in 1968 by the Supreme court. Stop and frisk has been a tool which has prevented many crimes, in the specific case, an armed robbery. It must be based on a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime is being committed or about to be committed.

The racial element being alleged now is not a race problem, not a stop and frisk problem, but a criminal culture problem. One look at FBI statistics relating to crimes by race clearly demonstrate a disparity, but that is not the complete picture. Race is not the problem - culture is. The gang/thug culture is responsible for the sharp upturn in violent crime.

Why is black-on-black crime largely ignored? In predominantly white communities, the majority of stop and frisk situations involve whites. Those we never hear about.


#3

Stop and frisk going nationwide would further increase the growing distrust of police. It is hard to explain but such policies create less cooperation from the community. It furthers the narrative that the police are the enemy of law abiding citizens as well.


#4

But should reasonable people believe the narrative? And will the lawless ever abandon the narrative? I think the answer to both is “no”.

If I was stopped and frisked, I wouldn’t find it pleasant, but unless I was carrying an illegal weapon, I would not think it an imposition if the officer had even a remote basis for thinking I was.


#5

What “sharp upturn”? Here are the stats from the FBI:
Today, the FBI released its annual compilation of crimes reported to its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program by law enforcement agencies from around the nation. Crime in the United States, 2015 reveals a 3.9 percent increase in the estimated number of violent crimes and a 2.6 percent decrease in the estimated number of property crimes last year when compared to 2014 data. According to the report, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes committed around the nation. While that was an increase from 2014 figures, the 2015 violent crime total was 0.7 percent lower than the 2011 level and 16.5 percent below the 2006 level.
So there has been an increase, but compared to the general trend of reduction of violent crime, it is not really a “sharp upturn”.

Why is black-on-black crime largely ignored?

I doubt that it is largely ignored. But if it is, what does that say about stop and frisk?

In predominantly white communities, the majority of stop and frisk situations involve whites. Those we never hear about.

Perhaps because it does not happen very often?


#6

It is a false dichotomy to try to categorize everyone into two classes: Those reasonable people who are not stopped very often and the lawless who need to be stopped and frisked.

If I was stopped and frisked, I wouldn’t find it pleasant, but unless I was carrying an illegal weapon, I would not think it an imposition if the officer had even a remote basis for thinking I was.

How about if the officer thought he had a basis for thinking you were carrying an illegal weapon but you did not think he had such a basis? Would you still think it a minor nuisance?


#7

I completely agree. We have enough problems with public/police relationships as it is. Well said.

Mary.


#8

Absolutely.

Opinions are like backsides. Everybody has his own. Frankly, if a cop stopped me for a frisk, I would wonder what I did or what he saw to make him wonder about whether I was carrying a weapon illegally. He’s trained for such things. I’m not. I would probably ask him after it was done. Might learn something I didn’t know.

After 12/31/16, my state will be conceal and carry with no permit required. When that happens, my question would be different, though. What caused him to think I might be a felon or under an ex parte order, or doing something to make him to think I was on the verge of committing an armed criminal action?


#9

I don’t think it is. Any criminal lawyer will tell you that criminals always blame the police when they get charged with something. Nothing will change that. It’s part of being a criminal.

A truly reasonable person will not get all incensed over a stop and frisk if he has done nothing.

But I’ll agree with you that it’s not an absolute dichotomy. There are also the super-sensitive or cop haters who might be reasonable in other ways.


#10

Yes, it is reasonable. If I had a dollar for every negative police interaction recounted by friends, family, and co-workers…

It is at such a point that a state supreme court recently ruled that there is reasonable and not an cause for police to act upon those who flee upon seeing a police officer.

If I was stopped and frisked I would seem it a great imposition as it is essentially a police search possibly based on the weakest of causes that would not meet the requirements for probably cause under other polices.


#11

One might consider moving to another community, or perhaps reconsider one’s selection of friends. Not sure which.

I’ll grant that communities may differ, though. Around here, police/citizen relationships are very good. Criminals, of course, hate the police and accuse them of everything imaginable (usually framing them, putting the drugs in their pockets, planting stolen items on them, and so on) But maybe somewhere police take the trouble to search people for no reason at all, perhaps endangering themselves in the process. Might be it’s like that where you live.


#12

I have never had any trouble despite being pulled over on several occasions. Honesty, politeness, showing my CCW permit, and compliance with lawful orders goes a long way.

If I was stopped and frisked I would seem it a great imposition as it is essentially a police search possibly based on the weakest of causes that would not meet the requirements for probably cause under other polices.

