City Journal Autumn 2014

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Heather Mac Donald
Safe Streets Ahead? « Back to Story

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Ms. Mac Donald, I am a former Investigator with NYC DOI, a former NYC Correction Officer, a former US Treasury Police Officer and a current Investigator with the US Treasury. I am also a Black man, raised in NYC. I have been the subject of profiling and racism by the NYC Police as a young man and as a member of law enforcement community. What you fail to understand is all Police view anyone not in Blue as a perp. A Police Officer's first action is to ensure they go home the same way they came to work, uninjured or dead. Thre is no gray area. Every Police Officer is aggressive in response to any action they take because they are taught to be that way. In the academy, you are taught the mantra, "It is better to be tried by twelve then carried by six". No imagine you as a black person, walking home from grandmoms, thinking about the presentation have to give the next day, never have used drugs in your life, and you are stopped and frisked simply because some Police Officer's belief is you may be a criminal. I'm usually offended that most White people who scream the Police should be allowed to perform their duties have never experienced racism, never was thrown against a car and a flashlight shown in your face, then told, "oh my bad, you Looked like somebody were are looking for"! I am asking all who oppose the ruling on stop and frisk, to for once, seriously think about the one individual, who is a straignt A student, where both parents are working professionals, who has foals of law school or medical school, who's grandparents were working professionals, where the family own their own home, is stopped,patted down and talked to in a degrading manner simply because you were wearing a hoodie or it was dark. If you have never experienced this, it is very degrading and it hurts to your core.I am sorry the individuals who may suffer because of this but the statics do not support the stop and frisk. As a Police officer, is there is probable cause to stop, you can pat down a person who you can articulate was either committing a crime or in the act and you can pat down while detaining for safety reasons. But stopping a random individual because the Police Officer's opinion is he looks like he MAY BE up to no good is not enough justification to violate someone's rights. If you as a white femal was stopped and frisked because some one was robbed by a white female who generally fit your description, can you honestly say you would not be upset. can you honestly say you would not file a complaint and can you honestly say you would not feel violated by the Officer's actions? before you start to condemn the judge's decision, put your self completly in our shoes, I ean completely. You know the type of racism that still exists today. You see it on TV and in the movies. Every commercial has three to four white persons and one black person, like that truely depicts today's society. Like in your own circle of friends, you have 4-5 white friends and only one black or latino! Just think about it before you defend a person's rights being violated just so you can sleep safe thinking the Police are doing their jobs.
So, a quasi-libertarian organization thinks it's just peachy that the 4th amendment is null and void in NY.

This sloppy piece had too many false claims to tackle one-by-one. I highly suggest you view this video, especially Alvin's treatment by the police.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rWtDMPaRD8

What a despicable article.
Cloudbuster,
You're sdimply wrong on the law and wrong on the facts. If you actually read Heather's work on this topic, you'll see that the NYPD is following the law and respecting individual freedom as much as possible while actually attempting to prevent and reduce crime.

You can have an attempted statist leftist utopia with all its inherent ills such as an opportunistic criminal class in control of the poor neighborhoods or you can attempt to balance freedom and security and allow the law abiding citizens a chance at a decent living environment.
I'm sorry, but plenty of communities manage to stop crime without the heavy-handed, unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policies of the NYPD.

A private citizen has the right to walk down a public street unmolested by government agents who gin up specious claims of "suspicious" behavior.

I don't care if I look "suspicious" to you. If I'm not doing anything wrong, who I am and where I'm going is none of your business, and my person and personal possessions are off-limits to you, Mr. Policeman.

It's unacceptable in a free nation for police to be able to stop and harass people because they don't like they way they look, or the way they walk, or how long they stopped at a shop window, or whatever.

I don't care if the policy is effective. We give up lots of effective measures by elevating freedom above raw effectiveness. Repressive police states are great at stopping crime -- so much easier when the citizens have no rights or recourse. That's not an argument in favor of such tactics.
#4 -- don't allow Quinn to hobble law enforcement that protects all people while promoting an increasingly intrusive system of politicized investigations of so-called "hate crimes" that selectively hijack law enforcement on behalf of powerful identity politics activists.

