24-Year-Old Breaks Down in NY Stop, Frisk Trial

Colleen Long, AP, March 19, 2013

A 24-year-old nonprofit worker wept on the witness stand Tuesday as he described an unnerving episode of being handcuffed near his home while an officer took his keys and went inside his building.

Nicholas Pert, who is black, is one of about a dozen New Yorkers expected to tell their stories of being stopped, questioned and frisked by police in a federal trial challenging how police use the tactic. About 5 million stops have been made during the past decade, mostly of black and Hispanic men.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of some of the stops, with lawyers arguing the policy unfairly targets minorities.

City attorneys said officers operate within the law and do not target people solely because of their race. Police go where the crime is–and crime is overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods, city lawyers said.

{snip}

He [Pert] testified that he was walking to the corner store at about 11 p.m. to get milk when officers stopped him, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a squad car. One officer took Pert’s keys, he said, and went into his building. Pert said he was concerned because he didn’t know how his siblings would react if the officer knocked on the door.

“I was afraid he would go into my apartment, and I wasn’t there to take care of the situation,” he said.

Eventually the officer returned and he was freed.

Pert said, pausing to collect himself, that he felt criminalized by the episode.

{snip}

Lawyers for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the class-action suit, are trying to show a pattern of racist and inappropriate behavior by the police.

{snip}

City lawyers sought to discredit witnesses by suggesting their stories had evolved to become more dramatic, and their memories were faulty.

Pert testified that he filed one complaint against the police where he lied and said he had been physically injured. He also said one of the stops happened in May 2011, instead of April 2011, had trouble recalling the race and descriptions of officers who stopped him, sometimes contradicting himself, and published angry Facebook posts insulting the police department.

Stop and frisk is legal, but the lawyers who sued say it must be reformed. They are asking for a court-appointed monitor to oversee any changes ordered by the judge.

About half the people who are stopped are subject only to questioning. Others have their bag or backpack searched. And sometimes police conduct a full pat-down. Only about 10 percent of all stops result in arrest, and a weapon is recovered a small fraction of the time.

The mayor and police commissioner say stop and frisk is a life-saving, crime-stopping tool that has helped drive crime down to record lows. {snip}

{snip}

U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, who has already said in earlier rulings that she is deeply concerned about the tactic, has the power to order reforms to how it is used, which could bring major changes to the nation’s largest police force and other departments.

City lawyers said the department already has many checks and balances, including an independent watchdog group that was recently given authority to prosecute some excessive force complaints against police. The police commissioner still has the final say on whether officers are disciplined.

{snip}

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  • Old Soldier

    I get stopped and frisked every time I get on an airplane, despite my White Privilege. I haven’t cried a single time.

    • fakeemail

      At least the line speeds up when the TSA waves through Mahmoud decked out in full A-rab regalia.

    • 5n4k33y35

      I’ve been stopped and frisked in NYC and I didn’t cry either. What is it with these crying moolies?

    • Anita

      The difference is that everyone in the airport or 95% of people are stopped and frisked. In New York Blacks and Hispanics are targeted for stop and frisking. This is understandably a very demoralizing and humiliating experience, especially for the 90% who are often found innocent.

      • In New York Blacks and Hispanics are targeted for stop and frisking.

        That’s because in New York, blacks and Hispanics commit around 90% of the violent crime.

  • It’s not “Stop-and-Frisk,” it’s Stop-Question-Frisk. The “questioning” makes the stop a Terry stop, which is why I think the Federal judiciary will ultimately find in favor of the city.

  • WmarkW

    Crime in general, and homicide in particular, are down 80% in NYC since they started Stop and Frisk. It might seem unimaginable to anyone who remembers the 1970s, that New York is now America’s safest big city.

    When you compare the demographic distribution of Frisk-ees to the distribution of CRIMINALS, the police have it exactly right.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443404004577579490354672410.html

    • Oil Can Harry

      But didn’t you read the testimony of the young brutha? He was only walking the streets at 11 pm because he wanted to buy milk.

      Don’t these racist cops know blacks only go out late at night to buy milk?

      And Skittles?

      • Reade

        Have you not been out late at night? Any law abiding citizen has a the right to come and go as they wish as long as they are not on probation or are obeying the law.

    • ATBOTL

      No, this stop and frisk business is recent. The big crime drop happened in the 90’s before there was a massive S&F program.

    • saxonsun

      I remember well. And I have no doubt that stop and frisk is largely responsible for the drop in crime.

  • Nathanwartooth

    We all already know the outcome of this trial.

    It will be found that all of the officers are racist bigots and they will appoint a Black to oversee them and make sure they are stopping Whites every chance they get.

    Blacks and Hispanics cause such a huge amount of crime that you need a virtual police state to try to curb it. But since only stopping Blacks and Hispanics would be “racist” they must strip Whites of their rights as well.

    Just another in the long list of reasons why we need a White homeland.

  • Jesse_from_Sweden

    “Only” about 10 percent results in arrests?

    I’d say that’s a pretty freaking high number.

    Especially since they say there has been 5 million of these stops made in the last decade, that means 500’000 criminals have been arrested due to these stops over the last decade.