The threshold for Stop & Frisk is not probable cause but reasonable suspicion. This is in compliance with the 4th Amendment which only protects you from unreasonable searches.


#13

What’s the saying when buying a new car? “Your mileage may vary”. You cannot assume that because something works for you it will work for everyone who is equally innocent.

The threshold for Stop & Frisk is not probable cause but reasonable suspicion. This is in compliance with the 4th Amendment which only protects you from unreasonable searches.

The objection to Stop & Frisk was not based on the 4th amendment. So the fact that the 4th amendment doesn’t protect you from it is irrelevant.


#14

One should not have to relocate to avoid negative police interactions.

I’ll grant that communities may differ, though. Around here, police/citizen relationships are very good.

As I said before, “your mileage may vary”.

Criminals, of course, hate the police and accuse them of everything imaginable…

The fact that criminals accuse police does mean that everyone who accuses police is a criminal.


#15

Cooperation significantly raises your odds of a better outcome.

The objection to Stop & Frisk was not based on the 4th amendment. So the fact that the 4th amendment doesn’t protect you from it is irrelevant.

In other words, while specific implementations of the practice were found unconstitutional, it is not inherently unconstitutional. So calling it unconstitutional is a bit disingenuous.


#16

As I just said, just because criminals blame the police does mean that someone who blames the police is a criminal.

A truly reasonable person will not get all incensed over a stop and frisk if he has done nothing.

I think Earl Sampson is probably a truly reasonable person. If you were Earl Sampson, are you quite sure you would not be at all incensed over being stopped and frisked?

But I’ll agree with you that it’s not an absolute dichotomy. There are also the super-sensitive or cop haters who might be reasonable in other ways.

A very uncharitable assumption about a class of people that are stopped more often than most.


#17

That is true. However in some places being black or hispanic significantly lowers them.

In other words, while specific implementations of the practice were found unconstitutional, it is not inherently unconstitutional. So calling it unconstitutional is a bit disingenuous.

Why do you say “In other words” when your words don’t mean anything like mine? It would be more accurate if you said “OK, if you don’t like that reason, there is this totally different reason why stop and frisk is OK”.


#18

I personally haven’t had any negative interactions, but the fact remains that the Los Angeles PD major systematic issues resulting in a number of successful court actions by DOJ, basis groups, and citizens. That said, most officers are not abusive as my anecdotal experience tells me, but the numerous tales in certain areas, the video taped beatings/excessive force, and plain old criminal behaviour in the treatment in jails (federal case pending I believe) show a definite pattern of abuse.

I’ve even seen a few police chases end in which the police kick suspects after they have given up and are laying down with hands spread. As in live with news choppers overhead.

So, while there are many positive or neutral interactions, the possibility of a negative one is real enough. In a nutshell, it seems as if the police attempt to quickly gain control of a situation means escalation, to which many do not respond to very well. Stop and Frisk will lead to hostility and more death in the same way police abuses lead to the 1992 LA riots or the recent shootings leading to riots in various towns.


#19

Do you have any evidence of this apart from isolated incidents?

Why do you say “In other words” when your words don’t mean anything like mine? It would be more accurate if you said “OK, if you don’t like that reason, there is this totally different reason why stop and frisk is OK”.

Until Terry v. Ohio is overturned by SCOTUS, Stop & Frisk is Constitutional. That is all there is to it.


#20

Yes. There are statistics. Let’s look at them closely. They show that non-lethal negative outcomes (putting hands on civilians, which includes slapping or grabbing, or pushing individuals into a wall or onto the ground) are statistically more likely to happen to blacks in the event of a stop & frisk. But the likelihood of being shot by the police is actually less for blacks than for whites. One way of understanding this difference is assuming that police are being extra cautious toward blacks when it comes to lethal force. But that is not the only possible explanation. Another is that whites are not stopped very often unless there really is a probable cause for stopping them. Therefore of the whites that are stopped, the truly bad guys are going to be higher percentage of the total, and therefore be more likely to be shot. I don’t have any statistics to say which of those two explanations is most likely. But we at least know that when it comes to non-lethal bad outcomes, being black lowers your chance for a poorer outcome. Do you need more stats than this, or can I stop here?

Until Terry v. Ohio is overturned by SCOTUS, Stop & Frisk is Constitutional. That is all there is to it.

As you said before, and I agree, some implementations of Stop & Frisk are still constitutional, even though the way it was implemented in New York was not. But the basis of that unconstitutionality was the 14th amendment, and the 2013 ruling saying so was consistent with Terry v. Ohio. So the SCOTUS does not need to overturn Terry v. Ohio for these implementations of Stop & Frisk to be found unconstitutional.


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