As we do from time to time, we are sorry to report a death.
The Fourth Amendment has died, after a long illness in New York City.
Few details of the actual last moments of the amendment are known, but the NY Times reported yesterday on the long, sad tragic decline of a once proud member of the Bill Of Rights, reduced at the end to a mere figurehead, ignored by those sworn to uphold and respect it.
From the article on stop and frisks in NYC:
Nearly 700,000 people were stopped and frisked by police officers in New York last year, up from 97,000 in 2002.
Young black and hispanic males constituted 41% of the stops while they account for less than 5% of the population of New York City.
50% of the stops- that's almost 350,000 people- were done in response to a "furtive movement." That's a lot of suspicious movements in the city that never sleeps.
6% of the stops- less than 40,000- led to an actual arrest. That's 660,000 stops that ended with "Never mind. Have a nice day."
1808 people a day were stopped for no reason last year in New York City. That equals 75 people an hour- more than one every minute- twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year.
The once mighty amendment, whose frequent use curtailed the excesses of police officers, was killed- not in one mighty blow from an assailant like, say, a politician- but by a death from a thousand, or in this case, 350,000 a year tiny cuts of "furtive movements." Ignored and diminished and ridiculed, the amendment died a slow sad death, and with it died the freedoms of the citizens it protected to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Amendment is survived by nine other siblings. No immediate details have been released about the funeral arrangements. The Fourth Amendment was born on December 15, 1791. It was 221 years old.