Motion Debate: Is "Stop and Frisk" an effective policy?

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Synopsis: During his campaign, then-Candidate Trump called for the controversial "stop and frisk" policy to be instituted nationwide, as a means to combat violent crimes. Advocates for the idea point to its success in New York City, where the implementation of stop and frisk led to a 75% decrease in crime, and significantly less gun-carrying.

However, strong dissent from civil rights organizations challenges the effectiveness of such an invasive procedure, believing it unfairly targets young male minority groups. Police stops in NYC soared some 600% since the 1990s, with 80% of those stopped being Hispanic or black. A 2013 decision from the Federal District Court for the Southern District held that the NYPD violated the Fourth Amendment by conducting unreasonable searches and the Fourteenth Amendment by systematically conducting stops and frisks in a racially discriminatory manner (see Floyd v. City of New York, 959 F. Supp. 2d 540).

Is this controversial policy worth it to make cities safer, or is there an alternative method to achieve the same result? Join us for an exciting dose of civil discourse!


Thomas Kim and Alex Grass were this month's live debate winners, arguing against the motion. While admitting that stop and frisk is not a perfect solution, they showcased its proven ability to reduce crime through compelling statistics and historical analysis.

Yousef Zakaria and Udit Gami, arguing for the motion, cited landmark cases and data that expose stop and frisk's propensity to abuse power and target racial minority groups. They proposed an alternative solution to asses individual threats based on information already aggregated online.