The article, Judicial Impartiality in Recent Civil Rights Victories: An Analysis of the Disqualifications of Judge Shira Scheindlin in Floyd V. New York City, Kavanagh, J. (2014). examines the influence of street stops Terry stop. First ruled on in 1968, and its effects on people of color in a community. It also investigates the views from within the judicial system. These stops are allowed so that police may briefly delay a person based on a police officer’s reasonable feeling that the person may have a connection to a criminal action.
These stops are known also as a stop and frisk. This article considers how police execute these stops and how they may shape the attitudes of the public towards the police within a community. Also examined is if these stops have a racial overtone. Stop and frisk has been a contentious and political question for decades. The city of New York seems to change its ruling on these stops depending upon who is elected to office.
The case of Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. (2013) is a set of cases that were included in a class action lawsuit filed against the City of New York, Raymond Kelly, who was a Police Commissioner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and several New York City police officers. The claim was that they had used and permitted unconstitutional stops and frisks. They felt that the New York Police Department had based these stops on a person’s national origin and that this was a violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The authors clearly feel that the ruling on the matter of impartiality was mismanaged in the case of Judge Scheindlin. The courts ruled that Judge Scheindlin’s impartiality could be questioned because the court lowered the reasonable person standard. On August 12, 2013, Judge Scheindlin made the ruling that the police department had indeed violated these amendments. That the department had employed measurements of unreasonable searches by systematically making stops and frisks in a racially discriminatory way. On October 31, 2013, the City filed an appeal stating that Judge Scheindlin was biased because she had conducted interviews on television about the case which appeared to look as if she was indeed biased and not eligible to decide on the case. The city consequently dropped the appeal, and the ruling held. This study by Tyler, T., Fagan, J., & Geller, A. (2013) looks further into the influences of the court rulings of Terry v Ohio. This study was conducted by phone as a self-report by approximately 1,261 random samples of young men of color in New York City who had experienced stop and frisk by police officers. Either recently (within the previous year) or in their past. They assessed the impacts of unprompted stops, as well as the respondent’s evaluation of fairness and whether they thought the police action was lawful. The data showed that the more often a person was stopped by a police officer, the more likely that person saw a lack of validity for those stops. Also surveyed was if the amount of stops or lack thereof, had an effect in the observation of police presence as positive or negative, if these police actions had any effect on future rates of violence or other crimes as well as the effects of the lack of legality on public safety. The research showed that the higher the view of validity the lower the level of crime, as well as the increase of police cooperation by the community. On the other hand, if the intrusions were forceful or an arrest was made, there were negative significances as to the validity of the police action. The performance and conduct of police also shaped the opinion of the community. Fairness in which the police handle a situation was paramount to the acceptance of the police decisions in matters. This was especially true of those who had personal experience with interactions with police. The suggestion was that it was not the actual stops or intrusions that shaped the opinion of police validity, but if the person who was the subject of those stops felt that they were treated with fairness. The study showed that the more interactions or stops that a person was involved with, the more likely the negative perception of police validity. An act of being constantly stopped by the police on the street or in a car, made people feel that they were being treated unfairly and unlawfully. This may be since the more a person is stopped by the police, the more likely that their attitude may change because they feel as if they are being singled out. According to Weisburd, Wooditch,Weisburd, and Yang, S. (2016), there is little evidence that stop and frisk tactics deter crime in NYC. The reason may be that stop, and frisk is in response to crime in certain areas and that because of this more crime is reported. It is also thought that if stop and frisk is applied and seen in an area then crime will be reduced, but is that proof as to its effectiveness?Constitutional democracy seems to not apply to several cases of stop and frisk in many instances, especially when it comes to racial profiling. Many have spoken of the unfairness of this discrimination. The views of many politicians are mixed, not surprisingly, since it is a complicated issue. Genesis 1:27 states, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Racial profiling has no place in the Christian view. To believe in the word of God is to believe that we are all equal and should not be treated any different from one another. The scripture,1 Samuel 16:7 states But the LORD said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Christians need to always keep in mind that it is not what is on the outside, but what is in the heart that matters. For only God sees the heart, people do not have the power to do so. Stop and frisk should be a tool and not a way to specifically discourage crime. Tyler, T., Fagan, J., & Geller, A. (2013). Street Stops and Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments in Young Urban Men’s Legal Socialization. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2289244Kavanagh, J. (2014). JUDICIAL IMPARTIALITY IN RECENT CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORIES: AN ANALYSIS OF THE DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGE SHIRA SCHEINDLIN IN FLOYD V. NEW YORK CITY. The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, 23(1), 197-229. Retrieved from David et al. Do Stop, Question, and Frisk Practices Deter Crime? Criminology & public policy. 15.1 (2016): 31″56. Web.