I wonder whether the disparate impact test can't be applied to the remedies sought by the plaintiffs. Sucking resources out of the NYPD, and limiting its use of successful tactics, would likely lead to more crime, the victims of whom will be disproportionately black and Hispanic. Therefore the remedies sought are likely to be discriminatory in their impact, and the case against the NYPD should be dismissed.

But of course that would be common sense, and judges don't appear to be trained in that.
They stop and frisk me at the airport because I have varicose veins on one leg. These badly damaged and swollen veins, which I've had for over 50 years, show up on the body scan and appears as some type of extra "padding."

Wouldn't you think they'd develop a profile on me so that they don't have to waste my time, and suffer the groping hands, each time I pass through security?
Stop and frisk based on suspect profiling? Been to an airport security checkpoint lately and noticed that everyone is stopped and oftentimes frisked based solely on baggy pants or hip implants or just because the TSA’s random number generator says it’s your turn to be probed. New York City and their professional police department made it work based on being suspicious of the usual suspects, the federal government made it work based on being suspicious of everyone. Only in America can logic sometimes work and sometimes be completely disregarded and yet it still works.

But things always change over time, it’s human nature. Airports are now offering VIP screening and gentle probing to favored travelers – you go to the head of the reserved security line if you’ve proven your trustworthiness by coughing up the extra bucks. Kids can keep their shoes on now when passing through the scanner and they want to do something equally nice for senior citizens before the next election.

Year after year, America owns the Western world’s record for the longest elapsed time to reach your flight’s boarding area after entering the airport, a real buzz kill when it comes to airline profits. So something must be done in the name of profits but we’ll call it improved security just to be safe. And New York City politicians want minority votes, only they’ll call it defending civil rights just to be safe.

Politicians don’t care much for the security of others but they do care about votes, at least those which affect their future employment. And apparently New Yorkers are thoroughly bored with being safe on the streets, a mugging from time to time punctuates their dreary, but secure, existence. Once the NYC crime rate makes a sharp turn and heads back up, a future NYC mayor will promise a New Initiative in modern policing - stopping and frisking the usual suspects. TSA will keep inventing security shortcuts until the next rapid building demolition occurs, then we’ll be back to shuffling slowly forward in our socks or even fewer items of clothing.
Heather;

What is the political harm suffered by Democrats as a result of high crime? The answer is none - in fact it is a negative for Democrats since high crime means more poverty and more poverty means more anti-poverty money. You may respond that high crime brough Giuiliani to office, and your would be right, But 2013 is not 1993. Then a Republican would have a ghost of a chance in New York City. Today, however, the combination of Democratic media's becoming ever more strident in their support, the influx of immigrants, the gay community one sided support for Democrats and other factors, including that there isn't anyone like Giuiliani in New York City now, means that a Republican could never win here ever again.

Understand this: Democrats aren't that concerned about high crime, they care little or nothing about prosperity, and they do not want to continue with the Giuiliani and Blomberg program for New York. Democrats want to play groups against one another, they want the public sector unions to be fat, and they care nothing at all about making this a livable place - nothing at all.

Of course, they would never admit it but ensuring low crime in New York City isn't on the agenda - in fact, for Democrats high crime is much better since it chases away Republicans.

It all sort of makes sense doesn't it?

