Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Drop the Appeal, End Stop and Frisk Now!

Metro reports that:
Energized by the landslide victory of their mayoral candidate in yesterday’s election, stop-and-frisk opponents crowded onto the steps of City Hall to call on the out-going mayor to drop his appeal.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law department is appealing federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling in Floyd v. City of New York. Scheindlin said the way the NYPD practices stop, question and frisk is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Last week, three Court of Appeals judges granted city lawyers their motion to stay Scheindlin’s ordered remedies while they appeal her ruling.

In an extremely unusual move, the judges also removed Scheindlin from the cases, seizing on allegations that she improperly coached attorneys to make sure the cases were brought to her.

But the timeline outlined in the Court of Appeals’ judges order extends well into 2014, when Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio will have taken over. De Blasio has vowed to drop the appeal.

Stop-and-frisk opponents today insisted Bloomberg should just drop the appeal himself.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler called pursuing the appeal a “total” waste of taxpayer money.

“The appeal… is going to be dropped in January,” Nadler said. “So why waste everybody’s time and money and energy in November and December?”
Sadly, some misguided and uninformed people actually support New York City's ineffective and wasteful stop and frisk policy.  The Huffington Post reports that:
CNN host Don Lemon got a big chunk of Twitter very mad at him on Tuesday after he endorsed New York's reviled stop and frisk policies.

Speaking during his regular slot on the Tom Joyner show, Lemon said that police were not always very respectful of the people they stopped, but that tampering with the "formula that has reduced crime in New York City" could be very dangerous.

"The question is, would you rather be politically correct or safe and alive?" he concluded.
Here are a few reasons why Uncle Don is wrong. As reported in The Huffington Post article entitled NYPD Stop And Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts About A Controversial Program,

The NYPD argues this shows the effectiveness of stop and frisk, saying the practice has prevented people from carrying guns on the street. While stops have increased by 524,873 since 2003, officers have found only 176 additional guns...

The NYPD and local politicians have repeatedly defended the racial disparity in stops by saying minorities are disproportionately involved in violent crime. In 2011, however, in only 10.5 percent of stops did cops record "violent criminal activity" as justification for the stop.

Nine out of 10 of those stopped in 2011 were neither arrested nor given summonses.

The NYPD and politicians have repeatedly justified the racial disparity in stop and frisks saying that they cops essentially go where the guns are, i.e. minority neighborhoods. Yet, only 1.9 percent of frisks in 2011 turned up weapons and interestingly, according to the NYCLU, "a weapon was found in only 1.8 percent of blacks and Latinos frisked, as compared to a weapon being found in 3.8 percent of whites frisked."

...In 2002, when Mr. Kelly last took office, officers stopped 97,296 New Yorkers and the city reported 587 homicides. Last year, those numbers were 685,724 and 532...

Last week, the NYPD said stop-and-frisk was used more than 200,000 times in the first quarter of this year – a 10 percent jump from the same period last year. The data covers the period from January to March. So far this year homicides are down by 19 percent over last year.

But of the 13 precincts where homicides were up, stop and frisks increased in six over the same reporting period last year. And in the remaining seven, stop and frisks were down.

“There is no evidence that stop and frisk is lowering or suppressing the murder rate in New York City,” said Chris Dunn, spokesman for the NYCLU, in a statement. “Murders have dropped steadily since 1990.”

Clearly, stop and frisk is not making New Yorkers safe and secure. Stop and frisk is only further eroding public confidence and trust in the NYPD. The NYPD's stop and frisk policy is degrading, humiliating, oppressive and repressive.  New York City police are criminalizing blackness and collectively punishing the entire black community. Police officers should protect and serve the community, not harass and terrorize the community. It is time to drop the appeal and end stop and frisk now.

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