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.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).