So let’s get right into it, shall we? OK, no need for me to tell you that the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy is racist; nope, mo need for an argument over whether it is or not; bottom line, it’s fucking racist. Even so, a few days ago, New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg defended the practice by saying it helped “take guns off the street and saves lives.”
Of course everybody knows a black person with a gun is problematic; hell, just look at what happened in Chicago last weekend — 46 people shot, of which 8 were killed. So here’s the thing, with crime being down in New York, clearly the racist “stop and frisk” policy is working. I mean, rarely do we hear news stories about weekend shooting sprees in the Big Apple. So yeah, maybe Bloomberg is right; as racist the practice may be, it works.
This from the New York Times:
Some former officers who worked the area say the stops seem less geared to bringing down crime than feeding the department’s appetite for numbers — a charge police officials steadfastly deny. Though none said they were ever given quotas to hit, all but two said that certain performance measures were implicitly expected in their monthly activity reports. Lots of stop-and-frisk reports suggested a vigilant officer.
“When I was there the floor number was 10 a month,” one officer said. Like many of the officers interviewed for this article, he asked not to be identified because he was still in law enforcement and worried that being seen as critical of the New York department could hurt his future employment opportunities.
He said if you produced 10 stops — known as a UF-250 for the standardized departmental reports the stops generate — you were not likely to draw the attention of a supervisor. “And in all fairness,” he said, “if you’re working in that area, 10 a month is very low. All you have to do is open your eyes.”
According to him, the program should be “mended not ended.” Obviously it’s an effective policing tool; so yes, maybe mending the policy is in order. Hell, as effective as it has been by getting guns and suspicious looking melanin afflicted criminals off the streets, if the program were expanded to not only include supposed high-crime areas, one could expect to see zero crime, and or guns on the streets of New York. I mean just think, if the NYPD starts groping random white people (just like they do people of color) New York City would be the safest place on the planet. No really, just look at the following results of in communities of color via Think Progress:
1. In 2011, NYC officers made 685,724 stops as part of the “stop-and-frisk” policy. Of that group, 605,328 people were determined not to have engaged in any unlawful behavior. [NYCLU]
2. Only 5.37% of all stops in a recent five-year period resulted in an arrest. In short, many people stopped did nothing wrong. [NYT, 5/17/12]
3. In 2009, 36% of the time officer failed to list an acceptable “suspected crime.” Reasonable suspicion of a crime is required to make a stop. [NYT,5/17/12]
4. More than half of all stops last year were conducted “because the individual displayed ‘furtive movement’ — which is so vague as to be meaningless.”[NYT, 5/14/12]
5. Of those frisked in 2011, a weapon was found just 1.9% of the time. Frisks are supposed to be conducted “only when an officer reasonably suspects the person has a weapon.” [NYCLU]
6. 85% of those stopped were black or Hispanic even though those groups make up about half of NYC’s population. [NYT, 5/17/12]
7. Young black and Latino men account for 4.7% of NYC’s population but 41.6% of the stops in 2011. [NYCLU]
8. The number of stops involving young black men in 2011 (168,124) exceed the city’s population of young black men (158,406).[NYT, 5/15/12]
9. Even in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, police stopped more blacks than whites.[NYT, 5/15/12]
10. In 2012, police are on pace to make more than 800,000 stops, more than twice the population of Miami. [NYT, 5/15/12]
Yeah, in the interest of public safety, I propose that “stop and frisk” be expanded to cover the greater tri-state area; yes, be sure cops in all five boroughs are doing their jobs. Yes I live in Memphis, but my mother lives in New York. So let’s just say that I’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that NYC cops are shaking down white folks with impunity, so she can be safe as she walks the streets.