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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 64,140

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Charts: Are the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisks Violating the Constitution?

—By Adam Serwer and Jaeah Lee | Mon Apr. 29, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

This week, New York City is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims its controversial "stop and frisk" policy is used to illegally detain and search people on the basis of race. The subject of an ongoing trial, the suit also argues that the weak justifications given by NYPD officers for most stop-and-frisks fail to meet the constitutional burden for search and seizure. We put together this explainer and some charts to help you make sense of what's going on.

What is "stop and frisk," exactly, and what does it have to do with the NYPD? Starting in the 1970s, in the hope of curbing street crime, New York City began encouraging its officers to stop people they deem suspicious, to question them, and, if there is adequate reason to suspect illegal activities, to pat them down for things like drugs and weapons. This type of police activity has been upheld in the past: In a landmark 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio, a police officer detained three men without a warrant, suspicious that they were casing a local convenience store for a hold-up. One of the men had a revolver, and the Supreme Court ruled that the warrantless search was constitutional because the cop had reasonable suspicion to believe the men were about to commit a crime.

If it's constitutional, then what's the problem? Well, it's not always constitutional. It's only constitutional when the police have reasonable suspicion to believe someone poses a danger, has committed a crime, or is preparing to commit one. And police cannot use race as a criterion for any search and seizure. But New York City has faced allegations of unconstitutional policing against communities of color for a long time.

In 1999, the state Attorney General's Office found that while blacks and Latinos made up about 50 percent of the city's population, they accounted for 84 percent of the police stops (PDF). The same year, in the aftermath of the slaying of Amadou Diallo, the unarmed Guinean immigrant who was shot 41 times by New York City police, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued the city, alleging that stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional. In a settlement, the NYPD promised it would keep close tabs on who it stops and why.


Republicans, I tell ya… They are some really pathetic mother fuckers…

Have you seen this?

Pretty lame, guys. Pretty lame.

The New Retirement Reality

Billy Knows…

One of these days, I gotta try this:

Muslim cabdriver alleges assault by passenger who cited Boston Marathon bombing

By Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal, Published: April 30

An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.

Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.

“Because I’m a Muslim, he treated me like a piece of trash,” Salim said. “I love this country. I didn’t deserve this.”

Ed Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney.


Happy May Day, Everyone

Power to the Workers!

The struggle continues!

RAP Style Gangnam Style from Hitler

I wasn't expecting this…

Warning: Graphic Plane Crash Footage

Afghanistan Plane Crash Video: Final Moments Of Doomed U.S. Cargo Plane Shown On Dash Camera (GRAPHIC)

Horrifying video has emerged showing the crash of a U.S. cargo plane in Afghanistan on Monday.

Scroll down for video - some readers may find this content disturbing.

The video, which appears to have been shot by a vehicle's dashboard camera, shows the National Airlines Boeing 747 taking off from the Bagram Airfield military base. According to NYC Aviation.com the aircraft’s nose pitches up heavily, the plane appears to stall and then it falls to the ground.

The crash killed all seven people on board. All were Americans.

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