You can still find yourself inside a law enforcement database without ever being arrested. This occurs through stop, question and frisk reports. These reports are supposed to be completed by cops when they, at the very least, temporarily detain a person for questioning. Let’s define frisking and searching as they are two very different things. Frisking is a running of the hands over the clothing, feeling for a weapon. Searching is the placing of hands inside pockets or other interior parts of clothing to determine if object felt while frisking is actually a weapon. Stop, question and frisk reports are generally filled out when cops reasonably suspect a person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.  Just like ticket quotas, cops now have quotas for stop, question and frisk reports as well. They are required to produce far more tickets than stop, question and frisk reports. Stop, question and frisk reports are reviewed and entered into police databases.

Stop, question and frisk reports are extremely useful to detectives. Let’s say you’re walking down the street and the police stop you. They call you over to the car, ask you questions about where you live and where you’re going. They take your id for a few seconds, thank you and drive away. This is all information that would go in a stop, question and frisk report. Let’s say your a twenty-five year old male who’s wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap. This information is also entered in a stop, question and frisk report.

You think nothing of it because you haven’t committed a crime and maybe you were just on your way to the grocery store. But what if someone about your height and age wearing a t-shirt, jeans and baseball cap commits a crime in your neighborhood? I guarantee you that the stop, question and frisk report that was prepared for you earlier in the day will be reviewed. It may also become part of an investigation if the cops can’t find the person that committed the crime.

At this point, the cops can detain you and hold you as a suspect. If you are arrested for a crime someone else committed you will have an arrest record. The charges being dropped WILL NOT MATTER.

The three largest contributing factors to being arrested are

1. Being stopped by the police and becoming the subject of a stop, question and frisk report

2. Living in an area where multiple crimes are committed

3. Loosely resembling the description of a criminal

Aside from a crime recently being committed, cops can usually articulate a believable reason to stop and question you. Some common examples are: riding your bicycle on the sidewalk, accidently setting your house alarm off, changing a tire on your car, etc.

If you do get stopped and questioned, politely ask the cops

“Officer, I’d appreciate it if my name isn’t on your report. Would it be possible for me to remain anonymous?”

Cops shouldn’t have a problem with this request depending on the circumstances. Sometimes cops will smooth talk you into giving them your drivers license for their stop, question and frisk report.

Again, politely ask, “Officer, I’d appreciate it if my name isn’t on your report. Would it be possible for me to remain anonymous?” Cops generally won’t force you to give them your identification if they have no valid reason for needing it.