San Francisco was hoping to follow in the footsteps of New York City with their “stop-and-frisk” policy, but it looks like all the controversy has spawned a change of heart. The city’s mayor, Ed Lee, was met with public criticism in June after announcing plans to enforce the policy which has been viewed as a racial profiling tactic.
Under “stop-and-frisk” police officers are allowed to stop and search anyone who may be suspicious, yet those profiled tend to be Black and Latino.
The policy’s alleged goal is to combat gun violence, but Lee has now said that he will instead use the help of targeted police enforcement software to track criminal activity.
In New York, many stand on opposite sides of “stop-and-frisk.” Crime victims, like Natasha Christopher—whose teen son was shot dead on a Brooklyn street—feel that had the person responsible for taking her child’s life been criminally profiled, the incident would have never happened. On the contrary, Latino actor Giancarlo Esposito, was frisked by the NYPD as he left theater rehearsals for a play, and was clearly racially profiled.
In light of the backlash, New York City has seen a 38 percent drop in cases of “stop-and-frisk” in the second quarter of the year. However, of those stopped, more than 50 percent were Black, and more than 30 percent were Latino.
As for San Francisco, the mayor is expected to announce his alternative plan sometime Tuesday (Aug. 7).
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