Stop and Frisk

I find pretty much everything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth to be outrageous. But when he claimed that New York City needs to reinstate its old stop and frisk policies because crime increased after their policy was deemed unconstitutional, I nearly hit the roof. These lies are just more of his “be very afraid” tactics, and they make me sick.

According to this article in the New York Times, crime has decreased since stop and frisk has decreased. You can still be frisked by a cop, mind you, but there has to be reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Gone are the days when cops can just frisk you because they don’t like the way you look. Theoretically.

The fact that Trump thought that this police state policy was a good idea just shows what a low opinion he has of the general public, and also what kind of country we could look forward to if we elect this man. I’m fairly certain that Trump has never been frisked in his life. I’m equally certain that if he ever were to be, there’d be a lawsuit.

I was frisked once. I was 19 years old, standing in line to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, and this low-class rent-a-cop frisked me. Thoroughly. It was an outrageous violation that I will never forget. It is but one more thing that has tainted my view of cops overall. Being just a kid, I didn’t raise hell. I would now. (But then I suspect he wouldn’t be interested in feeling me up now. Because that was exactly what he was doing, and he made quite sure I knew it.)

The upshot is that it was a physical and public relations abuse that I have carried with me for 32 years. I’m sure that is the case with every innocent person who is violated in that manner. It just adds to the ever-increasing tension between the police and the public. Who on earth would think that this is a good idea? Trump and his minions, apparently.

Oh, yeah, and the Vero Beach police in Florida. My late boyfriend and I lived there for two years, and he got stopped and frisked no fewer than three times during that period. Each time he was riding his bicycle. That’s all. Just getting some exercise on a balmy Florida evening after a hard day at work.

Because of medical issues, Chuck wore his hair long and had a beard to mask his lopsided face and the missing portion of his skull. He slurred his words. But a more intelligent, decent human being you will never find. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.

But simply because he didn’t look like a high class upstanding republican, three times he was pulled over, yanked off his bike and thrown down on the hood of a police cruiser. I think it made me even angrier than it did him. He was kind of used to being misunderstood. I wonder what he’d think of the public’s decreasing opinion of cops in general if he were alive today.

Please vote, everybody.


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2 thoughts on “Stop and Frisk

  1. Sam

    I wasn’t exactly frisked, but I was stopped and harassed by two police officers when I was a college student back in the 1980’s. One day, I got on my rusty, little $20 bike to find a pay phone and inquire about an ad in a the local newspaper about a room for rent. I eventually made my call from a pay phone outside of a “Little Champ” convenience store. After making my call, I rode my bike down a little access road behind a hardware store and across the A & P grocery store parking lot. Suddenly, two police cars came out of nowhere and cornered me in the parking, lot. I couldn’t possibly have looked threatening with my Howdy-Doody face and big eyeglasses. The cops abruptly said, “Somebody called to say you were breaking into the hardware store.” I looked at them dumb-founded and admitted that I had used the little road behind the hardware store, but didn’t break into it. I showed them the clipping for the newspaper ad and told them I had gone to make a call about a room for rent. When they continued to interrogate me, I suddenly said, “You know, if someone is breaking into the hardware store, you better go right now.” I urged them to catch the culprit while the crime was in progress. I noticed they looked a little confused and couldn’t exactly argue with me about that. Why would a criminal volunteer to take the cops back to the scene of the crime? During all of this, I was brainstorming about who I could call to help me out, should I end up in jail. My family was 3 hours away and I didn’t know many adults in my college town. I thought maybe I could call one of my professors for help. The police wrote down my address and said they would probably be contacting me again. Then, they abruptly drove off and left me in the middle of a deserted parking lot. I was humiliated and embarrassed. For the next few days, I was worried I’d awaken one night to the sound of police officers violently pounding at my door. But, I never heard from them again. I guess today, I would have filed a grievance or gone directly to the police department to complain. But, I was a young, scared kid at the time. What bothered me the most, is that the cops assumed I was guilty BEFORE being proven guilty. They never checked the hardware store (that I am aware of) and never contacted me again to ask further questions. In fact, I never heard or read anything in the local newspaper about ANY crime occurring that night. It was a small, Southern college town…I’m sure I would have heard something. Now, if I am harassed by a police officer, I start questioning THEM. I find that when I do, they can’t seem to justify stopping me or have any reasonable answers to my questions.

    1. I’m so, so sorry that happened to you, Sam. A more honest man I will never meet.

      These days, you have to be careful questioning them, though. You can be seen as not cooperating, and, worst case scenario, get shot.

      When I lived in Mexico in the early 80’s, if people saw a cop on the street everyone would disappear down side streets. These cops were usually drunk and carrying automatic weapons. I remember being shocked and horrified. But I’m starting to get it.

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