I was both shocked and horrified to watch this video about the controversial “Stop and Frisk” policies in New York City. Innocent citizens are regularly stopped, questioned, searched, and harassed by cops who are under pressure from their superiors to fill unofficial quotas. Officers who do not get with the program face demotions, hazardous duty, and negative performance reviews. The young men who are targeted, mostly black and Latino, report being verbally and physically abused. This video features audio of a young black man being threatened with arrest for being a “fucking mutt.” Anyone under the illusion of ours being a post-racial society should open their eyes to the reality of racial profiling. Also disturbing is the stark disregard for the fourth amendment guaranteed to all Americans:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This video is short, about 13 minutes, but very powerful. There should be a public outcry against the violation of our inalienable rights. Consider also the plight of the police officer who would dare try to avoid violating the rights of American citizens. Consider his or her dreams of helping others perverted by this heinous practice. It isn’t difficult to imagine why officers frequently commit suicide or become dependent on drugs and alcohol to cope with the guilt and pressure.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. — Thomas Jefferson