Seems to me that the Administration and the NYPD needed better attorneys arguing their case. Of course, like most local and state governments, they probably relied on young, fresh-out-of-law-school, newly-minted attorneys. You get what you pay for.
I'm so happy to see Katrina vanden Heuvel, "The Nation" editor and queen of the Progressives, in the accompanying photo on the frontline protesting with Rev Al. After the NYPD loses this case and the crime rate heads back up I wonder if when Katrina is being mugged returning to her Upper West Side apartment house, as the thugs are beating and knocking her down, taking her phone, laptop and purse, she will have time to retrieve and show them her NYCLU card ( you know her ancestors were the founders of the ACLU ) and tell them she's liberal and is on their side. "Oh, sorry lady we didn't realize.."
flapjack billy,
whites do care but if they did something about it they would be accused of racism, that is what is going on now.
the truth is blacks have mixed feelings about crime, those who are victimized, including. They dont like crime but they also have racial loyalty to the criminal. They may have a criminal in their family or friends and have affection for that person. they may feel that crime is justified because the US is so bad and racist and that sometimes you have to suffer to make a larger point in condemnation of the entire society.

The attitude that crime is wrong, that the entire society should condemn it that,that there should be a body of professionals whose job it is to apprehend criminals, that is the thinking of some societies. not everyone thinks like that. People have differing tolerances for crime, obvious crime, that disturbs life. the victim and his family or group may be outraged. the criminal and his group may feel so what. Crime may depend on who does what to whom instead of having the blanket definition we put on it. And of course different values lead to different results.
Posted above: "The ONLY thing that will save this situation is if the law-abiding, respectable members of the black community rise up and support the police."

Very few leaders in the black community would dare take a public stance supporting the police. And, frankly, as long as most of the victims of black crime are other blacks, most of us whites couldn't care less.
The ONLY thing that will save this situation is if the law-abiding, respectable members of the black community rise up and support the police.

They have the most to lose, but the rest of us will feel it, too.

If Quinn, Weiner, and the rest of the Usual Suspects let down our defenses, expect to see more outrages like the "knock out game" (see you tube) and "flash mob" attacks.

We can be back to "Panic in Needle Park" days in no time, folks.
I live in the Bronx near the intersection of Castle Hill Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard. There was a time when I would walk with great trepidation across the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Bruckner Expressway, for fear of being mugged. I remember the night I walked across that bridge, a few years into the first Giuliani administration, when I no longer felt that fear. It was like being given a new freedom. It would be tragic if that freedom were taken back by misguided laws and policies.
"Stop and frisk" events are generated by descriptions of suspects from known crimes. We are not talking random take-downs.

Big problem in New York City is that the stops are seen by almost everyone as abusive. The Cop Gang use these stops to establish dominance. No one argues that it doesn't work.

The opposite to this approach is to emphasize community relationships. The fall in violent crime maps to changes in the school system, where kids are not "expelled" these days for anything but the most serious reasons. The schools stopped giving up on kids and you can see the difference. The main population that manned the street gangs was shrunk to much lower numbers.

Also, everybody learned to turn in the crack users. No need to explain that change. If you've never seen a crack head, lucky !
'Today’s New Yorkers enjoy the luxury of oblivion.'
This is always what goes wrong with improvements and reforms. People dont' realize not only what was before but what maintains the improves situation. They don't realize what was improved and the values underlying everything they take for granted. Liberal democracy has produced populations who take prosperity and entitlements and freedom for granted and don't see any reason why they can't get more and more and more. The work that produced all of it is disregarded. The culture changes so that people no longer can do the work that maintains what they like. The values that produced the work seem silly, given that it seems that every good thing should just fall out of the sky and all you have to do is demand and demonstrate and riot. But it was the hard compulsive work of past generations that produced all the good stuff.

Without the police actions which liberals hate so much, NY will return to what it was and it may be even worse.

NYC is very liberal, but liberals have not allowed it to become like Detroit and Chicago. They made sure there would not be another Dinkins. We will see what happens.
I suggest a more permanent solution. Remove all the cops. The residents should be allowed to stew in the criminality they've blessed themselves with until they wise up and do a better job of raising their young men.
The recent new Yorker article made it clear that the judge was banning any comment about whether stop and frisk works --"this is about whether it is constitutional, not whether it stops crime". But surely she was missing the whole point --that if it works, that means they are stopping the right people, which means they had proper cause to stop (ie they were properly suspicious of the individual they stopped), which in turn makes it constituional?