Stop-And-Frisk and the Marijuana Misdemeanor Arrests Outrage
Ed Koch, Former NYC Mayor and TCG Speaker, Huffington Post, OPINION- A great injustice is being perpetrated by members of the New York City Police Department on the people of this city. The injustice is not the program known as stop-and-frisk, which is employed by the NYPD primarily to arrest those carrying illegal weapons and to deter even larger numbers of predators from carrying such weapons. Law enforcement authorities believe the program of deterrence and arrests is in large part responsible for the continued drop in crime, particularly murders, over the last near 12 years.
The stop-and-frisk program has been denounced by its opponents as racial profiling and unfair to minorities, and some of the opponents have demanded that the program be abolished. Others demand there be changes. In a recent rally against the program, several of the announced New York City mayoral candidates planning to run in 2013 were present and voiced their criticisms.
I support stop-and-frisk, believing it to be helpful in making neighborhoods safer, but have also protested an aspect of the program that came to light as the result of a New York Timesinvestigation, followed by an editorial and news articles. An editorial from April 2nd pointed out that there have been a large number of misdemeanor arrests for marijuana possession during stop and frisk operations.
In 1977, the state of New York decriminalized the personal possession and use of marijuana. TheTimes of June 23rd pointed out, “Under state law, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense when the drug is being smoked or “open to public view. Possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana out of public view — for example, inside an individual’s pocket or backpack — is a violation, warranting only a ticket.”