Street Stops and Police Legitimacy in New York

Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler, and Tracey L. Meares, Street Stops and Police Legitimacy in New York, in Jacqueline E. Ross and Thierry Delpeuch (eds.), Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence: New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe 203 (2016).

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-514

Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 547

29 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016 Last revised: 23 Jun 2016

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School

Tom Tyler

Yale University - Law School

Tracey L. Meares

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: June 6, 2016

Abstract

Police-initiated citizen encounters in American cities often are non-neutral events. Encounters range from routine traffic stops to police interdiction of pedestrians during their everyday movements through both residential and commercial areas to aggressive enforcement of social disorder offenses. As a crime detection and control strategy central to the “new policing,” these encounters often are unproductive and inefficient. They rarely result in arrest or seizure of contraband, and often provoke ill will between citizens and legal authorities that discourages citizen cooperation with police and compliance with law. In this chapter, we describe the range of potentially adverse reactions or harms that SQF or ‘street’ policing may produce. We next link those harms to a broader set of normative concerns that connect dignity, harm and police legitimacy. In the third section we review the evidence that connects citizen views of police – as well as their experience with police – to their perceptions of the legitimacy of the police and criminal legal institutions generally. We also review the evidence that links those perceptions to how citizens behave with respect to law, and identify the consequences of adverse reactions of citizens to harsh forms of street policing. We discuss alternative frameworks for regulation and democratic control of the new policing to link police legitimacy with guardianship of communities.

Keywords: police, crime, new policing, street stops, SQF

Suggested Citation

Fagan, Jeffrey and Tyler, Tom and Meares, Tracey L., Street Stops and Police Legitimacy in New York (June 6, 2016). Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler, and Tracey L. Meares, Street Stops and Police Legitimacy in New York, in Jacqueline E. Ross and Thierry Delpeuch (eds.), Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence: New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe 203 (2016).; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-514; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 547. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795175

Jeffrey Fagan (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2624 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Jeffrey_Fagan

Tom Tyler

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Tracey Louise Meares

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4074 (Phone)
203-432-4876 (Fax)

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