City Journal Autumn 2014

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Heather Mac Donald
Re-breaking the Windows « Back to Story

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Have no plans to visit new york until the voters remember that socialism doesn't work and that criminals can be black and hispanic. Statistics? 12% of the population is black but they commit 80% of crime. Gee, the truth is not pretty.
Despite the above board realities of the various statements mad in the article, the missing and necessary ingredient in street level policing is the need to firm up strategies, appropriate and clarifying documentation, and the inappropriate and misapplied performance objectives in place by the NYPD. All these can add to clarifying objectivity, reduce unproductive and purely statistically driven goals, and solidify police community relations even where tensions exist because of a clear need to protect innocent people from disproportionate criminal activity.
Well, there are some pesky facts in play that make this essay, to be kind, silly. Stops have plummeted since mid-2012, and crime rate - especially murders - keeps dropping. I'm having a hard time seeing a strong dose-response relationship between stops and crimes that will justify continuing this social chemotherapy.
After following the De Blasio saga, my wife and I have decided to vacation in Wyoming. Since we are both Conservative, we wouldn't be welcome in New York anyway.
The really good news is that the David Dinkins days are coming back. It will be fun to watch the animals from the left prey on the liberals who elected this fool.

if all of America is lucky business will begin to fail and flee from NYC and that decay sets in.
Some here seem to think it was grandmas on their way to bible study that were being stopped and "searched" by the police. Observing a male standing on a street corner, where open air drug deals have been observed, where shootings occur on a regular basis, where robberies are commonplace, should produce suspicion in the mind of any reasonable person. When making contact with a subject in such a setting I find it reasonable to pat someone down for a weapon that could be concealed in their waistband. I say that as someone who has fought with armed subjects in such settings.

Such encounters that are initiated by an officer are made with the intent of creating a safer environment for the public. The majority of street level officers are the most pro-gun group of individuals you will ever meet.
I'm perplexed in how this ruling prevents an officer from performing a Terry frisk on a subject they are encountering, especially in an area that is "known" by an officer's experience to be one where illegal weapons and contraband are commonly found.
Time for that old "drive by and wave policing".
mwhalen1006@hotmail.com February 04, 2014 at 6:07 AM
The absurd ruling by the original judge, hearing the case, was a ruling de Blasio always wanted in his back pocket. The mayor seems to be a "true believer" (the Cuban honeymoon and all), but as a functioning, literate, human being he must know that the end of "stop and frisk" could actually be damaging. If the ill effects, of squashing that tactic, take a long time to manifest themselves, de Blasio will boast of himself as a hero. However, if the city's crime-rates spike quickly, de Blasio will always be able to make the excuse that he was simply "obeying the ruling of a judge."

To be sure, it would be a misleading whopper of deflection. But also one, I'm afraid, a lot of drones will believe. Here's to hoping not too many innocent New Yorkers have to suffer, but when they do, that voters know who to blame for it.
The inteleectually lazy can look at the population of prisons, see all the black and brown faces and conclude "We are abusing minorities by filling our prisons with them."It is a lot harder to walk the streets and see the brown and black victims of crime, reported and unreported. For every "non-violent' burglar in prison there is at least one victim - and it is likely that that uninsured black or brown person had a huge loss as a result of that theft. We are abusing our minorities by not protecting them from theft, battery, murder, and poisoning by drugs. Our most vulnerable fellow citizens are daily attacked and robbed, we do them no favors by refusing to track and detain their predators.
Just sounds like NY is getting ready to get a big bellyful of what they thought they wanted when they voted this radical into office. It's hard to even sit back and enjoy a little schadenfreude because his election is so confounding to rational America.

