A “stop and frisk” victim won a $14,000 settlement against New York City. Security cameras captured the entire incident. The complaint claimed that the procedure, conducted by the New York Police Department, was illegal.
Jurard St. Hillaire, age 21, was reportedly filming the NYPD as they conducted a traffic stop. The officers, apparently annoyed that they were being filmed, detained and frisked the man.
As reported by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, security cameras on an adjacent building captured the entire incident. The film appears to reveal the NYPD officers using what might be considered excessive force as they push Hillaire against the side of a building.
Outcry from “stop and frisk” victims has caused officials in New York City to question the procedure and how it is being carried out by the city police. The procedure, beginning in 2002, was developed as a means to combat crime. The “stop, question and frisk” program allows NYPD officers to stop, question, and detain people that are deemed “suspicious.” Opponents say that this is a direct violation of constitutional rights that protect citizens from illegal search and seizure.
Others criticize the procedure as racially motivated. As reported by CNN, the NYPD released a report that revealed that a vast majority of those stopped and frisked were minorities:
“Brooklyn’s 75th precinct, which includes East New York and Cypress Hills, had the most “stop and frisk” incidents with 31,100. Of those, 97% of the people involved were either black or Hispanic.”
One New York judge has made a public statement against the procedure, demanding that the NYPD halt “stop and frisk” procedures near an apartment building in the Bronx. Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin accused the NYPD of “systematically” crossing the line between what is deemed constitutional and unconstitutional. Many New York citizens reportedly share the judge’s opinion.
The most recent complaint, filed by Jurard St. Hillaire, named Officer Leonard Clark responsible for the illegal search. This is reportedly the fifth time Clark has been accused of illegal search procedures. All five cases have been settled, as reported by NY Daily News, for a total of $96,000 in damages paid out by the city.
Hillaire claims that this is the second time he was a “stop and frisk” victim. He was reportedly stopped, questioned, and frisked by Officer Clark on both occasions.
[Image via Wikimedia]