New York Police Union Says More Reporting On Stops/Frisks Will Hurt The NYPD's Effectiveness
from the 'we're-at-our-best-when-we're-not-held-accountable' dept
If anything might make police-community relations better, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) — the union representing NYPD officers — is against it. PBA President Pat Lynch has come out against body cameras, community policing, and even his own union members.
The battle over the court-ordered revamping of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program rages on five years after Judge Scheindlin found it to be unconstitutional. So does the PBA, which is now arguing keeping data on stops is throwing sand in the NYPD’s gears.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association swiftly condemned an order issued Nov. 20 by a Federal Judge concerning stop-and-frisk data that it said would further discourage “proactive policing in New York City.”
The directive from U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres requires the NYPD, in consultation with an outside monitor, to submit for approval a plan to implement “a program for systematically receiving, assessing, and acting on information regarding adverse findings on the conduct of police officers involving illegal stops or illegal trespass enforcements.”
The NYPD has been ordered to document its stops numerous times since the 2013 decision. And it has continued to fail to do so. Officers blame a lack of instruction and/or clarity from upper management. Upper management blames multiple court orders and outside oversight for its inability to deliver clear instructions. And the PBA blames the whole mess on officers being forced to engage in Constitutional policing, which apparently is the opposite of “proactive” policing.
What the PBA is agitating for is the return to halcyon days of stop-and-frisk when NYPD officers performed hundreds of thousands of stops a year, a majority of them targeting the city’s minorities. Constitutional policing would trim hundreds of man hours from the production of mandated reports, but the PBA wants nothing to do with keeping officers on patrol, rather than tied up doing internal bookkeeping for the DA’s office.
Judge Torres said she was requiring that the plan to provide extensive information on the program include “(a) declinations of prosecutions by the District Attorneys in New York City; (b) suppression decisions by courts precluding evidence as a result of unlawful stops and searches; (c) court findings of incredible testimony by police officers; (d) denials of indemnification and/or representation of police officers by the New York City Law Department; and (e) judgments and settlements against police officers in civil cases where, in the opinion of the New York City Law Department, there exists evidence of police malfeasance.”
The PBA’s response? To deride the accountability mandates as “unnecessary” — an abuse of the court’s “narrow authority” that will somehow wreak havoc on the NYPD’s rank-and-file. This production of information will “end proactive policing in New York City,” according to PBA president Pat Lynch.
Fortunately, Pat Lynch has long been recognized as a blowhard who seldom has the full support of the officers he represents. According to this report, the PBA was “quietly critical” of the PD’s stop-and-frisk program when it was being abused to its fullest extent. Now that it’s being deployed in a more Constitutional fashion — resulting in a severe decline in stops — the PBA wants to pretend the same program it criticized as “overused” is now a critical aspect of New York law enforcement.