And as some commenters point out, it will be interesting to see what the lefties drum-up as excuses for the easily foreseeable rise in crime (low-hanging fruit: income inequality, unemployment, etc.).
Bratton, and the City, have just one hope left.
And that is for the NYPD to start stopping and frisking EVERYONE.
...without regard to whether there's any reason whatsoever to believe the people they stop and frisk are involved in anything criminal.
Wasteful and inefficient? Of course. But this is politics and nothing but.
Stop the grandma from Great Neck. Question the tour group from Sweden. Frisk the prep school field trip from Poughkeepsie. Hell, why not make it a team event. If you can hit a dozen or so obviously innocent white people at a time, you can get those all important numbers of white-stops up and they can all have fun with it. Make no bones about why you're doing it. If the only problem with Stop Question and Frisk is the racial makeup of those who are stopped, then change that. Just don't change the numbers of real criminals who are stopped and PLEASE don't change the number of minorities whose lives are saved.
@Chuck: I fully agree that New York City and New York State's gun laws are unconstitutional. Under the guise of pistol permits based upon "need", the vast majority of law abiding citizens are denied their right to carry a gun outside the home. As you say, that leaves only criminals carrying guns.

But two wrongs don't make a right, and one constitutional violation does not justify another.
Sentient: "A person's race is not sufficient probable cause for their being searched."

1) The police have not claimed (conceded) that race alone is reason to frisk anyone; even the most cynical would have t observe that it is a combination of race, youth and sex (male).

2) Not everyone stopped is frisked. The policy, according to the police, is "stop, question and frisk" not "stop and frisk." Something about the person's behavior/ response to the question triggers the frisk.

3) A search (more so a frisk) does not necessarily require a warrant or probable cause under the 4th Amendment. A search must be "reasonable."

4) I would prefer to live in a city where the law abiding can carry concealed weapons. That is one way to discourage criminal use of guns. For those cities who ignore the Constitution (2nd Amendment) on that, it appears that they have a choice of looking like Detroit and Chicago, or of also arguably encroaching on the 4th Amendment, as NYC does. I'd rather live in a place like NYC than a place like Chicago or Detroit, with 3 or 10 times the murder rate, if my choices were so limited. (I actually live in New Hampshire.)
Michael Bloomberg was a libertarian's nightmare, but his system did have a logical consistency -- he comprehended that if the government (as representative by the mayor) was going to have an obsessive desired for the most stringent gun laws possible, government now had the responsibility to provide the most thorough public safety efforts possible, since government had taken away the right of the public to protect itself.

The result was Stop and Frisk, which, like Bloomberg's gun laws, are anathema to libertarians. The problem looming with de Blasio is that he seems to neither get nor care about the quid pro quo here. The new mayor is a strong backer of Bloomberg's gun laws, but doesn't see that as a reason to max out policing in New York.

The result likely will be a probing of the rules by those inclined to commit crimes, and they'll take back whatever ground de Blasio is willing to give them., I just find it hard to believe that Bill Bratton is going to sit through this without some sort of protest down the line, since the new police commissioner's ego is such he will not want to be the architect of the destruction of the safer New York that he and Giuliani established 20 years ago.
Mayor Koch :The people have spoken and now they must be punished ( The people being the 8% of the total pop who voted for this guy )
To Kevin Pinto et al: If you think that stop and frisk is unconstitutional then you must also believe that New York's gun laws are similarly unconstitutional. Criminals are now the only people in the city carrying weapons.
In what country is multiculturalism an
overwhelming success?
Hey New York got what it wanted Cops need to sit back and have a nice cup of coffee, dunkin donut, read the paper, and turn off their radio's. This will actually save New York some money. Overtime will be reduced, gas costs for police cards reduced, and the citizens will just all have to GET Along! Let them settle their own scores!!! Hey NYPD, time to take a break until the next election...Can't get any worst that this Communist state you just elected! Hey New York companies, the VI is open for your investment dollars....tax free! come on down to the Virgin Islands where you can keep more of your money...
Hey New York got what it wanted Cops need to sit back and have a nice cup of coffee, dunkin donut, read the paper, and turn off their radio's. This will actually save New York some money. Overtime will be reduced, gas costs for police cards reduced, and the citizens will just all have to GET Along! Let them settle their own scores!!! Hey NYPD, time to take a break until the next election...Can't get any worst that this Communist state you just elected! Hey New York companies, the VI is open for your investment dollars....tax free! come on down to the Virgin Islands where you can keep more of your money...
I can't possibly get worked up about how much New Yorkers are going to be hurt in the pocketbook and on the street, having voted in a socialist mayor. They voted for it, they deserve it. Just like all the twenty-somethings that cheered for Obama, they'll be paying for that stupidity for the rest of their lives.
My sympathy meter is still stuck on zero for both groups.
Reducing crime is not justification for violating the constitution.
I cannot agree with this article. It is unconstitutional to stop and search a person without probable cause or reasonable suspicion that this specific person is involved in a specific crime. Stop and Frisk involved stopping and searching hundreds of thousands of individuals without any specific suspicion of their involvement in a specific crime.

