Stop and frisk programs began in the 1960s and were aimed, as they are today, at minorities, according to Time Magazine. While crime has seen a large decline in Chicago and the nation as a whole over the past few decades, stop and frisk programs are continuing to gain ground in large cities such as New York and Chicago, wreaking havoc on millions of people’s daily lives.
Throughout its history, stop and frisk has been used not to decrease crime, which it does not actually succeed in doing, but as a crutch for politicians looking to gain votes through fear mongering. The sole reason that stop and frisk still exists is due to the fact that politicians are so adept at feed on their constituents’ racist belief systems. While, according to ABC 7 News, stop and frisks fell by 80 percent in 2015, there has been talk among politicians, including president-elect Donald Trump, to reinvigorate efforts.
Right to Remain Silent, and Ask to See Search Warrant
If a police officer stops you while you are walking along the sidewalk, there are certain steps you must take to protect yourself, as described by the New York Civil Liberties Union. First and foremost, you should remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer the officer’s questions. Many people get in trouble down the road because of things they said to an officer that they did not legally have to omit. And, if the officer attempts to search yourself or your belongings, they must ask consent. If they have a search warrant, you should ask to see it. If they do not have a warrant, make sore to say that you do not consent to this search. The search may happen regardless, and you should cooperate fully if so, as it is a crime to interfere.
Stop and Frisk Procedure
Police may stop you if they have “reason to believe” that you are currently committing a crime, are about to commit a crime, or have committed a crime in the past. First, ask if you are under arrest or are allowed to leave. Do not use foul language or insult the officer, no matter what they say or do or how insulting they are being to you. Do not run from, resist, or touch touch the officer. Try to use calm rationale to deescalate the situation. You do not have to agree with the officer’s accusations, and remember that you can always remain silent if you so choose. Take the additional steps as well:
Contact a Chicago Attorney
If your civil rights have been violated by stop and frisk, contact the experienced Chicago civil rights attorneys with Barney and Hourihane law firm today at 312-854-0906 for immediate assistance.