A federal judge ruled on Monday that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy.
The use of police stops has been widely cited by city officials as a linchpin of New York’s success story in seeing murders and major crimes fall to historic lows. The police say the practice has saved the lives of thousands of young black and Hispanic men by removing thousands of guns from the streets.
But the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, found that the Police Department resorted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” as it increased the number of stops in minority communities. That has led to officers’ routinely stopping “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” (source)
But there is another side to this story:
A visibly angry Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced a federal judge's ruling on Monday that the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk tactic had violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers.
"This is a very dangerous decision made by a judge that I think just does not understand how policing works, and what is compliant with the U.S. Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court," Mr. Bloomberg said of U.S. Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ordered an outside monitor be brought in to oversee the Police Department's stop-and-frisk methods.
Mr. Bloomberg, fewer than five months from the end of his 12 years in office, vigorously defended stop-and-frisk as a crucial tool used by police to fight crime. He cast the debate over the tactic, which almost exclusively targets young black and Latino men, in stark terms, arguing that an outside monitor would sow confusion in the police force and cost lives.
"It's worth remembering that as recently as 1990, New York City averaged more than six murders a day. Today, we've driven that down to less than one murder a day," the mayor said at a packed City Hall press conference, flanked by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo. "Think about what that change really means: if murder rates over the last 11 years had been the same as the previous 11 years, more than 7,300 people who today are alive would be dead." (source)
About 85% stopped were Blacks and Hispanics and all or majority of them were clean. This is was reported when the story first broke out. Though 7,300 sounds like a huge number, but in reality in a population of 8 million, it is actually nothing. Also there is no guarantee that those people would have died.
We all know Benjamin Franklin said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety". I agree with statement. Can't live life in fear while it incriminates on constitutional freedoms of others and including mine.
Also there is no guarantee that those people would have died.
The evidence is statistical. The same sort of evidence by which we think we know that cigarettes cause deaths.
It also encourages less educated white people to develop racist opinions, rather than doing anything to actually discourage violent behavior. The only way that I can think of to end the gang violence and racism is through education, and enacting policies that would encourage class equality.
Chris Rock Hits the nail on the head in this clip.
This is the case for Hispanics as well. We need to get rid of the second class. There's no reason that the first class citizens shouldn't be made up of black, brown and white people.
The only way that I can think of to end the gang violence and racism is through education, and enacting policies that would encourage class equality.
The defenders of stop and frisk will tell you that one of the main benefits of stop and frisk is that it removes many of the weapons from minority areas, where stop and frisk is disproportionately used. Yes, they say, stop and frisk tends to be used more on blacks and Hispanics, but it's the black and Hispanic neighborhoods that benefit the most from stop and frisk. This, they say, humanizes the area by making it less likely kids can be impressed into gangs. Kids can then think more about education and less about simply surviving,. And they point to statistics showing reduced death and violence in these areas, They think that efforts to make stop and frisk more racially proportional (e.g., if 60% of a city's residents are white, then approximately 60% of stop and frisks should be of white people) is ridiculous and wasteful, since white areas often have considerably less crime and gang activity.
Promoting class equality isn't the job of the police.
So you're saying that removing weapons would cut down on violent crime? Why not apply that thinking to the country on the whole?
That would require making gun removal popular nationally. Hell, are you aware that in Newtown, where the Sandy Hook slaughter of children happened, gun purchases have almost doubled? (source)
Yes I am aware. Just like they did in Columbine, West Virginia, and everywhere else there was a massively televised gun shooting that was also a very rare occurrence. If the media stopped for just one minute, and blamed the stupidly easy access to firearms and ammunition, then maybe the rest of the nation might have a little bit of a logical thought when it comes to guns.
This is a false equivalency, the stops may or may not have had a direct impact on the murder rate.
I think the reason this has come to the place where it is at though, is because of overuse of the ability to search. Apparently, the stop and frisk law was used about 175,000 times a year. Only 61% of those were considered "reasonable suspicion", the rest were either unreasonable or inconclusive. source
If you are a minority going out on a date to the Knicks game, with that amount of stopping going on, you might have to figure in the amount of frisking you will be subjected to each time you go.
Freakonomics has made the case in the past that the legalization of abortion is the main driver in crime statistic declines. I read their book--a good read, I highly recommend it--and they made their case with me. I could say that the decline in average family size might have allowed the 7300 lives to be saved.
Or we could believe the politicians.
The big thing is stop and frisk is not the only change that the NYPD made during that time and no one can be sure that without stop and frisk that 7300 number would not be 10,000. Look it is the governments job to keep us FREE ....NOT SAFE. We are responsible for our own safety, and we need to fight for our freedom.
It isn't about statistical saved lives.
It is about unalienable rights.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
There is no doubt in my mind that NY city's policy is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment.
Furtive behavior should not serve as a reason to conduct searches. Blacks & Hispanics are being racially profiled. Is it saving lives? Probably. Is it a violation of our 4th amendment rights? Definitely. Upholding the constitutional rights of individuals trumps saving people from themselves/others.