If Stop and Frisk is so great, we should expand it to the whole population, and not just on the sidewalk, but in their cars, and in their homes.

The liberal paradise of New York City has to live within the US Constitution and the Fourth Amendment, sorry. The rest of the country manages to do so.
Well. This is really like drug legalization. Somebody had to do the experiment. For example, the new marijuana laws in Colorado. I really don't think anyplace else in the Western world has laws like that. Let's see how it turns out.

NYC is going to see if crime goes up if the police wait for the criminals to strike first.

Of course, if it turns out fine, they will take credit. If it turns out badly, they will put the blame somewhere else. For example, they will put the blame on "inequality", which will require higher taxes.

These people aren't as dumb as they sound. Just follow the money.



Yah, being in a POLICE STATE is great if you are one of the ones the POLICE "like"; rich or famous. What is next? "Travel permits"?
You can have ultimate freedom or ultimate security - e.g., ultimate safety. You can not have both. Ultimate freedom, without self accountability or responsibility is chaos. Ultimate security ends with concentration camps and genocide. When you hear a uniformed officer of the says, 'Papers, please.' you are entering the realm of a security state. When that same officer of the state can stop you in the street and search your person, 'in situ', you are living in a security state.

Not to worry. When crime shoots up the blame will be placed on Income Inequality.
I concur with Sentient; the defense against "unreasonable" search and seizure is the requirement for a warrant "upon probable cause"

I'm willing to extend it to search subsequent to an arrest upon "reasonable articulable suspicion," but I gather that is not part of the "stop and frisk" campaign. Stop and frisk means the cop has complete discretion to search the person and his effects.

But it also infringed the right of the people to arm and defend themselves, as it was a search for weapons. And that, I believe, is so strongly illegitimate that if New York were sane, citizens would have been within their rights to defend themselves against the infringing cops with lethal force, as they would against any thug attempting armed robbery.

Blocking stop and frisk was a reasonable action.

All the other measures, review boards and the like, go too far.
NYC's stringent gun laws belie recent experience in the rest of the country. Starting in 1987 conceal carry laws were enacted in state after state and handgun ownership in particular increased exponentially. Coincidentally, the rate of gun homicides and violent crime dropped by half nationwide over that same time frame.

Stop and frisk is the only difference between NYC and cities with draconian gun laws like Chicago and DC where they have much higher rates of homicide and violent crime. Those who would benefit most from the option of effective self-defense are law abiding low income people in minority neighborhoods. Those who benefit least live in upscale areas with armed security guards like former mayor Bloomberg. Expect the overall crime and ideological hypocrisy to increase dramatically.
There are some 27000-odd New York city residents who pay the bulk of the taxes which Comrade De Blasio wants to raise while turning the clock back to the glory years of racial harmony and policing of the Dinkins years. I know some of them socially; I work with many of them. Many of them are in the process of extracting themselves and their businesses from Manhattan. Companies or trusts can own the 2-5,000 sq. ft. pied-à-terre that is obligatory for many, and all income can be sourced other than New York. It's hard to disentangle oneself from NYC considering one a resident, but it can be done. And many are doing it.
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.
~Fourth Amendment

