it takes a judge to tell us what POC have been knowing since the induction of #stopandfrisk, that its #racialprofiling
Thank you, Rodrigo, for your comment.
Certainly if police are wasting time stopping innocent people, which is what the data shows, their time could be better spent somewhere else, right?
I don't think we should allow the police to utilize racial, religious, and geographic profiling based on individual biases -- that's how we get in the mess of authorities using such imprecise measures to begin with, or worse, racist measures.
It will be interesting to see how the Obama Administration's DOJ reacts. There have been policies in the past that the Obama Administration has expressed opposition to, but then turned around and defended in court. The most notable example is indefinite detention under the NDAA. Obama said he was opposed, but when a Federal District Court put an injunction on the practice, his Justice Dept fought the decision with all their might. The court's decision on "Stop and Frisk," will force a stance from the administration that's more than just words. My question is, will DOJ stand by this Stop and Frisk ruling or will the admin's stance change now that a firmer stance has been forced?
Many lawmakers and leaders are weighing in. Here are just a few comments from local NYC news:
Rev. Al Sharpton: “The New York Judge’s decision on stop-and-frisk is a huge victory for those of us that have marched and fought against it for years saying is a violation of our constitutional and civil rights. The Bloomberg Administration should immediately cease and desist the stop-and-frisk policy."
Sen. Adriano Espaillat “Today’s federal court ruling validates the basic truth that members of the African-American and Latino community have long known: that stop-and-frisk policing tactics have violated the rights of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and aggressively targeted young people who have done nothing wrong."
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer "It is time to end the racial profiling of innocent people in our City that has tragically built a wall between our police department and communities of color. The judge’s appointment of an independent monitor of Stop and Frisk policies and practices is an important step and I urge Mayor Bloomberg to cooperate fully with the spirit and the letter of her decision, including the immediate reforms directed by the ruling.”
George McDonald “One misguided liberal judge is endangering the safety of all New Yorkers. Appeal, Appeal, Appeal!”
Good point, Ozzy. I suppose the administration would have some difficult explaining to do if they decided to simultaneously take on mandatory minimums and defend "Stop and Frisk" in court. Sadly, hypocrisy wasn't enough of a deterrent on indefinite detention, so I'm not placing any bets that hypocrisy will be a deterrent on "Stop and Frisk".
Here is part of the argument for the policy: "The justification for this policy is the fact that New York City has experienced a huge crime drop since 1990. Only 414 murders occurred in NYC in 2012, the lowest murder count in the city’s history." Does the ends justify the means? More here => policymic.com
You can also read the full ruling from today here: "U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin has ruled that the New York City Police Department violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the plaintiffs because of the way the NYPD has conducted stops and frisks over the past decade." project.wnyc.org
I'm not a fan of the racial profiling woe is me thing. Let's be realistic here, and I know I'm about to piss everybody off. A white guy has never pulled a gun on me. Latinos and Black guys have pulled guns on me in more than one occasion. I've even had the pleasure of being pistol whipped. So, in regards to this policy I had mixed feelings. Part of me felt it was wrong, part of me felt it was necessary. The ruling has me confused. I've always felt NYC favors the criminals, is this another step in that direction?
The Mayor of NYC has gone on record about the ruling: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday said he would appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the police department’s “stop and frisk” crime-fighting tactics violate constitutional rights.
Bloomberg remained firm in his argument that the practice drove down the city’s crime rate, saying, “The possibility of being stopped acts as a vital deterrent.”
Interestingly Kelly and Bloomberg defended policy as resulting in record low levels of crime. But nationwide, violent crime has been declining for years. Here's a story from just seven days ago noting that Portland is experiencing "record low" levels of violent crime. They have yet to prove the causation from their policies, especially as it's been shown the majority of their stops in using their policy have not found evidence of crimes. Link to the Portland story: portlandtribune.com
Angel, I think you are largely missing the point. Being black or Latino does not make you a criminal. Innocent people should not be harassed by the police simply because of how they look. I grew up in and live in a neighborhood with one of the highest rates of stops. I trust my neighbors a lot more than I trust the police. It's a policy that has achieved nothing else than create a divide between communities of color and the people that are there to protect them.
This just in from Adrian Carasquillo of Buzzfeed: In Brooklyn, Black And Latino Men Who Experienced “Stop-And-Frisk” Applaud Judge’s Ruling Against It
One person said this to Adrian: “It would be so beautiful if cops treated people with respect, period. They show up and treat you like you killed somebody.”
I believe it's not right that any police department profile people because of their skin color and/or certain clothing. There are many dangerous people on the streets who don't fit the "profile" of stop and frisk. We need to start cutting off the head of the snake instead of grabbing it by its tail.
