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The Evolution of Stop, Question, and Frisk: A Critical Analysis

The practice of NYPD’s Stop Question and Frisk is a focal point of aggressive critique to deepen the basic understanding of the fight. In this paper, we will investigate the evolution of SQF based on intuitions from Dr. Hall’s declarations and quotations from the chapters “Courts vs. Cops” and “The Great Stop-and-Frisk Fraud” from Heather MacDonald’s book, “War on Cops: C. W. MacDonald, the author of the 2016 research, How the new attack on law and order affects everyone, More Unsafe.

Evolution of Stop, Question, and Frisk: The analysis by Dr. Hall reinforces the SQF’s first positive successes when the initiative was a proactive means of crime eradication and citizens’ protection (MacDonald, 2016, Chapter 15). While this was the case, however, the progress to SQF did not retain its angle, especially when there was a significant ruling by District Judge Shira Scheindlin in 2013. This ruling deemed the NYPD’s trespass stops in the Bronx unconstitutional, catalyzing broader skepticism and critique of the SQF program (MacDonald, 2016, Chapter 15). The events that unfolded, from its adoption as an assessment tool to missed training and lack of oversight, were all accountable for SQF becoming one of policing’s controversial aspects in questioning its effect on civil liberties and community service (MacDonald, 2016, p. 241). As the program faced these challenges, it ignited debates around law enforcement practices’ ethical and constitutional dimensions.

Judicial Bias or Ethical Concerns: However, Judge Scheindlin did as described in MacDonald’s book, “War on Cops” (2016, Chapter 15), where she gave some helpful advice to the defendants and was always against the NYPD actions as a source of solid doubt of justice in this legal process and ethical issues too.Judges’ role is vital and decisive in establishing justice and the concept of ethical behavior in the judicial system. Scheindlin’s apparent predisposition against the police department, manifested through advice given to defendants and consistent rulings against law enforcement, challenges the notion of judicial neutrality. Such behavior might lead to the suspicion that trust in the judiciary is unjustified and that the whole legal process could be unfair. The importance of the judges being neutrally impartial in this quest becomes all the more imperative when creating a legal context that respects ethical standards and ensures the treatment of all concerned parties equally.

Ethics of Using Fagan’s Research Data: What should be mentioned about the ethical issues of MacDonald’s using Professor Jeffrey Fagan’s analysis of the aggregate data on NYPD stops in “War on Cops: How the New Attack on Cops Threatens Public Safety and Why It Must Stop” (2016, Chapter 16) is also fascinating. The study by Fagan was a statistical analysis done to point out racial biases being employed in Stop, Question, and Frisk police conduct. However, concerns emerge regarding the validity of his research and the potential for bias in his findings. Fagan’s methodology, particularly the reliance on outdated data and overlooking the dynamic nature of crime, raises questions about the ethical foundations of using his research to challenge the NYPD’s practices. The lack of critical contextual details when it comes to omitting necessary contextual factors and ignoring the dynamic nature of policing practices weakens the trustworthiness of the conclusions proposed by Fagan. These methodological flaws not only compromise the integrity of the research but also pose ethical challenges in employing such data to influence perceptions and policies related to SQF practices in the NYPD.


MacDonald, H. (2016). War on Cops: The Abolitionist Movement, Will Endanger Your Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Excerpts from Chapters 15 and 16: ‘Courts vs Cops’ and The Great Stop-and-Frisk Fraud ..


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