Officer Smith's Decision-Making

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To begin with, I don’t think Officer Smith had any judgements until she actually walked up to the car, but the female’s appearance did in fact influence her decision making. I say that because not even seeing a firearm in the car, Officer Smith frisked her down for a weapon. Let’s be honest, majority of law enforcement pass judgement on African Americans, especially if they have tattoos and piercings. According to Lawrence N. Blum (2015). “In today 's environment the consequences for error in police performance or executive decision making have become increasingly severe.” The media shows a lot of police brutality against African Americans, so this incident is no different. Did Officer Smith have reasonable suspicion to make the initial stop …show more content…
A pat down or frisk is only legal if the officer believes that he/she is armed and dangerous. In this particular case, it could go either way. The pat down could be seen as legal or illegal depending on how you look at it. On one hand, the officer already has in her head that she’s “one of those people that needs to get off the streets” so automatically the officer assumes she’s armed because of the way she looks. NYPD statistics shows that African Americans has a greater risk of being stopped and frisked than any other race. Judge Shira Scheindlin determined that the police appeared to unconstitutionally target minorities. (New York News. 2015) On the hand, Officer Smith did believe that the vehicle was involved in another crime scene so just based of that information alone, the frisk could be seen as legal. It would be up to the judge to make that decision if it was to go to …show more content…
I say that because they have in their head that the person they just stopped for a simple traffic violation is a criminal in some type of way. In my opinion, Officer Smith didn’t have probable cause to frisk the young lady. Yes, the officer believed that the vehicle was involved in another crime, but like I stated before, Officer Smith had already stereotyped the young lady with long braids, tattoos and piercings as “one of those”. This essay was for us to use critical thinking and to analysis the situation. After it’s all said and done, I believe that the only thing the girl should be charged with is fleeing from the police officer, but with that the officer needs to answer why she made the stop in the first place when in fact her taillight was working and the vehicle was not a part of the roadside killing. After reading this case, I am convinced that all officers needs to be asked a series of questions to insure that they are not racist against any ethnicity. If this was done, then I’m sure there would not be as many African Americans getting stopped and frisked or excessive force used on minorities as a

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