Author Archives: Orhan Gokkaya

Stop, question, and Frisk

In a patrol car, a pair of officers receive a call from the dispatcher about a shooting in Brownsville that took place. The officers make way into Brownsville, Brooklyn at 4 A.M. When they arrive they notice a dead body and 2 witnesses. The officers call the ambulance and question the witnesses while it arrives. Both witnesses saw that the suspect is a black male, around the ages of 30 in which he was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. The officers on their radio’s report to the other officers to be on the look out for such suspect. A few blocks away an officer notices a man walking down the street, and is described to fit the description of the suspect. The officer thinks briefly about the man fitting the illustration of the suspect and begins to questions himself. The officer believes that if the man is the suspect he must have a gun on him. He then introduces other possibilities such as an average New Yorker coming out of a bar after a good beer with his buddies, or a man just wanting to walk at 4 A.M. for pleasure. If the Police Officer doesn’t approach the man he would be abandoning his shield and going against his oath, that wouldn’t be a choice. The Officer knows that if the man is the suspect he has a gun on him. The Officer chooses the politically incorrect way and approaches the man aggressively, since Officer safety is paramount.

The Officer tells the man to lean up against the wall so he could be searched after telling him that he fits the description of a suspect involved in shooting someone. The embarrassed man begins to feel persecuted and tells the white Officer that he is racially profiling him. The Officer begins to frisk the man but finds no firearm on him, the man is detained and showed to the two witnesses. Both witnesses tell the Officer that the man is not the suspect. The Officer apologizes to the man in which he lets him free. The man grows a hatred to the police because he was mistreated. From an outside perspective the man was ill-treated, however, from an Officer’s point of view, the need to mistreat is essential because of the nature of their job. From an outside perspective, if the police told the man that he fits the description of a recent murderer, the man will think that it is just another reason for a “250” and that he is being stopped and frisked because the NYPD seeks numbers.

Anyone in the mans position would be upset especially with the way he was treated by the Officer, however, because law enforcement is solely based on suspicions, all suspicions must be investigated even if an individual is innocent. Most individuals who are stopped and frisked are often found innocent and a handful are found carrying an illegal firearm. There should be no relationship between stop and frisk and arrest records being utilized to deter and measure the stop and frisk policy. A Police Officer’s job is to protect and serve, as well as entailing the need to have suspicions of individuals; either innocent or guilty. If a Police Officer didn’t suspect and investigate he/she would be doing his/her job.

The stop and frisk policy is not only used in New York, rather, in other states as well. The U.S. Supreme court ruled that police have the right to search anyone who is about to commit a crime or already has committed the crime. New Yorkers refer to the “250” as a racist policy and believes that the chances of being in a “250” are solely based on an individuals skin color. The stop, question, and possible frisk policy doesn’t always have to end with an Officer frisking a suspect, the media only exaggerates it, just like the stop and kiss program which the Onion News (a satire organization) created. An Officer tells the suspect to shut his mouth and that he/she will kiss the suspect after reasonable cause for searching him/her. After the Police Academy, Officers are deployed into impact zones (high crime areas) in which they are demanded to keep crime at low levels. Stopping and frisking in these impact zones begins the argument of minorities being stopped and frisked. If there are people residing in impact zones they must be stopped and frisked, if the minorities live in impact zones they will be stopped and frisked to lower crime.

Police Officers go where the descriptions of suspects lead them. The dispatcher announces to the Officers on the radio that a white male has committed a robbery, the male is found to be wearing purple shirt, blue jeans, and orange socks. The Officer will not go up to a black male to stop, question, and frisk him because he fits the white males description. The police are not racially profiling individuals, they are just doing their jobs. Law enforcement is mostly based upon suspicions.

Primary Objective

Primary Objective

When an individual fasts he/she refrains from consuming any sorts of foods and/or drinks for a period of time, about 16 hours. Hunger is the greatest obstruction for a Saa’em (Arabic for, a person who fasts).  When an individual overcomes his/her hunger he/she promotes a greater discipline for themselves. Hunger is a powerful tool, it is utilized by protestors to arouse guilt in others and it is exercised by religious populations in return for God’s love.

There were 6 seats total at the 6 person rectangle dinner table and all except 1 was occupied. The quiet atmosphere at the dinner table portrayed the unhappy faces of each person. I was fortunate to see that the best seat at the dinner table was unoccupied; therefore, I claimed the middle seat. The middle seat was a quiet space which allowed a cross-table diagonal conversation. Observing the dinner table, the entertainment laid on what was on the table itself and not the seats. In the middle of the table was an oven roasted chicken and around the chicken laid an abundance of food. The table was similar to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner table but without the turkey. A loud malicious growl! Noise aroused and was heard by the other members of the dinner table. The noise became unbearable, the growl noise continued to repeat in a pattern just like an ostinato in music.

Every time the growl noise evoked a burning sensation befell. The burning was produced by the Hydrochloric acid hitting the stomach wall in a fierce manner just like fierce waves hitting the shore. It was obvious that the acid was looking for a prey. Every time the acid hit the stomach wall, the growl noise echoed to the esophagus in which the noise became louder and more painful. No one at the dinner table was disturbed by the unbearable noises because they too had the same issue and were focused on something much more important, the clock. Tick tock, as 1 minute passed, one person stood up from the dinner table and shouted, “Everyone the time has come to break our fast! The 1st day of Ramadan is fulfilled.” The person who shouted quickly sat down then swiftly began stuffing his face on the food on his plate. He ate so fast that he looked like he would eventually choke.

The man continued to eat so fast and so much that he demonstrated that his fast was valid, even though no one asked him to validate it. No one spoke at the dinner table; the people all seemed like strangers even though they were close family members. All that could be heard was munching noises. The growling noises dissolved as the food entered their empty stomachs. The people at the dinner table became full within a matter of 5 minutes. They seemed awkward about how a person can become full within 5 minutes after not eating for 16 hours. They enjoyed their time by drinking tea and conversing with each other. One traditional individual looked at me and stated, “Hey, do you know the story of the Turkish tea?” I looked at him and replied, “Not really, I just like to drink it everyday.” He scrunched his eyebrows together and asked, “You drink the tea everyday but you don’t know its importance?” I felt my cheeks getting hotter and hotter, I replied, “Please explain.” He stated, “The teacup is the household, the tea leaves are the parents and the liquid of the tea is love. The sugars are the children, when you mix the elements you get a good taste of peace, which every men desire.” The man revealed to me that everything has a meaning in life. After he finished explaining the story of the tea, an old man with a hunch over from years of gravity pushing down on his spine interrupted him and carried him into a conversation about his time in the military in which the wise man turned to him and listened carefully, removing me from their space.

There was a positive atmosphere at the dinner table; everybody felt relieved after getting their most important desire to be fulfilled, the desire of eating food. Each person understood the importance of discipline and the importance of food. The people at the dinner table spoke highly about giving food to the poor as they felt in their position for a moment of time. Ramadan is the month of observance. Muslims who fast during the month of Ramadan not only become closer to Allah but, also become more aware of their environment. The people at the dinner table were blessed to have food in front of them as it was a type of luxury for them for a moment. The house became like a teacup filled with tea, everybody was at peace until sunrise.