What’s in Alec Baldwin’s wallet? Apparently not his ID. Alec Baldwin was detained by police on May 13, 2014 while riding his bicycle on Fifth Avenue in New York City, New York. Reports indicate he was stopped by police for accidentally traveling the wrong direction and he could not produce his identification. The police chose to detain him until they could prove who he was.
Does this sound a little egregious? Not according to the “Stop and Identify” laws that are in effect in over twenty states. “Stop and Identify” laws on the books vary from state to state, but typically allow a police officer to ask for identification for numerous reasons including those that may seem to push the limits of the fourth amendment. Some states include language such as, “A police may request identification” while others specify, “Police may demand identification.”
New York State’s “Stop and Identify” law (CPL) 140.50 states, “”In addition to the authority provided by this article for making an arrest without a warrant, a police officer may stop a person in a public place located within the geographical area of such officer’s employment when he reasonably suspects that such person is committing, has committed or is about to commit either (a) a felony or (b) a misdemeanor defined in the penal law, and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his conduct.”
In Baldwin’s case, the illegal activity was riding a bicycle the wrong way on Fifth Avenue. When Alec Baldwin could not produce identification proving who he was he was detained–and seriously, who does not know who Alec Baldwin is?
Due to laws like “Stop and Identify” and the controversial “Stop and Frisk” program implemented by liberal former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, minorities have been profiled which has resulted in a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department. In fact, referring to controversial New York City Program, The New York Civil Liberties Union states: “Although blacks and Hispanics comprised just 14 percent of the population in six precincts, they still accounted for more than 70 percent of the stops there.”
However, in the same state someone can be detained for not providing proper identification for riding a bicycle the wrong way, or can be profiled for being a minority, that same person can go to the polls and vote to change or create laws, or vote people into office who will change or create laws, without having to provide identification.
The same liberals who implement laws like “Stop and Frisk” and “Stop and Identify,” are opposed to voter identification laws because they believe these laws unfairly target minorities and will suppress voter turnout.
In a statement on democrats.org, “The suppressive effects of these bills are well-documented: 11 percent of Americans—approximately 23 million citizens of voting age—lack proper photo ID and, as a result, could be turned away from the polls on Election Day. Those without photo ID are disproportionately low-income, disabled, minority, young, and older voters.” This is ironic considering it was liberals who implemented the controversial “Stop and Frisk Program” and “Stop and Identify” law to begin with.
So if you live in New York and you are on your way to vote make sure you know what’s in your wallet, not that you will need it once you get there.