by Ashlyn McCurly
Angry shouts from behind—“stop, don’t move, put your hands on your head”—cop badges, flashing lights, interrogation. Police officers pat you down for concealed weapons and go through your belongings. Regardless of your race, gender, or age, this is an invasion of privacy.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and The New York City Police Department created the Stop-and-Frisk Program with the goal of stopping crimes before they occurred. Officers maintained an active presence on the streets to prevent minor crimes from escalating into ones that are larger and more violent. If crime was stopped before it intensified, would murders, robberies, and assaults disappear altogether? Can New Yorkers now walk the streets of the city and feel safe because of a proactive police presence?
Maybe some New Yorkers feel safer due to this policy. But for Latinos and African-Americans, the racial profiling inherit in the Stop-and-Frisk procedures is unfair and discriminatory. From 2002 to 2011, African-Americans and Latinos made close to 90% of the people stopped. About 88% of these stops were of innocent residents.
The program has not significantly decreased the number of shootings. In 2002, there were 1,892 victims of shooting, and 97,296 stops. Nine years later, in 2011, there were 1,821 victims and 685,724 stops. Only 0.2% of the stops found guns on individuals, so the increased frequency of stops has done little to preempt shootings in New York City. The purpose of the program is to get dangerous people off the streets before a crime is committed; however, between 2009 and 2012, 6% of the 2.4 million stops led to arrests, with only a 3% conviction rate. Cumulative data indicates that this intrusive and humiliating practice is ineffective, resulting more in discrimination against minorities than in a reduction in crime.
Efficacy aside, Stop-and-Frisk clearly violates the 4th Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court ruling deeming the program unconstitutional is the correct democratic response to the actions of the New York City police. Officers stop innocent people without an objective suspicion of participation in wrongful actions. Observing the way someone walks, fidgets, changes direction, or even if he has a bulging pocket should not be suspicious enough activity to warrant an intrusive search.
by Michael Bock
This generation — known as the Millennials — is incredibly different than previous generations. As its spending and voting powers grow, this generation will demand a very different world. We need young people at the table to save our institutions.
Initiatives meant to bring the youth voice into local government and private industry often center on two motives Some suggest engagement is necessary to provide youth with leadership experience for when they take their turn at the helm, while others propose that youth leadership will help organizations engage young customers and constituents in the present. Yet these rationales underestimates the impact of the Millennials, failing to grasp just how integral youth participation will be to ensuring the survival of existing institutions over the next 30 years.
This generation is the largest ever. Estimates hover around 80 million — outnumbering even the Baby Boomers by a few million. With that size comes incredible influence through spending power, votes, and other civic engagement. Based on both quantitative as well as anecdotal research, it is clear that Millenials’ priorities and values are very different from those of their parents and grandparents. For better or worse, we are frustrated with “business as usual.”
In their 2010 report “Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next,” the Pew Research Center asked each generations to define what gives them their unique character. Baby Boomers identified their distinguishing characteristics to be work ethic, respectfulness, and values/morals while the Gen Xers identify their use of technology, their work ethic, and their tradition and conservativeness as the top three sources of distinctiveness.
Millennials, however, viewed themselves very differently. They identified their top defining characteristics as their use of technology, their music and popular culture, and their liberalness and tolerance. Millennials’ self-concept does not just differ, but fundamentally contradicts, how Gen Xers and Baby Boomers define themselves.