- July 12, 2010
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Stop and Frisk. Residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn are routinely subject to a technique used by police known as "stop and frisk" which is permitted for the purpose of deterring crime when police have reason to believe the individuals being stopped and frisked are actively engaged in criminal activity at that moment. In Brownsville residents, who initially welcomed police presence because of a very high rate of serious crime in the area, are being stopped seemingly without reason. People cannot sit on their own front steps, ride bicycles, enter housing projects or other similar routine activities without being stopped, questioned, patted down and having their personal information recorded in a criminal database in spite of the fact that 99% of these people are found to possess no weapons or contraband. Now the very citizens who welcomed police fear them as nearly every resident in Brownsville has been subject to an average of at least 1 police stop per year for the past 4 years.
The question residents and authorities must consider is whether this level of police activity is justified and necessary for the protection of the citizens or whether use of stop and frisk measures has exceeded that required to protect the general public and become violative of the constitutional rights of freedom and privacy of those very citizens it was intended to protect.
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