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Tania Woodward

Dr. Wynne

ENG 102

17 February 2017

Genre Analysis: Stop and Frisk

The practice of stop and frisk has always raised serious concerns over

racial profiling, illegal stops, and privacy rights. Police officers have been

wrongfully stopping hundreds of thousand law-abiding citizens with vast

majority being black and Hispanics. Stop and Frisk effects the victims of this

practice negatively and needs to be put to an end. Using two different forms

of genre types, oral and visual, they both convey messages on the effects of

stop and frisk practices and why it should end. The article, Policing the

Police on Stop-and-Frisk by The Editorial Board for The New York Times and

the interview, Stop-and-Frisk: The High School Senior by Clare Kim both

touch topic on stop and frisk. Although they both convey the same message,

the genre used differs the way the information will be perceived.

In the article, because it consisted of only words, its easier to figure

what message is trying to be conveyed. In this case, the message was why

we should put an end to stop and frisk. Although ruled that it is unreasonable

and violated constitutional prohibitions three years ago, by Federal District

Court, New York Citys stop and frisk program still seems to be a problem.

The authors intended audience for this article are for perpetrators and
victims of stop and frisk, NYC communities, and those mainly for stop and

frisk but also those against it. The language used throughout the article is

both formal and appropriate as it discusses how stop and frisk is a form of

racial profiling.

As the article states, in 2008, A statistical study of nearly 4.5 million

stops produced at trial showed that only 6 percent of stops resulted in arrest

and 6 percent resulted in in summonses- which meant that 88 percent of the

people stopped had been nothing wrong and in about 83 percent of the

cases, the person stopped was black or Hispanic. (The Editorial Board) This

goes to show that police are only stopping and frisking the minorities of the

community. The authors purpose of this article is to inform the intended

audience on the racial-profiling and discrimination stop and frisk is causing. It

does that by using specific data, numbers and percentages, that show it

focuses on minorities only and they are being stopped by unreasonable

suspicion. Furthermore, this genre is credible since it is an article from The

New York Times, an American daily newspaper, which also makes it reliable,

that covers both the appeal of ethos and logos. As for pathos, the emotions

this article might evoke can be anger. Because the article is basically proving

that stop and frisk only effects minorities by placing millions of black and

Hispanics under scrutiny by police, which is racially discriminating, it can

evoke anger against officers.

On the other note, the interview on stop and frisk illustrates the effect

it has on the victims of this unrightfully act. For African American high school
senior, Kasiem Walters, he explains in his interview that after his several

firsthand experiences with stop and frisk, it has caused him to fear police.

Once again, the intended audience for this interview is for victims and

perpetrators of stop and frisk, those for or against this law, and citizens who

reside in NYC. I believe the purpose of this interview is to not only inform

people of the crucial effects that stop and frisk has on minorities, but to also

persuade people in a sense, for it proves that this act is not beneficial to


Due to the interview being partially written out and on video I got to

get two different feels from it when it comes to language. When reading it, I

felt the language was very formal, no slang just straight forward. But when

watching and listening to the interview, the language was still formal but the

tone of the interviewees voice, allowed me to hear what the written

interview couldnt portray for me. Along with the emotions behind his words,

Walters uses vocabulary such as, dehumanizing to depict how being stop

in frisked in public and in front of peers, family, or just random bystanders is

very degrading. As for his tone of voice, you can almost hear and feel how

irritated Kasiem Walters feels about him and others in his community

constantly keep getting stopped based of a police officers unreasonable


The interview applies ethos, pathos, and logos to reinforce the

message it is trying to convey. For ethos, this genre establishes credibility

with the audience by being from a firsthand perspective which then

establishes logos. Since, the information is first hand, it allows it to be

reliable, the interviewee is sharing his several firsthand experiences. The

genre also appeals to emotions, pathos, attempting to evoke sympathy from

the audience. After hearing Walters experience with the cops causing him to

fear them now, you begin to feel sympathy for victims of stop and frisk.

Although Kaisem Walters expresses his opinion and emotions towards stop

and frisk, I feel there were some limitations placed on the information he

gave. Since this was an interview, some of the things he might have wanted

to say, might have been restricted and he was given less freedom to express

what he needed to.

Although both the article and interview conveyed the message in

different ways, they share the same intended message which was the effects

of the practice of stop and frisk and why we should end it. Genre has a major

impact on how ideas are perceived. Like stated before, both article and

interview convey the same message but the interview can be seen as more

appealing. Not just showing the importance and informative effects of stop

and frisk, the interview was able to also give the emotional aspect of the

effect it has on its victims. Needless to say, both genres presented the

information clearly and fulfilled its purpose.

Work Cited

The Editorial Board. Policing the Police on Stop-and-Frisk. The New York
June 2016
Walters, Kaisem. Stop-and-Frisk: The High School Senior 29 July 2013