NYPD Chief Says Ending Stop And Frisk Will 'Hurt Minorities,' Result In A Surge Of Criminal Activity

from the wrong-on-both-counts dept

We’ve all heard Bloomberg’s defense of the NYPD’s officially unconstitutional stop and frisk program. Basically, the mayor claims that without being able to harass thousands of minorities a year (88% of whom are never charged, detained or given a summons), the city will immediately fall prey to a crimewave of epic proportions.

In fact, the hint of any sort of regulation or oversight is also greeted by the mayor’s proclamations that, if implemented, the streets will run red with the blood of the innocent (also: cops). According to Bloomberg, any additional layer of oversight will so severely impair the decision-making skills of his police force, they’ll be unable to respond to a pulled gun with anything other than dying.

So, now we’ll have another layer of monitors… You’re a police officer. You have to know what orders to follow. If somebody pulls a gun and you WANT TO GET HOME, you don’t have time to say, “Well, now wait a second, the commissioner said one thing, the monitor said another and the IG said another.” By that time, you’re dead.

Fortunately, Bloomberg will be leaving office soon and won’t have to bear the burden of a “bunch of people dying” (his words) as a result of this recent court decision. On the other hand, Police Chief Ray Kelly may be around long enough to see his stop and frisk program hampered by oversight and the Constitution, provided he doesn’t bolt for the Department of Homeland Security beforehand.

Faced with this still-under-appeal reality, Kelly has been making the rounds to various talk shows, offering his defense of the stop and frisk program. His wording suggests he and Bloomberg have been reading over each other’s shoulders.

“The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation. He noted that 97% of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, reasoned that similar demographics apply if a stop deters a killing and added that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.

I’d like to hear from some minorities if that’s OK with you, Kelly. I’d like to see if they’re willing to “trade off” a little bit of theoretical safety for the freedom to walk around without being judged as “furtive” or “suspicious” or “not white.” You’ll have to forgive me for not taking your word for it.

Kelly states crime stats as if that excuses the violations committed by his officers. It doesn’t. Judge Scheindlin refused to consider the lowered crime rates as justification for constitutional violations. We’ve all heard the phrase, “the end justifies the means,” and it’s never used in reference to appropriate “means.” But Kelly and Bloomberg do this all the time in reference to stop and frisk. “Our crime rate is historically low, therefore we’ll do whatever we want to maintain it.” Not acceptable.

Once the stats have been presented, it’s time to switch to Argument B — the violent crime spectre.

If stop and frisk were abandoned, “no question about it —violent crime will go up,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

This is one of stop and frisk defenders’ favorite claims, one that plays on irrational fear. Irrational fear is one of the government’s biggest allies, whether it’s the DHS or a local police force. Claiming bad things will happen keeps bad laws and policies in place. As long as the laws and policies stay on the books and “bad things” fail to happen, officials are constantly “proven” right.

Citing these irrational fears also prevents these laws and policies from being struck down. There are very few government officials willing to roll back anything out of fear that if something bad does happen, the blame will rest squarely on those who removed the so-called safeguard.

Kelly’s repetition of this argument is the most self-serving of rhetoric, seeing as it’s almost completely failsafe. Should there be an uptick in criminal activity post-stop and frisk, the supporters will point out that they warned this would happen. It doesn’t even have to be a large or sustained uptick. All it takes is a couple of random acts of violence to trigger the “I told you so” contingent.

It’s a win-win argument, even at this point. As the appeals process rolls on, crime level fluctuations will be watched and deployed by stop and frisk supporters. If crime stays at its present rate or slides lower, it will be held up as evidence that unconstitutional searches work. If it heads up, Kelly, Bloomberg et al will claim the “uncertainty” surrounding the court’s decision is impairing police work.

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Comments on “NYPD Chief Says Ending Stop And Frisk Will 'Hurt Minorities,' Result In A Surge Of Criminal Activity”

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25 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

observation

“The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation. He noted that 97% of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, reasoned that similar demographics apply if a stop deters a killing and added that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.

so if you can’t feel my WOOHOO up against the wall crime will go up because your too incompetent and stupid to do things the right way and get results??

Anonymous Coward says:

“I’d like to hear from some minorities if that’s OK with you, Kelly. I’d like to see if they’re willing to ‘trade off’ a little bit of theoretical safety for the freedom to walk around without being judged as ‘furtive’ or ‘suspicious’ or ‘not white.'”

No, actually, I would NOT want to hear from minorities. (Or anyone else.) If most people who happen to have a particular skin color support an illegal program, that would not make that program OK.

Anonymous Coward says:

Unconstituional == Illegal

I?m beginning to think that since these folks have no respect for the Constitution but like to pretend they are all for the rule of law, perhaps we have to remind them that the Constitution is the highest law in the U.S. No law higher. Even if it takes replacing every occurrence of the word ?unconstitutional? with the word ?illegal,? we need to put up these reminders. Then we will see how much respect they really have for the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Unconstituional == Illegal

The problem is that going against the constitution doesn’t result in any real consequences. Bloomberg can institute all the illegal programs he wants, trample over people’s constitutional rights, and fuck around with people like they’re ants in a colony, and get off scot free.

Anonymous Coward says:

All I can say is… Screw Scientology.
There should be a religion for George Orwell. That guy read the future.