The question is whether randomly stopping Citizens on the street and subjecting them to the humiliation of a frisk is reasonable. Generally, random searches are considered unreasonable and impermissible. How is the sidewalk different from the street, where cars cannot be randomly stopped and searched?
Isn't the larger question whether or not cops should be allowed to stop and frisk anyone without probably cause other than being in the wrong neighborhood? Apparently throwing fundamental rights out the window isn't as shocking to the author as cops being accused of racism.
As an ex-New Yorker who goes into the city, I will not be doing so in future. This mayor and his wild west, OK Corral stance here, combined with the obligatory higher taxes on wealthier New Yorkers will accelerate the exodus of the wealthy from this increasingly unbearable city.
There is a difference between 2014 and the period from 1966 through '93, when the crime rate rose to alarming levels under John Lindsay and kept topping each new record up through the initial years of David Dinkins. Since the crime increase was unprecedented in the modern era, the fallback position of liberals during that time was the rising crime rate was due to changes in society, and was both systemic and intractable. You couldn't hope to lower it back to the levels of the 1950s, you could only manage the decay as best as you could (and certainly, it wouldn't improve if the city elected a non-liberal to City Hall).

That excuse was blown apart by Rudy Giuliani and Bill Bratton -- back now as de Blasio's police commissioner, and, you'd assume, someone who knows better than anyone else in the current administration what it takes to keep the crime rate down. Two decades of the public becoming used to low crime rates means de Blasio cannot allow the rate to rise and expect to use the same excuses as Mayors Lindsay through Dinkins used and get away with it, other than with his hard-core supporters.
Sentient, the fourth amendment does not require probable cause for a search. It specifically says, "unreasonable search and seizure"; that clearly and explicitly means that only reasonable grounds are required for a search.

"Probable cause" is required to get a warrant; historically, the purpose of a warrant was to immunize the authorities against civil damages resulting from the search.

"Reasonable" and "probable" are self-evidently two very different burdens. If "reasonable" actually meant "probable," as you are trying to claim, then convicting a criminal defendant would only require proof beyond a probable doubt, which would, in effect, create a presumption of guilt, not innocence.
IT is the basis of the liberal. Absolute non discrimination. This is the result.
I have been a frequent visitor to your city since 1980, always on business.

In the early years the companies that I was visiting always went out of their way to advise me on how to "be safe".

For the last 10 years this has not been a concern, and I have felt comfortable bringing my family to New York. I have found the people and the environment to be delightful.

However, if we are going to go back to the fearful days of the pre-Giuliani era, then I am going to vote no with my dollars and my feet.
Sentient, you're ignorant of the law.

Under the stop and frisk exception, the police can stop you on the street and pat you down for anything illegal...as long as they have suspicion. So how exactly does stop and frisk work? And just when can the police use it?

Stop and frisk has been an effective tool for police since the 1968 case Terry v. Ohio, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of it. The court agreed with the police that officers face uncertain and dangerous situations on the streets—circumstances that can potentially threaten both law enforcement officers and the public. For this reason, police officers need a set of flexible responses that allow them to react based on the information they possess. Thus, distinctions should be made between a stop and an arrest (or seizure of a person), and between a frisk and a search.
Under the Terry ruling, a police officer may stop and detain a person based on reasonable suspicion. And, if the police reasonably suspect the person is armed and dangerous, they may also frisk him or her for weapons.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons...shall not be violated...but upon probable cause. What part of that do you fascists not understand?
deBlasio worked for Dinkins. Tells you everything you need to know about the new administration; can't wait to turn the city into Detroit.

Next: Graffiti-covered subway cars.
Equality is an Evil concept in the first place. So is Advocacy. So is Blasio.
Okay, lets end Stop and Frisk. On every corner there will be an airport screener. Anyone carrying a weapon will immediately be shot. Face facts, people. If a police officer needs to talk to someone he has a right to protect himself. He needs to stop and frisk to do his job effectively.
Unfortunately the first victims will be black.
Okay, lets end Stop and Frisk. On every corner there will be an airport screener. Anyone carrying a weapon will immediately be shot.
There was ample evidence Stop and Frisk violated the Fourth Amendment on a routine basis.

