On Monday night, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, initiated the symbol of “Hands up; don’t shoot” which has come to represent the fractured relationship between law enforcement and the public at large – particularly African-American men.

Jeffries seized the opportunity to draw much needed attention to the glaringly potent issue while addressing Congress from the floor of the house. He demonstrated his alliance with the protesters in Ferguson by readily putting his hands up and accompanying his gesture with a statement explaining his actions, “People are fed up all across America because of the injustice involved in continuing to see young, unarmed African-American men killed as a result of a gunshot fired by a law enforcement officer”. “People are fed up”. “This is a problem that Congress can’t run from”.

Jeffries passionate plea was played out during a series hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus – a group made up of black members of Congress who have voiced their disapproval of the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer responsible for the shooting death of Michael Brown that occurred in Ferguson, MO.

Other’s echoed Jeffries cry for justice including Rep. Marcia Fudge from Ohio, “we must first acknowledge that we have a race issue we are not addressing”.

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  • Objection

    I hope the African-American(AA) members of congress really fight to change our criminal justice system. They need to start with Terry vs. Ohio. A Terry stop gives the police the authority to harass AA without probable cause. Terry stops need to go.

    • Darkness901

      I agree that some police officer abuse the Terry Frisk especially when it comes to AA’s. However, the ruling in Terry vs. Ohio, in my opinion, is fair and does not give police officers too much power. I believe officer’s need to understand what is truly reasonable. Terry vs. Ohio is not based on probable cause. It is based on reasonable suspicion and I think a lot of civilians and police officer fail to understand or be able to articulate what is reasonable.

    • Objection

      Terry vs. Ohio is not based on probable cause.

      I respect your opinion. But your statement above is the problem. Justice Douglas wrote a dissenting opinion that I agree with. When a police officer stops a civilian, that officer is making an arrest. No arrest should be made without probable cause.

      Just because the majority of the Justices have made a ruling, does not mean the ruling is the proper interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. See Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896). Justice Harlan wrote a dissenting opinion in Plessy that I agree with.

      It may take 50 years like Plessy, but Terry vs. Ohio will one day be overturned.

    • Darkness901

      Thanks for respecting my opinion. I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong. I enjoy the discussion. Especially when there is another intelligent person on the other end.
      When a officer stops a civilian, in my opinion (again lol), it is not necessarily an arrest. It could be detention which is not an arrest. Those are two totally different things. Also, it could be consensual encounter. But, I’m getting off topic with that.
      Example: If neighborhood nosey neighbor calls the police about a suspicious person in your back yard (we are going to pretend that you are not home). The officers arrive and discover a male in your back yard that fits the description of the alleged suspect. The officers stop the individual. The male tells the officers that he is your brother. It is quickly verified that he is indeed your brother. He is released and the officers leave. Was that stop an arrest? (Its a rhetorical question)
      I’m going to read Justice Harlan dissenting opinion. I love reading case law. It’s always interesting!

    • Objection

      When a officer stops a civilian, in my opinion (again lol), it is not necessarily an arrest. It could be detention which is not an arrest.

      You’re focusing on time. An arrest has nothing to do with time, but liberty. If the police question me for 30 seconds, you call that a detention. If the police question me for 30 minutes, you call it an arrest. The Fourth Amendment does not protect time, it protects liberty. The Sixth Amendment protects time (speedy trial). An arrest is accomplished the moment a civilian cannot move. An arrest can be 30 seconds or 3 hours, time is irrelevant.

      An officer should only question me for 30 seconds, if the officer has probable cause that I’m committing a crime. Justice Douglas wrote the dissenting opinion in Terry.

    • Darkness901

      I definitely agree with you there. No one should be questioned for 30 minutes unless it is reasonable and articulable facts to justify it.

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