The power of police to detain persons for a brief period to investigate suspected criminal activity--commonly known as “stop-and-frisk”--has always been one of the most contentious issues in law enforcement. Although there is general consensus that street stops are an important weapon in crime prevention, the belief has always existed that stop-and-frisk tactics are often used indiscriminately and abusively against minority groups.
Bennett L. Gershman, Use of Race in "Stop-and-Frisk": Stereotypical Beliefs Linger, but How Far Can the Police Go?, N.Y. St. B.J., Apr. 2000, at 42, available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/60/