    50’000 criminals arrested per year in New York thanks to these stops.

    I’d say that’s an amazing number and shows that these stop-and-frisks is having a huge impact on crime.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Jesse, the police in Sweden should adopt a new program for Muslims called Stop and Deport.

      • Jesse_from_Sweden

        They did, they called it “REVA”, just a month or so ago.

        Which just led to large protests and that it got shut down.

        It was essentially the same thing proposed/done in states like Arizona, that people that got caught for minor crimes should also have their residency status checked and they set up controls in the Stockholm subway to catch people not paying for a ticket and then checking if they were illegal or not.

        But such “police state methods” didn’t go over well with the multiculti-hugging crowd.

    • Jss

      Yeah I would say 10 percent is a decent return, and I bet the overwhelming majority of that 10 percent are diversity. I notice it is blacks doing the most complaining yet again. What makes them more ridiculous to me then any other diversity is that these policies will also save many of them from being victimized but they cry and complain the loudest and the most about anything that is done to make their “communities” safer.

    • saxonsun

      Well, hey, pretty soon it will be deemed “racist” to arrest blacks and browns at all, especially when the victim is white.

  • bigone4u

    Whites are going to give up their freedom out of fear of black crime. Stop-and-frisk when there is no probably cause is to my libertarian-influenced brain an unconstitutional infringement of individual rights. I want the government to have less power, not more. I do not want the likes of Christopher Dorner (remember him?) doing a stop-and-frisk on me or other white persons.

    • sbuffalonative

      It’s clear from the numbers that blacks commit proportionally more crime in their own communities than whites so it make sense that more would be stopped.
      However, I do agree that this is a troubling precedent. I believe in probable cause. If the person in question is clearly acting suspiciously, that MIGHT be cause. MIGHT.
      I’m not willing to risk my future freedom because of black crime.
      If the police are stopping blacks without probable cause, they should be stopped.

      • bigone4u

        For the record, I believe Zimmerman had probable cause to call in a report on Skittles. I am also 100 percent with you that “if the police are stopping blacks without probable cause, they should be stopped.”

  • John R

    Blacks don’t like being targeted as potential criminals more than other groups? Hmmm…I have a solution: Stop committing so much more fricken crime than other racial groups! There. Problem solved, right?

  • JohnEngelman

    I am a white man. I have been stopped and frisked on a number of occasions. I was glad the police were doing their jobs.

    • a multiracial individual

      Whites do not complain, despite the fact that Asians are stopped by police at a rate lower than whites. Are police officers biased in favor of Asians? Or against Blacks? No, they just know that some ethnic groups are more prone to crime than others.

    • ATBOTL

      You’re a well trained bitch. You would have made good Soviet citizen.

      • a multiracial individual

        You’re a clever one aren’t you?

      • JohnEngelman

        You have the attitude a ghetto thug would have if the ghetto thug knew about the Soviet Union. If you are not doing anything wrong you do not need to worry about the police. If you are doing something wrong I want you to be arrested, tried, and punished.

    • IstvanIN

      But is it right that society has come to this? All because we have allowed savages to run free?

      • JohnEngelman

        The slave trade was America’s original sin. Southern whites should have grown their own tobacco and cotton.

  • SargeInCharge

    “Nicholas Pert, who is black, is one of about a dozen New Yorkers expected to tell their stories of being stopped, questioned and frisked by police in a federal trial challenging how police use the tactic.”
    In the name of balance and fairness, for every black person testifying about being stopped and frisk, a white person should be allowed to testify how their loved one was brtally murdered or raped by a black person and a police officer should be allowed to testify regarding crime statistics.

    • 5n4k33y35

      Some elderly Asians could also testify how they are frequently targeted by black criminals.

  • The__Bobster

    The ACLU: Destroying White America one lawsuit or one city at a time. Their ratlike fingers are into Philly too.

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/03/19/aclu-says-philadelphia-cops-still-misusing-stop-and-frisk-procedure/

  • The__Bobster

    It’s ironic that the bootlips are complaining when it’s their lives that are being saved by this procedure.

  • These reasonable tactics by police keep crime way down, so much so that even many blacks would hate the courts to end them:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_war-on-crime.html

  • thoughtcrime1933

    Cops; doing their jobs and fighting crime be racist. Whites defending themselves are racist. If Batman were real, he would be called racist.

  • a multiracial individual

    In 2011, nearly 90% of all stop-and-frisks were of African-American and Hispanics.

    In 2011, Blacks and Hispanics committed approx. 89% of the homicides in NYC.

    I am crying disparate impact on this one. They exceeded representation by 1%….. Where is the shame?

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nypd_releases_stop_frisk_data_whf644ouNc8P7dP8u7NPcJ

    http://projects.nytimes.com/crime/homicides/map

  • MBlanc46

    It is dreadful that we have to have this sort of police-state law. Whatever one thinks about its utility and necessity, it should never be forgotten that it is an evil.

