In July of 2012, two New York State Appellate Courts threw out searches related to stop and frisk situations by the police. The searches resulted in the police finding loaded guns. However, the Courts held, just because teenagers are nervous in high crime areas this is not a sufficient basis for the police to stop and frisk them. In each of these cases, the guns were suppressed and could not be admitted into evidence by the prosecutors.
New York City Police Departments Utilization Of Stop And Frisk Tactics
There is a debate going on in New York City. This debate deals with the propriety of stop and frisk techniques used by New York City police officers in high crime areas. This year, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has taken the position stop and frisk procedures are an effective means of reducing crime and prosecuting criminals. A New York Daily News editorial stated “the courts are going to get people killed. Judges are risking New Yorker’s lives by barring police from taking even the most reasonable actions to prevent crime.”
In the past, courts have deferred to police officers with regard to dangerous street situations. The courts in New York are now taking a more active role in setting standards as to when police officers can intrude into the personal lives of New Yorkers by stopping them and frisking them for weapons.
Defense attorneys today are arguing more often the propriety of searches related to a stop and frisk situations violates the individual’s rights to unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and also violates New York State law.