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Hello and thank you for your question.I believe the judge is correct in her ruling based on the facts included in the article. If 90% of the people stopped are released without any basis for summons or arrest, then it is difficult to argue that the policy produces reasonable seizures under the constitution. The standard for a valid stop under the constitution has been for many years that of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. In addition, where police encounter someone and are reasonably concerned for their safety they may conduct a pat frisk. But, in my opinion under the standards that exist, there is no justification for the stop and searches as have been conducted by the NY police, and the numbers reflect the lack of reasonable justification. I would come to that conclusion even if there wasn't the overlay of racial profiling. But, the disparity in numbers when looking at race weighs against reasonableness. The policy seems to be unconstitutional as written and as applied. It is true that there are instances where everyone is stopped and searched which has been deemed reasonable under the constitution. These include airport screenings and roadblocks to uncover drunk drivers. However, one of the central reasons these are deemed reasonable is that they are highly regulated and everyone is subjected to the stop and/or search and there is very little, if any, discretion left to officers in the field. The NY policy, in contrast, seems to leave much discretion to the officers and results in discriminatory enforcement. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.
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