    • IstvanIN

      It is truly sad that we have degenerated to this. Without multi-culturalism we wouldn’t need this violation of unreasonable search. And quite frankly, if the story is true, if the cops did indeed put this man in the back of their police car, take his keys, enter his apartment building and his apartment, that is over the top. The man was let go, which means he had no weapon, or drugs, on his person, and no warrants out for his arrest. While I am skeptical of the story, if true this was way over the top.

  • Pert testified that he filed one complaint against the police where he lied and said he had been physically injured. He also said one of the stops happened in May 2011, instead of April 2011, had trouble recalling the race and descriptions of officers who stopped him, sometimes contradicting himself, and published angry Facebook posts insulting the police department.

    Pert lied. My guess is every word he spoke other than being stopped was made up.

    Blacks can not tell the truth, and do not think their lies will be discovered.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    I’m curious to see how the NYPD thinks this policy squares with the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, 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.”

  • 5n4k33y35

    My recommendation is that the diversity agitators quit bawling about stop-and-frisk, or else they agree to allow concealed carry licenses to non-criminals in the city.

    Either way, the urban white dudes have to stop dressing like queers, because you cannot conceal weapons in tight clothes.

    I’ll tell you why the white dudes generally don’t escalate – the prisons are packed full of hostile diversity, and whites don’t want to end up there.

    My idea is a prisoners bill of rights which guarantees equal distribution of diversity by proportion in any common spaces such as the cafeteria or the yard… And failing that, segregated prisons.

    And furthermore, every prisoner should have a private cell with bars and a solid door so he can have solitude or just the bars. And if you think I’m being too nice to criminals, just know I’d apply the death sentence a lot more often, when conviction is not in doubt and the crime warrants the punishment.

    • Nathanwartooth

      Prisons are way overcrowded. It would be even more expensive to do that.

      Just a note. A city that I know of says it’s 30% Black. How? There is a prison in the city and they count the prisoners as part of the population. It’s about 97% White otherwise.

      • 5n4k33y35

        They need to start writing tickets for petty drug possession.

        • The paradigm I’m for is neither keeping drug policy the way it is now (which is simultaneously abusive and ineffective, or rather, anarcho-tyrannical), nor is it full-on legalization, which has its own set of problems. What I advocate is major prison time only for habitual dealers and traffickers, and summary confiscation of the illicit drugs from those caught with small amounts.

          What I can tell you for sure is that the people who claim that there are people who get 20 years in Federal prison just for possessing a little bit of weed are blowing pot smoke. As it is, there is hardly anyone who goes to prison for merely possessing small amounts of all but the most serious schedule illicit substances. You might find the occasional case where that happens, but once you dig deep, you will find that there are a lot of extenuating and complicating circumstances, that the situation isn’t as simple as the canard that someone was thrown directly into prison just for possessing a small amount of weed.

          • Nathanwartooth

            I know people who have been caught with small amounts multiple times that ended up serving a few weeks in jail.

            Personally I had a 30 day suspended sentence for getting caught with stems and seeds 12 years ago. I also had to pay about 600 dollars in fines.

            What problems does legalization cause, anyway?

            The only things I ever heard against it was that there would be heroin junkies strung out on every corner. But the reality is that you can get pretty much any drug in any city all across the US. Everyone who wants to get drugs already does. The booming drug recovery industry is a sure indicator.

            There are major upsides to making drugs legal. Dismantling the drug cartels, saving billions in enforcement, the government not infringing our rights to search for drugs, potential billions in tax revenue a year, clearing up the courts and prisons and lowering death rates from overdoses.

            Not to mention the pharmaceutical savings. People in pain could just grow opium instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month for the synthetic. The pharmaceutical companies have a huge interest in keeping drugs illegal. Especially since all they did was make a almost identical drug (oxycodone = heroin and adderall = meth) and sell it.

            I would like to hear an actual case for keeping drugs illegal if there is one. I just haven’t heard anything convincing yet.

  • Luca

    “The mayor and police commissioner say stop and frisk is a life-saving, crime-stopping tool that has helped drive crime down to record lows.”

    Don’t these cops and city officials know that diversity, racial profiling, civil rights, lawyers fees and the feelings of black people are far more important than saving lives and stopping crime?

  • Eric Shun

    U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    If these are in fact “Terry stops”, they’ve already been ruled Constitutional in Terry vs. Ohio 392 U.S. 1. (1968). If blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be stopped and questioned, the overwhelmingly likely explanation is that these are the folks most prone to be acting suspicious, goofy, stoned and/or drunk.

  • archer

    stop and frisk is a violation of the fourth ammendment, why stop there, just have the police go into everyones home whenever they feel like snooping around, I’m sure that would stop a lot of crime also.

  • freddy_hills

    The way stop and frisk works is that crime data is entered into a computer. The data is highly specific down to the street and block. Then extra officers are sent to patrol the areas with the most crime. When they notice suspicious behavior they stop and frisk the people. Most of the crime happens in black and hispanic areas so most of the stop and frisk are in those areas. But its not racial. Its based purely on where the crime is happening.

  • Americans should never support something like stop and frisk which infringes upon everyone’s 4th amendment rights. Today NY cops target blacks, tomorrow they could target whites. Both are wrong.