Though the 4th Amendment requires that no search can be made without probable cause, the courts have allowed the much lower “reasonable suspicion” standard for many types of police stops. A new report that shows a 97% failure rate should put that absurd idea to rest permanently.
A new report released by New York’s Attorney General has found unequivocal evidence that New York City’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is a complete failure…
According to the new data, an astonishing 97% of those stopped under this policy, and over half of those arrested, are proven innocent.
This report is the most detailed examination of the policy’s arrest and conviction rate ever released; data from the New York Police Department and the Office of Court Administration were used, and over 2.4 million stops in 3 years (between 2009 and 2012) were examined. These stops resulted in almost 150,000 arrests, less than half of which resulted in a guilty verdict.
Of those that were arrested, only 2% (or 0.1% of all stops) led to a conviction for a violent crime – the same percentage led to a conviction for possession of a weapon.
Probable cause would seem to require, at the very least, a better than 50/50 chance that the person is committing a crime. But they can’t even hit 50/50 on those they actually arrest, much less for the millions of people stopped and frisked who were doing nothing wrong at all.