Skip to comments.New York Times Slanders NYPD Officer, Shamefully Distorts Stop-and-Frisk Policy
Posted on 03/25/2013 7:02:51 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A fiendishly deceptive article about the New York Police Department in the New York Times has set back the cause of public safety not just in New York but nationally. A front-page story on Friday twisted a police commanders exhortation to an underperforming officer to work harder against crime into an injunction to target blacks on the basis of race. The commanders statements were captured on a tape secretly recorded by the officer and replayed last Thursday during a federal racial-profiling trial directed against the New York Police Departments stop, question, and frisk policy. The officer had already joined the lawsuit when he made the recording and was patently trying to goad the commander into making a statement that could be used in the litigation. As I explain here, Officer Pedro Serrano failed in his effort to elicit anything remotely approaching a racial-profiling mandate from Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack, who is shown in the recording to be fiercely committed to protecting the overwhelmingly black and Hispanic residents of his South Bronx precinct and who explicitly repudiates stopping people on the basis of race, rather than criminal behavior. It didnt matter. The Times finished the job for Serrano, making it seem that McCormack had said the opposite of what he had actually said. (Readers can now compare the Times account of the episode with the actual transcript and decide for themselves.)
Just to make sure that the damage was irrevocable, the Times followed up the next day with an editorial that was even more duplicitous than the article on which it was based. Titled Walking While Black in New York, the editorial strips whatever meager context the Friday article had included that might have allowed a highly determined reader to hazily glimpse the truth behind the Times distortions: that McCormack was referring to an ongoing, local string of robberies perpetrated by young male blacks when he responded to Serranos increasingly aggressive racial provocations with the phrases: The problem was, what, male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this, [the problem was] male blacks 14 to 20, 21. It is perfectly appropriate to mention suspects race when police are looking for actual perpetrators who have been identified by their victims, but Walking While Black displays a breathtakingly juvenile determination to eliminate all facts that stand in the way of the all-consuming agenda to demonize the police.
If the Times honored its by now-dubious status as the newspaper of record, it would run a correction. But even if it did, it would come too late to help the police. Sharpton, the NAACP, and the ACLU are labeling McCormacks remarks the NYPDs smoking gun and are calling for his suspension, despite his strong backing from the actual residents of the South Bronx. But this is about more than one hard-working commanders slandered reputation or the ability of the NYPD to preserve its record-breaking crime drop. The conceit that McCormack has revealed the truth about proactive policing will become gospel in anti-cop circles nationwide, making it even harder for police everywhere to do their jobs, due to political pressure from above and street resistance from below.
On March 6 of this year, I attended a community council meeting in the NYPDs 40th Precinct, where Deputy Inspector McCormack presides. A former Marine named Duwon urgently called for more vigorous policing. He travels to the Bronx from Brooklyn to escort his mother to cash her Social Security payments, he said, because she is terrified of the addicts and youth milling on the corners. If she ever fell, theyd pick her dry, he observed.
The Times writers and publishers will likely not notice much of a difference (at least initially) if the current campaign against New Yorks stop, question, and frisk policy succeeds. Times staffers overwhelmingly live in safe neighborhoods where shootings are merely theoretical. But law-abiding residents of inner-city neighborhoods know that effective policing is a life-and-death matter, and thus passionately support law enforcement. The NYPD works around the clock to provide upstanding members of poor communities the same freedom from fear that affluent areas take for granted. The Times preposterous conceit of walking while black will only widen the crime gap that, despite the NYPDs unmatched success in fighting crime, still separates the cozy enclaves of white liberals and the hard streets that continue to blight too many striving inner-city lives.
How do you it’s slander?
Why is stop and frisk a good thing?
I don’t care about how effective it is, its unconstitutional.
Stop and frisk appears to be a natural requirement, once you’ve disarmed the citizenry. The police can’t protect anyone if they only react; thus, scared defenseless citizens are OK with abusing the rights of people who might be criminals with preemptive searches.
How do you know it’s slander?
Ann Coulter thinks it’s grand, told Geraldo that the other day...
Ann is a liberal in her personal time.
Did you expect a fair, objective, balanced, informative, non biased article in the New York Times?
RE: Why is stop and frisk a good thing?