Minority Protection Program
Stopping you
Harassing you
Detaining you
Searching you
Requesting your papers
Imprisoning you for minor offenses that everyone does
Shooting/tazing you in some circumstances like if you reach for your phone

Now turn around, put your hands up NOW MOTHERFUCKER.
NYPD are trying to protect the shit out of you.

Be grateful

Anonymous Coward says:

“…that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before”

It’s funny to see ignorant people claim correlation in complete absence of supporting data, and in stark contrast to multitudes of data supporting conclusions in direct contradiction to said claims.

These people pay good money for data analysts, one would expect a more through understanding of the facts behind crime rates.

arkiel (profile) says:

Everything that happens at this point is Ray Kelly’s fault. He’s the idiot that sanctioned a policy that is facially – by which I mean [i]obviously to a layman[/i] – unconstitutional. He is the reason all that time and resource went into an illegal program to the exclusion of a legal program.

There are many ways to go about crime prevention. He chose the worst possible method amongst numerous legal alternatives. Every person whose death can be linked to the courts determining that Ray Kelly’s program was unconstitutional are Ray Kelly’s fault, not the courts’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Quote:

So, now we’ll have another layer of monitors… You’re a police officer. You have to know what orders to follow. If somebody pulls a gun and you WANT TO GET HOME, you don’t have time to say, “Well, now wait a second, the commissioner said one thing, the monitor said another and the IG said another.” By that time, you’re dead.

“Well, now wait a second”, there are people who are actually doing what the police is supposed to do and they don’t use guns at all and use the minimum violence possible if for not other reason because they too would be in jail otherwise and still can do meaningful work and keep the streets safer, how do they do it?

ABC News: Real life superhero Phoenix Jones tackles streets of Seattle

Not that I believe everyone should down a super hero costume and go out trying to be a hero, that guy there is an marcial artist, his costume is bullet-proof and he got shot at, had to fight knife touting people and probably run more than once, and he does that without a gun or seriously injuring anyone, maybe the NYPD could take some lessons from those guys? on how to be efficient without the use of violence to accomplish what they need.

Quote:

“The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation. He noted that 97% of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, reasoned that similar demographics apply if a stop deters a killing and added that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.

Wanna know what else is true?
Since the 90’s violent crimes saw a very sharp decrease in incidence all over America

Wikipedia: Crime in the United States

And nobody seems to know why that happened, sure it was not police enforcement.
Even the statistical numbers have changed, whites are the number one criminals in America, maybe in NY is the other way around and blacks are the ones that go most to jail and murder each other but nationally male whites are the ones most prone to commit murder, rape according to the numbers

http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=31

All in all this smells to me like a lucky politician got some good winds (crime declining naturally) and using that to justify any half brain ideas he has about how to secure something, ignoring all the abuse his law enforcement agents do in the process.

If I was a conspiracy nut I probably use what he said there to claim he is a white racist politician that is trying to use absurd arguments to justify targeting black minorities in such a manner, but no that is probably not the case at all, occam razor here is more probable, crime have been going down naturally for the last 20 years and the idiot just believes that what he did is the principal cause of it, meaning stupidity is the probable cause of such immoral, absurd, relapse, dangerous and irresponsible acts in the name of security.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I just realized something if 97% of violent crimes(i.e. shootings) are blacks and Hispanics and around 60% of all perpetrators are white and male is this numerical proof of racism?

Further would this mean that the police in NY is targeting the wrong color and race in their racial profiling?

I read somewhere that blacks and hispanics are more likely to be frisked than white males, shouldn’t be the inverse if we should use the statistical numbers?

How can searching the more likely victims group stop the assailants that are not subject to the invasive procedure?

This opens up a lot of hard questions and I am not even black.

Malor (profile) says:

> Irrational fear is one of the government’s biggest allies, whether it’s the DHS or a local police force. Claiming bad things will happen keeps bad laws and policies in place. As long as the laws and policies stay on the books and “bad things” fail to happen, officials are constantly “proven” right.

It’s important to note that the same agency making the claims about violent crime going up will also be generating the statistics about violent crime going up…. and we’ve watched The Wire. A lot of the things they showed were absolutely real, and one of them was the way the police and politicians screw with the crime stats to make themselves look good.

The same shit they pull to ‘reduce’ the crime rate can be used in reverse just as easy. So they will be absolutely be ‘proven right’, no matter what the actual outcome is. They’ll make certain.

Shon Gale (profile) says:

I watched and listened to all the excuses justifying this craziness and not once did I hear anything about the indignity of being stopped and frisked. I wanta watch Bloomberg be frisked in public with everyone on the street watching. I want him to feel the embarrassment of being harassed in public and having your privates massaged, your wallet looked at and your phone examined. I mean really! It would make me want to punch the cop.
The biggest crime to me committed in New York is that New Yorkers let them get away with it for years. No riots, no push back.

Brandt Hardin (user link) says:

Policing for Profit

?Stop and Frisk? is a breach of civil rights for anyone stopped, regardless of their race. The actions and abuse by the NYPD are filling the very definition of a ?Police State? where citizens are under never ending scrutiny in order for cops meet a quota designed to turn profits. You can read much more about our Justice System running amok and how they?ve violated civil liberties across the country in the name of the almighty dollar at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-privatized-police-state.html

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