Like so many New York City residents before him, Jasper Boyd was recently subjected to a questionable stop and frisk confrontation with a member of the NYPD. But as a former correction officer, Boyd is no stranger to the legal rights endowed to citizens when it comes to being searched by police.
Boyd was walking to his son’s elementary school in November in 2011 when he was stopped and frisked by an NYPD officer. He was stopped by the officer after quickly entering his apartment building to grab an umbrella and then exiting. Apparently walking in and out of buildings quickly means you’re selling drugs in New York City.
When Boyd exited his apartment, NYPD officer Wilson Gonzalez stopped him and asked him for identification. He told Boyd he wanted to see if there were any outstanding warrants for his arrest. When Boyd objected, Gonzalez started patting him down.
"He began to pat me and frisk me," Boyd told the New York Daily News. "I'm like, 'Whoa! What are you doing? You're in my pockets and you're stopping me and frisking me?'”
When Boyd again failed to give Gonzalez identification, he was given a summons for disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is a one-size-fits-all charge often handed to people for not cooperating with every order a police officer makes.
As a former corrections officer, Boyd knew there were no legitimate legal reasons for both the initial stop and frisk he was subjected to and the disorderly conduct citation he given. Officers are only allowed to stop residents if they have reasonable suspicion to believe the person is armed and dangerous. Boyd filed a complaint against Gonzalez using the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.
After the board reviewed the case, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to both a wrongful stop and frisk and to writing a summons without sufficient legal authority. Gonzalez’s only punishment will be a 15-day suspension without pay. Boyd says this is better than nothing, though.
"I'm happy with the outcome,” he said. "I was outraged."