Well, apparently it has been responsible for the dramatic drop in crime in NYC. Crime rates are at its lowest since the 1960’s and NYC is arguably one of the safest big cities in the world.
And since NYC’s gun laws are one of the strictest in the the nation, the only way the cops will compensate for this is to stop and frisk ( by the hundreds of thousands mind you ).
The thing that most people complain about is this — Cops tend to stop and frisk BLACKS and Hispanics at a disproportional rate compared to Whites and Asians.
Don’t get caught with even a pen knife in NYC.
So that makes gross violations of the 4th and 5th Amendments OK?
There is no doubt a sensitive, progressive liberal judge who happens to live in a very safe area will find this policing technique unconstitutional. Murders, muggings, drug trafficking, child and spousal abuse will of coarse soar in minority neighborhoods and their terrible economies will become worse. Of course the judge will enjoy the adulation he receives at the next cocktail party he attends.
A terrible economy doesn’t cause crime. A lack of morals and socialist policies create crime.
The argument of those who are pro stop-and-frisk ( and I must say that there are many on the RIGHT who are for it ) is this :
Every American citizen has the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. It’s the reason tough talking TV characters always snap “where’s your warrant?” when police start snooping around.
Unfortunately, the police don’t always need a warrant. In fact, all American cities have a stop and frisk exception.
Under this, 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 streetscircumstances 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.
What exactly is Reasonable Suspicion?
Reasonable suspicion is defined by a set of factual circumstances that would lead a reasonable police officer to believe criminal activity is occurring. This is different from the probable cause (what a reasonable person would believe) required for an arrest, search, and seizure. If the stop and frisk gives rise to probable cause to believe the detainee has committed a crime, then the police officer should have the power to make a formal arrest and conduct a search of the person.
So, to re-iterate, EVERY CITY already has a stop-and-frisk policy. It is only in NYC where this has been done on a massive scale.
Stop and frisk is based on a Supreme Court decision.
Compare the homicide rate in NYC with the rate in Chicago.
So is Obamacare.
Texas doesn’t have a stop and frisk policy. Heck Miami doesn’t either.
RE: I would not tolerate stop and frisk. Its unconstitutional.
Then you would not tolerate cops who give you a ticket for running a red light or going through a stop sign without proof ( only his word against yours ).
Try fighting it in court. Most of the time — YOU LOSE. The judge listens to the cops.
There goes “innocent until proven guilty”.
At least in stop and frisk, you aren’t fined for anything.
Know what else the cops do?
It’s illegal to walk from train car to train car. They wait off to the side to grab people. I have seen with my own eyes the racial profiling that goes on there.
You see it comes with a $75.00 ticket and guess what? They never ever stop a black. Not ever. I would bet money they’re told not to.
They profile in everything they do and it’s 100% wrong.
Stop and Frisk is in the Florida statutes.
Crime rates have been trending downward across the U.S. for decades.
They don’t do stop and frisk in Chicago?
RE: Heck Miami doesnt either.
Miami’s violent crime rate is the highest in the nation, with especially high incidences of robbery and assault. Thankfully, the murder rate is relatively low.
Worst Large Cities for Crime (>500,000 pop.)
So you support Cops searching people “randomly”?
RE: It works, but it is unconstitutional.
Well, so should cops giving you a ticket for allegedly going through a stop sign, without showing proof ( such as a video camera ).
But then, judges almost always side with the cops and you pay.
Black people have the RIGHT to commit any crime they want. Didn’t you get the memo?
A policeman (or anyone else) witnessing a crime is evidence. And disputing such evidence is mostly a matter of conflicting evidence.
Your implication is that cops are mistaken or lie and that you don't get the benefit of the doubt. That is a separate issue altogether.
Stop and Frisk is not evidenced based at all. It is a gross violation of the 4th amendment.
As I said, its unconstitutional.
They probably do, but not as an intentional method for reducing crime as it's used in NYC.
RE: So you support Cops searching people randomly?
In a city where gun control is tough? YES.
If the city would relax its gun control laws, NO.
You can’t have it both ways. You gotta have one or the other.
And I must add — I’ve been profiled and stopped once because the car I drove fit the profile.
I was polite, showed the officer all my papers, and was let go in 10 minutes. No harm, no foul.
Based on, but not in compliance with, that decision (Terry v. Ohio).
