University of the District of Columbia Law Review


The focus of this Article, however, is on the more pervasive problem of overzealous police officers acting on less than probable cause or even less than reasonable articulable suspicion. Police officers may frequently act on hunches or suspicions with the attitude that their actions will not be questioned, especially when the victim is a minor and may not be savvy enough to know his or her legal rights. Officers may believe they can act with impunity because of the combination of socio-economic conditions in public housing areas and in other low-income housing areas, or where there are a substantial number of public assistance recipients, and because of race or national origin. Police officers, including minority officers from impoverished backgrounds, will frequently stop minority children and teenagers in poor, inner-city neighborhoods in situations for which they would not stop such youngsters in more affluent areas or in primarily white neighborhoods.

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