1 million stopped and friskedSubmitted by JUSTCOMEHOME on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 18:13
AP) NEW YORK - A teenager trying to get into his apartment after school is confronted by police. A man leaving his workplace chooses a different route back home to avoid officers who roam a particular street.
These and hundreds of thousands of other Americans in big cities have been stopped on the street by police using a law-enforcement practice called stop-and-frisk that alarms civil libertarians but is credited by authorities with helping reduce crime.
Police in major U.S. cities stop and question more than a million people each year _ a sharply higher number than just a few years ago. Most are black and Hispanic men. Many are frisked, and nearly all are innocent of any crime, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press.
And the numbers are rising at the same time crime rates are dropping.
Ronnie Carr’s experience was typical: He was fumbling with his apartment door after school in Brooklyn when plainclothes officers flashed their badges.
"What are you doing here?" one asked, as they rifled through his backpack and then his pockets. The black teenager stood there, quiet and nervous, and waited.
Carr said the officers told him they stopped him because he looked suspicious peeking in the windows. He explained that he had lost his keys. Twenty minutes later, the officers left. Carr was not arrested or cited with any offense.
"I felt bad, like I did something wrong," he said.