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Policing Race & Class The Kerner Commision Report (1968)  Findings  Urban violence reflected the profound frustration of inner-city blacks and that racism.

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Presentation on theme: "Policing Race & Class The Kerner Commision Report (1968)  Findings  Urban violence reflected the profound frustration of inner-city blacks and that racism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Policing Race & Class The Kerner Commision Report (1968)  Findings  Urban violence reflected the profound frustration of inner-city blacks and that racism was deeply embedded in American society  Chronic poverty was a main contributor to unrest  Systematic police bias and brutality

2 Policing Race & Class The Kerner Commision Report (1968)  Sweeping Recommendations  Education & Employment  Housing  Public Health  National income supplementation

3 “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” -Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Policing Race & Class  Racial Profiling Black motorists more likely to be asked by police if their vehicles can be searched

4 “Racial Profiling” by Ryan Kelly Is there a double-standard (based on longstanding race and class inequalities in america) in how the fourth amendment's right to a reasonable search and seizure is being applied?

5 Florida v. Bostick: The Supreme Court & David Cole in Dialogue “The Fourth Amendment forbids the police from seizing individuals without some individualized suspicion that they have committed or are committing a crime, and the police admitted that they had none for Bostick.” -David Cole, No Equal Justice, pp.17 “A bus passenger's decision to cooperate with law en- forcement officers authorizes the police to conduct a search without first obtaining a warrant only if the cooperation is voluntary. "Consent" that is the product of official intimidation or harassment is not consent at all. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they are coerced to comply with a request that they would prefer to refuse....Bostick chose to permit the search of his luggage.” -Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Florida v. Bostick

6 Florida v. Bostick: The Supreme Court & David Cole in Dialogue (Cont.) “The Courts have never clearly answered a basic question: can the police use an individual’s exercise of her right to say no as a basis for developing suspicion justifying a nonconsensual search?... Because a consent search requires no objective individualized suspicion, it is more likely to be directed at poor young black men than wealthy white elderly women... Those who are white and wealthy are more likely to know their rights and to feel secure in asserting them.” -David Cole, No Equal Justice, pp.17 “If the war (on drugs) is to be fought, those who fight it must respect the rights of individuals, whether or not those individuals are suspected of having committed a crime. By the same token, this Court is not empowered to forbid law enforcement practices simply because it considers them dis- tasteful. The Fourth Amendment proscribes unreasonable searches and seizures; it does not proscribe voluntary cooperation... a court must consider all the circumstances surrounding the encounter to determine whether the police conduct would have communicated to a reasonable person that the person was not free to decline the officers' requests or otherwise terminate the encounter. ” -Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Florida v. Bostick

7 Summarizing the Supreme Court’s Bostick Decision Police may question without informing suspect of their right to remain silent Police may question without informing suspect of their right to remain silent A person is free to refuse A person is free to refuse Questioning does not equal seizure Questioning does not equal seizure Unless police use coercion Unless police use coercion Individualized evaluation Individualized evaluation All cases must be evaluated on the facts that are specific to it. All cases must be evaluated on the facts that are specific to it.

8 Cole’s Response Police may question without informing suspect of their right to remain silent Police may question without informing suspect of their right to remain silent a recipe for discrimination a recipe for discrimination Questioning does not equal seizure Questioning does not equal seizure Probable cause (objective facts from reliable sources) should be the standard used to support suspicion Probable cause (objective facts from reliable sources) should be the standard used to support suspicion Individualized evaluation Individualized evaluation Miranda Miranda F.B.I F.B.I

9 Discussion Question Who do you agree with the Supreme Court Or David Cole?


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