While I thought- and still do- that the ACLU's focus on the racial disparity was misguided, that, too, was amply proven.

Further, the evidence suggests it was of little use in curbing crime. While the NYPD ramped down S&F in hopes of fending off the lawsuit, crime continued to drop.
If stop and frisk are so great, then the police should stop and frisk everyone in every part of the city. Hey, why not stop and frisk all the people going in and out of Wall Street, the hospital research centers, the doctors and bankers.

We are pretty sure lots of bankers are guilty of some crime, or else we would not have had the vast fraudulent lending to people who had no way to repay the loans.

And lots of people are addicted to prescription drugs, even Republican president wives, so that means doctors are engaged in criminal acts.
I am a native New Yorker, born in Manhattan and raised in southern Westchester near the Bronx line. I have chosen to live in Virginia. Some years back, I had to travel frequently to NYC for business. After my first trip, my wife asked me how was the City. My response was one wacko per square yard. On subsequent trips, I saw a cleaned up city, vagrants gone and my wife and I would travel to NYC to go to shows, etc. This was during Mayor Guliani's tenure. I still have family in southern New England whom I visit infrequently. Thanks to Gov. Cuomo's pulling the welcome mat out from underneath us and deBlasio's election, we now do not spend a penny in NY State or City except for the bridge tolls. No more Broadway shows, no more downtown hotels, no gas, no meals, no nothing.

Is this a personal protest? No! But why should we spend our money in a state in which we are not welcome or in a City that will revert to the pre-Guliani crime cesspool? I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this way.
I'm glad Howard S reads and comments in City Journal. His is the voice of experience.
This article was as tendentious as was Schenindlein's ruling, steadfastly avoiding the words "probable cause". Even those of us who understand the disprotionately high percentage of crimes committed by minorities still expect the government to follow the Constitution.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, houses 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. "

A person's race is not sufficient probable cause for their being searched. Period. Find some probable cause, Heather, or stop the unreasonable searches.
My sons live in Manhattan and my wife and I are frequent visitors to the city. My one son just recently bought a co op and is very unhappy with DeBlasio's election but because of his job at one of the world's top cancer centers has no plans on leaving - yet. That seems to be the operative word among doctors and other highly skilled and productive folks. People have forgotten Lindsey and Dinkins and think NYC has always been like it is now. A rude awakening is coming and with it, a brain drain since the people I talk too will not put up with a return to the bad old days and have the resources and skills to live anywhere.
Time to pack up and move. NYC is on the verge of a crime wave virtue of politics.

I laugh as NYC becomes the next detroit.
Let the liberals destroy their own town. It will be exciting to watch!
I am not a New Yorker, but have visited the city frequently in my adult life. From 1979 through 1992 I would visit a few times each year. It was always exciting, but with a persistent feeling of danger added to time spent there. Then for the rest of the 90's I lived overseas. My next visit to NYC was in the spring of 2001. I couldn't believe I was in the same city. It was noticeably cleaner, happier, and felt safe.

It is sad that after 20 years of immense progress, a pol like DeBlasio reaps the benefit of a newly vibrant city, reborn from the decadence of the 70's, by attacking the very policies that brought the city back. Everyone benefited by those policies, and now everyone will lose unwinding them. It's too bad civic history isn't taught in the schools anymore, because there are going to a lot of younger people who will be shocked when they are returned to the 70's and find out what it was like for those of us who remember.
Classic left wing "analysis." Instead of asking "Do blacks commit a disproportionate share of crime?" and looking at arrest, conviction, an victimization data, the left assumes no difference in criminal behavior and cites different crime rates as "proof"!

The same "logic" is used to "prove" discrimination in education and hiring. Assume all groups are equal and then cite actual differences in performance as "proof."
Shame on Bill Bratton. He will now destroy his body of work as a crime fighter and, in so doing, put all the people of New York at greater risk of robbery, rape, and murder. Sadly, I am sure he knows that he is rolling the dice for the sake of a dangerous and fraudulent progressive fantasy.
I don't want to stray too far off-topic, but I find it beyond ironic that the very same people who, in a free, democratic (Small 'd') society like ours who call for the least aggressive response to many crimes, large and small,are the same people who, when they take absolute power in a country enact and enforce the strictest of penalties for the smallest of infractions against the state.