Whether it is right or not to target someone with the means Bloomberg is utilizing one thing is not up for debate -- stop and frisk rarely finds actual criminals. Only in 1.9% of cases were weapons even found in 2011 nyclu.org
Noelia, I get that. But the truth of the matter, whether we admit it or not is that these things happen in certain areas more than others.
If you have a neighborhood that is susceptible to floods, you build a levy or whatnot to protect from floods. You wouldn't do the same in the desert. That's my experience.
Though I recognize my experience is limited.
Angel, you sound exactly like a professor at my school (who just happens to be the expert witness in the stop and frisk case). The only reality is, you won't ever know what it's really like until you are the person being stopped. As Zaid has already pointed out, the vast majority of the stops have resulted in nothing. Contrary to what you might believe, people are not stopped as they hop fences, break into cars or attempt to mug someone. They are stopped as they walk to the corner store to buy milk. It is a predatory practice and it really needs to end.
Obviously if the policy worked in creating outcomes that wouldn't justify it on its face. You can stop a roach infestation by burning down a house. But the Bloomberg/Kelly justification rests on a specious claim that it even does produce the output -- just like their spying on the Muslim population failed to produce a single terror investigation. Now what some smart person *should* figure out is the opportunity cost of doing this. When 98-99% of the people you're stopping are innocent, how many actual criminals are *not* being stopped because of this discriminatory targeting? Angel look at the data and ask yourself that.
Thing is I have been stopped. One time I had on pants that were too baggy and I was walking by the private police owned vehicles by the precinct in Jerome and 169th Street in the Bronx. The other times I happened to be standing around in the corner with my friends. Doesn't happen too often these days, but then again I'm not hanging out in the corner these days.
If you have been personally stopped and were innocent, do you feel like the police could've spent their time better if they were out stopping someone who was actually doing something that would've harmed your community? Certainly if police are wasting time stopping innocent people, which is what the data shows, their time could be better spent somewhere else, right?
Zaid, I don't know about you, but I could sniff out the criminals easily. I know where they hang, what they do, where they hide the drugs. I find it hard to believe the cops don't know.
This is unrelated, but I've always said, if you focus resources on stopping real criminals, ie: illegal gun owners, as opposed to targeting legal gun owners like myself who harm no one, that is money better spent.
Zaid, the people I was with those times, happened to be up to no good. The cops knew it, and I happened to be standing there when they raided.
In regards to the pants, well, I can understand why they came after me. I was standing around their cars. I was dressed shady, and appeared "suspicious". In this neighborhood, I can't blame them. Fact of life. Even Jesse Jackson said something to the effect, "When I hear someone walking behind me, I feel a relief when I see a white person". And he's the champion of black people!
I'm not worried walking around Forest Hills, but when I visit my mom in the BX, I'm very cautious. It's not fabricated, the danger is real.
Now, why is that?
Doesn't the information we have about the results of stop and frisk show that the police are stopping almost all innocent people, which would mean that the policy is either A) Not working B) "Working," but providing humiliation and inconvenience to a massive group of people in the process, with an opportunity cost of police not being used in a more precise way and likely many crimes occurring while innocent people being stopped?
Zaid, I think that the numbers are generally fibbed to benefit a case. I find that Liberals always produce stats that benefit their views, while Conservatives do the same.
I prefer to use my own real life experience, the numbers produced seldom reflect real life. That is my opinion of course. But I have seen the same story told by both sides and skewing the numbers to their benefit.
I feel the same probably applies to S A F.
I don't think we should allow the police to utilize racial, religious, and geographic profiling based on individual biases -- that's how we get in the mess of authorities using such imprecise measures to begin with, or worse, racist measures. We should rely on data -- and the NYPD itself produces data on the effectiveness of its stops and they have conceded that almost all the people they stop are innocent (they fall back on the claim crime has dropped, but then again, it has dropped nationwide).
Zaid, agree with you 100%. Individual biases, coupled with the abuse of power, are what have led to this mess. Data are tricky; they are left to interpretation. The same data we use to condemn Stop and Frisk is what the police department uses to defend it. But, as you've said, looking at the overall results, there is no way to prove causation. Apparently Judge Scheindlin also agrees. I hope that this decision will be the first step towards justice.
One more final addition: here is more of what Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly said yesterday:
"It's a dangerous decision made by a judge who doesn't understand how policing works. Bloomberg argued that stop and frisk acts as a "vital deterrent" against young men carrying guns on the street.
New York City cops "follow the law." He said that police have focused their efforts to protect minorities, who are disproportionately the victims of crime.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also called accusations of racial profiling "recklessly untrue," noting that his department is "the most racially and ethnically diverse police department in the world."
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch