New York Law School

Archive for April, 2011

The Target of the New York City Police Department’s Stop and Frisk Program: Crime or Race?

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) engages in a tactic known as Stop, Question, and Frisk. The NYPD uses this tactic allowing a police officer to stop an individual based on “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. The NYPD uses the tactic throughout the city alleging that it helps prevent crimes, make arrests, and solve future crimes. The NYPD has dramatically increased enforcement of the program in recent years. The number of stop and frisks grew from 97,000 in 2002 to 601,055 in 2010. While enforcement of the tactic has dramatically increased, the percentage of arrests or summonses resulting from a stop has consistently hovered around ten percent.

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Congressional Hypocrisy on Extremism

On March 11, 2011, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and Republican congressman from New York, Peter T. King, began a hearing on the “radicalization” of American Muslims. Titled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” the hearing was the twenty-third on such a topic, following a long line of similar hearings held by both Republicans and Democrats during the past five years. Why stop at having hearings about Islamic extremism? Why not have hearings about other forms of extremism?

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The Impact of Foreclosure on Racial Minorities

In recent months, there has been a drastic increase in the number of foreclosures in America. This increase in foreclosures is a result of a combination of many factors: the housing market, banks, mortgages, secondary mortgage market, unemployment rates, and the weak economy overall. Foreclosure can have drastic impacts on any family, but recent studies have shown that the effects may have a heavier impact on racial minorities than other groups.

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Racial Resentment and Healthcare Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the healthcare reform law passed by Congress in the spring of 2010, includes a number of health-related provisions which are to take effect over the four years after the law was passed. The health-related provisions of PPACA include requirements that insurers offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age, sex, and geographical location, regardless of any pre-existing conditions; expanding Medicaid access to individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level; and offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums and buy insurance, with a government subsidy if eligible. Each of these provisions was vigorously debated both in Congress and by the public, and President Obama was forced to make a number of changes to his original proposal before getting this bill passed.

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