Sections

Neighborhoods

Features

Follow Us

NHI Newsletter

Some Favorite Sites

Government/ Community Links

Elicker Questions “Stop & Frisk”

by Parker Collins | Mar 25, 2013 11:24 am

(7) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: West River, Campaign 2013

A mayoral candidate came to a neighborhood workshop on dealing with police Saturday—and ended up in a discussion about the efficacy of “stop and frisk” tactics.

The exchange took place at Barnard School during the first Family Forum sponsored by the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation.

Joining neighbors at the event was East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker, a Democrat who is running for mayor. He visited a workshop called “What Should You Do When Stopped By The Police?” led by New Haven police Officer Shafiq Abdussabur, president of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

Elicker mentioned the controversy in New York City over police “stop and frisk” tactics, which critics say have largely targeted African-Americans in the Big Apple.

“We are doing stop-and-frisk in New Haven” to a certain extent already, said Elicker. He said he has concerns about the policy, although he said he wasn’t making comparisons to the broader, more random approach used in New York.

Parker Collins Photo “I think [stop-and-frisk] has a merit,” said Abdussabur (pictured), “but it is a small piece.” In addition to taking an offensive stance against crime—allowing police officers to pat down anyone viewed as suspicious—stop-and-frisk offers a preventative measure by gathering information to create a databank of people, he argued. “I know you haven’t committed a crime,” explained Abdussabur, “but just in case you commit a crime in the future.”

However, Abudssabur agreed with Elicker that the tactic, if abused, can lead to racial profiling. Abudssabur has published books criticizing police in some communities for racial profiling while also advising young African-Americans to avoid inciting officers.

Both Elicker and Abdussabur agreed that the stop-and-frisk program presents a double-edged sword. Abdussabur compared the practice to cancer treatment: getting rid of a dangerous tumor while “also damaging the relationship between the police and the community.”

Throughout his workshop, Abdussabur stressed the importance of the relationship between law enforcement authorities and the people they protect, how mutual understanding can help grease their interactions. When neither side understands the other, “it’s like shoveling coal into a fire,” he said. “it’s just going to get get hotter and hotter.”

For example, Abdussabur pointed to the hesitation some drivers have before pulling over for an officer. “Not stopping at the right time can spiral into something totally different,” said Abdussabur, leading authorities to wonder, “why is this person not stopping?” This agitation can mean the difference between an officer seeing, say, a box cutter as a tool or as a weapon.

“People want a relationship with an officer,” Elicker (pictured) said over pizza and fruit juice after the workshop. In Elicker’s opinion, true community policing, in which citizens are “more willing to share information if they trust the officer,” has the potential to hamper crime just as much, if not more, than stop-and-frisk.

Within New Haven, Abdussabur said stop-and-frisk has not been abused. He agreed it “cannot be a permanent part” of the officer’s tool belt.

Tags: , ,

Share this story with others.

Share |

Post a Comment

Comments

posted by: Threefifths on March 25, 2013  11:36am

Do they do stop and fisk in morris cove or Downtown?

posted by: HewNaven on March 25, 2013  11:46am

I think our biggest character flaw is our indolence. You see it in the people who would argue for better parking instead of walkable neighborhoods, you see it in the people who drive three blocks to the store, and you see it in the cops who would rather drive around and stop-and-frisk instead of walking the beat and talking to neighbors. If I had one wish, it would be for people to just stop being lazy. There’s always an easy way to do things, but that doesn’t mean that its best for everyone. We’re obsessed with efficiency but oblivious to synergy.

posted by: Curious on March 25, 2013  11:54am

[“I know you haven’t committed a crime,” explained Abdussabur, “but just in case you commit a crime in the future.”]

That’s not okay.  I can;t imagine something more open to abuse.

{Within New Haven, Abdussabur said stop-and-frisk has not been abused. He agreed it “cannot be a permanent part” of the officer’s tool belt.]

How do you keep it from being abused?  Is the number of stop & frisks that an officer performs tracked in some way?  Can they see if an officer is doing it way more than others on the same kind of duty?  Or is it all under the radar?

posted by: P Christopher Ozyck on March 25, 2013  12:48pm

Reasonable cause should be the screen to stop and frisk. Clearly define the screen.  otherwise we are all equal.  Can’t stop and frisk as an officer - engage person of Internet through conversation and presence.

posted by: AyJoe on March 25, 2013  1:29pm

“In addition to taking an offensive stance against crime—allowing police officers to pat down anyone viewed as suspicious—stop-and-frisk offers a preventative measure by gathering information to create a databank of people, he argued. “I know you haven’t committed a crime,” explained Abdussabur, “but just in case you commit a crime in the future.”

However, Abudssabur agreed with Elicker that the tactic, if abused, can lead to racial profiling. Abudssabur has published books criticizing police in some communities for racial profiling while also advising young African-Americans to avoid inciting officers.”

Craziest two paragraphs I think I have read in a long time.  I am all too familiar with the ‘building a database concept’ and don’t agree at all.  It’s like getting pulled over for having 1 license plate on your car 10 times and always getting a warning.  This kind of behavior can lead to racial profiling? 

Mind-boggling that in this time and age folks describe blatant institutionally racist and discriminatory practices/policies as maybe leading to racial profiling.

posted by: 32knot on March 25, 2013  2:31pm

there is no stop and frisk in Morris Cove because there are rarely any police in the Cove, even when one or more is needed!

I can not understand why anyone thinks ” stop and frisk” is acceptable in any situation when no ” probable cause” exists!!!  Every person has the inalienable right to not be harassed by the police unless there is reasonable suspicion they are committing or have committed a crime. The fact that the tactic has reduced crime in NYC does not alter the fact it is fundamentally wrong to stop and search just because of the neighborhood they are walking in at the time. If you are walking around in Morris Cove, the Hill or East Rock and are minding your own business you should not have to worry about the police stopping you to ” build a data base”. That reasoning smacks of Stalin-ism!!

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 26, 2013  8:12am

“I think [stop-and-frisk] has a merit,” said Abdussabur (pictured), “but it is a small piece.” In addition to taking an offensive stance against crime—allowing police officers to pat down anyone viewed as suspicious—stop-and-frisk offers a preventative measure by gathering information to create a databank of people, he argued. “I know you haven’t committed a crime,” explained Abdussabur, “but just in case you commit a crime in the future.”

I’m glad that SEVERAL posters have pointed out how wrong this is. “But just in case you commit a crime in the future”. Are you kidding us, right now?

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee

Events Calendar

loading…

SeeClickFix »

Damage to Vehicle Due to Road Repairs
Oct 30, 2014 10:54 pm
Address: Chapel Street And Franklin Street New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 3

Other
Oct 30, 2014 10:07 pm
Address: 129 Ramsddell St New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 6

AN OLD MATRTESS HAS BEEN SITTING ON THE CURB/SIDEWALK FOR MORE THAN A MONTH. IT IS WET...

more »

PosterWallAdd your Poster

Sponsors

N.H.I. Site Design & Development

smartpill design