Stop-and-Frisk How does this compare to the Civil Rights era?

Civil Rights Activists coming together to protest stop-and-frisk.

Racial profiling is very present in any U.S. citizen’s life; no matter race or gender. Stop-and-frisk is especially dense in racism. This unconstitutional method allows police officers to stop and search suspectful looking men and women without any valid evidence. Obviously, racial profiling will come up during this process. In fact, the NYPD made 680,000 stops: 87% were black or Latino, while only 13% were white (Stringer, Scott). Out of these 680,000 stopped, 99.9% had no clear signs of drugs or any weapon on them.

While most say that stop-and-frisk is alike to the Civil Rights Movement, others may argue that they are very much different. This is because stop-and-frisk is taking a step backwards in history, while the Civil Rights movement was taking a forward step towards the better. In fact, many argue that the stop-and-frisk policy goes against the fourth and fourteenth amendment. The fourth amendment is the need for a police officer to have a warrant to be able to search; this amendment protects citizens’ rights from unconstitutional investigations. The fourteenth amendment is the rule that all citizens are created equal in society. These amendments are clearly not followed Both of these rights were fought for during the Reconstruction period and the Civil Rights Movement. Overall, this unconstitutional method of searching without a warrant is somewhat alike to the Civil Rights era.

However, most can say that stop-and-Frisk is much more similar to the time period of the Civil Rights Movement due to the racially inclined violence during that time. In fact, in the case of Terry vs. Ohio in 1968, there was a very popular federal case between the police and a black man. This man was purposefully mistreated and almost beat to death and then Lester lost the case in court (FindLaw). This is very similar to the racial profiling in stop-and-Frisk due to the prejudiced reason for attack.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question, what are you doing for others?" ~Martin Luther King Junior

Overall, stop-and-frisk is much more alike than different to the Civil Rights era and Reconstruction after the Civil War. It is time for this country to get over issues of the 1960s, citizens must unite as one. The federal government and police forces should not be the ones enforcing violence. This is the time for racism to die, once and for all.

Works Cited

Bloomberg. "Issue Overview: Racial Profiling." Newsela | Issue Overview: Racial Profiling. Newsela, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <>.

Bump, Philip. "New York Has Essentially Eliminated Stop-and-frisk — and Crime Is Still down." The Washington Post. WP Company, 03 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <>.

Stringer, Scott. "The Policy of Stop-and-Frisk Targets Young Men of Color." Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <>.


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