From: Tim Brand (e-mail him)
A May 13 New York Times story caught my eye and made my blood boil because of a recent personal experience: "Minorities Frisked More but Arrested at Same Rate," by Al Baker, New York Times, May 13, 2010)
While walking in my central Florida neighborhood last January, I was stopped and frisked by a cop even though I was minding my own business. I was not engaged in suspicious behavior. Nor was I trespassing or peeping into anyone's window. In fact, I have never in my life committed a crime of any type.
Nevertheless a policeman, for no apparent reason, stopped me. He had me put my hands on the hood of his police car while its lights were blinking and flashing.
He then frisked me. Of course, since I don't do drugs or own weapons he found nothing. When he was through, he gave me no reason at all for his pat-down.
I took his name and badge number. The next day, I contacted every lawyer I could including emailing the ACLU.
No lawyer, of course, was interested, even though I learned that this officer has prior complaints lodged against him.
You see, the police officer is black. I'm white. I have no civil rights in today's America.
And, if you're white, neither do you.
James Fulford writes: Most Fourth and Fifth Amendment jurisprudence is directed at helping guilty people get away with crimes. If the officer, as a result of an improper search, had found a pound of drugs, bomb-making material, or piece of a dead body, you could have that evidence suppressed in court, and get away with whatever it was you were guilty of. But as an innocent man, you're out of luck.