Here in America, these people have effectively ended the death penalty or long prison sentences for killers, for rapists, for habitual armed robbers and drug dealers who prey on and terrorize their own neighbors. They are now trying to end any kind of harsh or long-term penalties as well.

These people - the Scheindlins, the DeBlasio's, the whole gang over at the NYT and the main stream media - constantly present incarcerated and career criminals as merely victims of an unfair racist society. The serial killer with the heart of gold who goes to the electric chair with repentance in his heart and having forgiven his victims is a mainstay of many of Hollywood's prison movies.

Yet when the DeBlasios and Scheindlins and Sulzbergers and Lenins and Trotskys and Ceaușescus and Ulbrichts and Maos and Castros (all people deeply admired by the likes of DeBlasio) take power, ordinary citizens in their clutches end up against a wall or in the harshest of prison camps for telling a political joke, or handing a marijuana cigarette to a friend.

Ironic, indeed!
is it true only 17% of ny voted?
I rationalized high New York State and city taxes as my contribution to a common good security structure protecting all citizens. This decision is an absolute threat to our safety.

It's not the 1% who will be harmed by these poor decisions. Simply those who can will move out of the city and likely the State. That is what I will do.
I lived in NY durig the old days and although I moved to the city for its cultural attractions, I just couldn't take it anymore. My wife could never feel safe, and I could never stop looking around to be alert.

I went back to visit two years ago and was amazed at how the city had turned around. Bryant Park, once a haven of junkies and crack heads, had become a wonderful place used by families and all sorts of people.

The great hall in the library was used by people reading books, instead of the homeless ranting and making it miserable for everyone else.

I saw the same turn around in dozens of places.

I hope it doesn't revert, but I fear it will
Mayor DB is certainly true to his campaign, end charter schools and gifted b/c they are too white, too free and too non-union; end crime control b/c crime is too black

Get even with the rich by neglecting snow removal and garbage removal in too-white nabes

Expand pre-K babysitting ay taxpayer expense b/c the rich have too much money

Be late for your own schedule b/c you can't budget your own time - how will he budget our money?

And what will the 9-digit settlement be with the Central Park Jogger wrongful rape-arrest be, $250,000,000 - lot of pre-k there

And how will the Cuomo-DB coalition work out, home rule for NYC? Mr Cuomo has also delegitimized his opponents, and Mr DB will harass them until they get the message

PS I am a Wall Street 1%er, poor me, BUT we will have and end to horse-carriage cruelty,




Well, it's open season on the law-abiding in New York City again.

It's De Blasio Time!
Judge Scheindlin is whacked, I can't quite get at her bias, but I know its there, having read her judgement (more aptly, lack thereof). De Blasio is delusional, thinking somehow, as if by magic, New York's crime ratesBratton is as interesting phenomenon, havig been in LA too long. If he thinks LA's style will work in NY, he'll just have to face that failure when it comes.
Sadly, it will surely be the law abiding residents of New York who will pay the highest price as victims. Their bes hope, and one that will almost certainly not come unless by another court case, is to somehow regain their right to arm themselves against the certain rise in violent crime in the new regime. If NYC's criminal class are suddenly not the only ones on the streets who are armed, they will surely pull back at least a bit. A combination of allowing the law abiding to ber armes, as is their right, and simultaneously enforcing illegal criminal possession of arms to the greatest extent possible will tend toward disarming the lawless and enabling the law abiding to protect themselves and each other. New York's Finest do not have the greatest record of success on dealing with the criminal element both failing to control them with existing laws, and causing unacceptible levels of harm to the innocent. As long as New York's Boys in Blue persist in their deslusion they are "the Only Ones" who can deal with such crime, it will continue.Five hundred thousand of them could still not be effective enough to cure the problem. They NEED the general public.