A high-crime area, when used as a factor in reasonable suspicion analysis to help justify a police officer’s stop and frisk of an African American, is overtly racist. This Note will first analyze the empirical data showing that high-crime areas are predominately high-black areas—including a historical analysis for how this came about. Next, the Note will explain the origin and jurisprudence of the high-crime area factor, highlighting its curtailment by lower courts. It will then validate that the only viable solution is to dump the high-crime area factor. Finally, this Note explains how the high-crime area factor potentially violates the Equal Protection Clause.
It's High Time to Dump the High Crime Area Factor,
21 Berkeley J. Crim. L.