Eric Adams shouldn't flirt with bringing it back
Statistics smatistics. Frisking people for no reason is wrong. I don't care if it was very effective. My shortest post ever.
The founding documents of our country were right on this topic: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
As a Democrat, we need to clone Eric Adams and run him everywhere. (Not for his stop and frisk talk) but for his understanding that used to exist that being lax on violent criminals is not "liberal."
We have passed the record in Philadelphia of murders in a year. It is higher than the height of the crack wars.
We need to end the massive nationwide Ferguson effect, and people like Adams can do it.
Adams is a former cop and a long-time resident of the most impacted neighborhoods, so it’s possible he understands the politics at play here at lot better than the rest of us. Like many things Eric Adams, this strikes me as more symbolic direction setting than detailed policy proposal
But yes, stop-and-frisk is a bad policy, should not be reinstated, and there are alternatives that are both more just and more effective.
It’s time for liberal city leaderships to show the country they can tackle homelessness, crime and public unions or continue to be exposed as ineffective platitude peddlers.
“You could say the police have been demoralized or under-supported by elected officials if you want to sound critical of reformers, or you could say the police are malingering and refusing to work if you want to sound critical of the cops.”
Both of those things can be true within the same police force.
Watching Adams try to reset the city’s relationship with the effectively independent NYPD promises to be the most grimly entertaining aspect of an administration that is unlikely to be lacking in either grim _or_ entertaining. This is all going to happen against the backdrop of the leadership of the SBA going to jail for various financial grifts, just for a start.
I assume adams is mostly talking tough, but whatever he and the NYPD decide on it will end up very different than Bloomberg era street policing bc possessing small quantities of pot is now legal. Not to minimize the hassle and humiliation of a random police frisking but the chance of being caught and put through court or just given a ticket for holding a joint was a big part of the burden this imposed on non-gun carrying young men.
Just finished Bill Bratton's book, and he describes, in depth, the positive and negative impacts of stop, question, frisk. He says, among other things, that at the time of its original implementation, when crime was extremely high in NYC, that a broad brush approach was needed as a turn-around. Times changed; the strategy was reworked into more precision policing. Think I'm summarizing that somewhat accurately but it's a long, complicated book... one that is worth reading. This is partly true because we are listening to an intelligent, pragmatic representative of the police who understands these issues on more than a surface level. I'd suggest referencing this information.
I'm a little leary of just so stories like - it's terrible and it doesn't work. I think it more likely that it's terrible and it does work. Which obviously complicates matters.
As an aside it find it really weird that police pullback after protests is used as a cudgel against reform-types. The proximate cause of these protests are from perceptions of misuse of force. A force that "just wants to do its job" would benefit from judicious use of force.
Agree with the reasoning, and the conclusion.
But, I struggle to accept the finding that a substantial reduction in the chance someone will get caught with an illegal weapon is unconnected to whether that someone chooses to carry or use an illegal weapon. Sentences for getting caught with an illegal firearm are harsh. Is it really the case that eliminating the chance of getting frisked had no impact on whether people carried illegal weapons?
Seems better to just say we shouldn't treat people like criminals until we have evidence they are a criminal. (i.e. no baseless frisking).
Or is it possible that there was a delay between the end of stop and frisk and increased shootings? Perhaps it may take a while for people who carry illegal weapons (and who are unlikely to read the NYT or listen to de Blasio's platform and political promises) to learn that the NYPD no longer is frisking people.
You are really going to have to make up your mind about something. Yesterday in your piece on investing in preventing pandemics you remarked, quite accurately in my opinion, that it is hard to take credit for preventing a pandemic that does not occur. Today we must consider to what degree stop and frisk prevented events that did not occur because the risk of carrying concealed handguns through stop and frisk was increased. It is really hard to generate statistics on things that don't happen.
I quite agree with your arguments on discriminatory stop and frisk. You just have a difficult job of proving it didn't work. How many of those relatively rare street shootouts didn't occur because of stop and frisk? Who the hell knows?
My basic take is that "preventative" policing is bad and illegitimate. The correct fundamental role of police is to respond to and investigate crime reported by citizens. If they're not being called, is not their job.
Preventative policing is popular because it's relatively cheap and easy and it disproportionately advantages politically favored groups at the expense of others.
The proper metrics of good policing are 911 response times and clearance rates. These are relatively difficult and expensive metrics to improve. It requires better training, better funding and most of all, better laws on the books. As long as PDs have these pretextual statutes that are foundational to the "preventative" policing regime, nothing will change.
Stop and frisk was authorized by the 1968 Supreme Court decision of Terry v. Ohio, which permitted a brief, investigatory detention when there was “articulable suspicion” that criminal activity was afoot. The officer was authorized to pat down the detainee’s outer clothing and search further of he felt any weapons or contraband. Terry never authorized indiscriminate stops or stops simply because a person was black or was present in a high crime neighborhood. For the stop to be constitutional, there had to be something more, eg loitering, appearing to case a business, suspicious hand to hand exchanges, or the like.
Police stretch the law all the time, and I’m sure many stops were based on little more than racial profiles. My point is that a “stop and frisk” occurs any time a person is detained and frisked on less than probable cause. Stop and frisk does not have to mean indiscriminate or racially motivated stops.
I’ve read that stop and frisk is a substitute for having high level street police officers on the same neighborhood detail continually so they knew who to stop because they knew what was going on, therefore their pretest probability when they stop someone is much higher than the average officer just rolling into the neighborhood?