And all of the big (> 1m population) cities have higher homicide and violent crime - including robbery and rape - rates per capita than NYC.
A stop is justified if the suspect is exhibiting any combination of the following behaviors:
Appears not to fit the time or place.
Matches the description on a “Wanted” flyer.
Acts strangely, or is emotional, angry, fearful, or intoxicated.
Loitering, or looking for something.
Running away or engaging in furtive movements.
Present in a crime scene area.
Present in a high-crime area (not sufficient by itself or with loitering).
A frisk is justified under the following circumstances:
Concern for the safety of the officer or of others.
Suspicion the suspect is armed and dangerous.
Suspicion the suspect is about to commit a crime where a weapon is commonly used.
Officer is alone and backup has not arrived.
Number of suspects and their physical size.
Behavior, emotional state, and/or look of suspects.
Suspect gave evasive answers during the initial stop.
Time of day and/or geographical surroundings (not sufficient by themselves to justify frisk).
I am not the sort of person who would totally NEUTER the police, leaving them helpless and unable to use their instincts to fight crime. That’s MAINLY what I pay my taxes for.
When used correctly, the stop and frisk tool benefits the police and average citizens. Curbing crime and ensuring the safety of our on-the-beat public servants, stop and frisk can help us all sleep a little more soundly.
We'll find out soon enough - minority activists are gearing up for a Supreme Court challenge, the idea being that too many minorities are being arrested who should be at Yale rather in jail.
Actually other sources show a different story. Numerous cities have lower murder rates then NYC.
Amazing to see so many people supporting random searches without cause. Kinda sad really.
Probable cause for a Constitutional search occurs when a policeman witnesses a crime or witnesses evidence of a crime.
For stop and frisk, this is reduced to “They didn’t belong” and “He seemed irritated when I stopped him.”
The Left’s new definition of personal rights is that those rights simply don’t exist outside of certain geographic confines, such as your home or place of worship.
A frisk is justified under the following circumstances:
Concern for the safety of the officer or of others.
in others words 100% of the time.
They shouldn't. Their numbers should be based on FBI Uniform Crime Reports stats that are submitted by the cities themselves. I'd be interested in taking a look at the sources you've mentioned, though. Only 10 cities in this country have more than 1m people. Out of those 10, Las Vegas and San Diego are the only ones that have lower homicide rates than NYC.
To go back to your original analogy.
If a cop witnesses you run a red light, he has witnessed a violation of the law and has a valid reason to stop you. If he sees 200 new cell phones in your back seat and 500 cell phones were just stolen from Radio Shack, he has probable cause to detain you.
If the cop witnesses you driving your sports car down the street, he has no reason to stop you based on his perception that you have a desire or capability to speed.
So if a suspect sees a cop and starts running away, the cop has no right to pursue and search the suspect? If you're not already a criminal defense lawyer, you may have missed your calling.
A few points: 1) A frisk is NOT a search, its a pat down. 2) What major city has a lower murder rate than NYC? 3) The proportion of those frisked and those convicted of crimes are the same when based on race and ethnicity. 4) The REAL Constitutional question arose when it was disclosed that the NYPD had complied computer data based on those frisked. Therefore, the NYPD has a file on you even if you never even been accused of a crime.
You failed to explain your use of the word "suspect". What are they suspected of, being a potential criminal? In stop and frisk, that is the case.
If an actual crime has occurred, then you can talk probable cause for chasing a "runner".
A cop can (and will) say anything they want. They can bust your chops and cost you hours and days and weeks of anguish and anxiety. So long as they can say ‘thats what it looked like to me’ or some variant.
Here in NYC the police don’t just enforce the law. In many respects they are the law. They can arrest a person just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ve seen it happen to people i know.
NYC ain't Mayberry - it's a city of 8m people. There are outstanding warrants against all kinds of people and cases involving tens of thousands of property crimes that aren't even investigated. There's no question that crimes have occurred, continue to occur and will occur within minutes of anything they do - the only question is who they can make for those crimes.
How convenient. Crimes are always occurring sometime, somewhere, de facto there is always probable cause to stop and search anyone or everyone at any time and place.
Nice little police state you've got there. You've solved the issue of the 4th Amendment by declaring that probable cause always exists and everyone is a suspect.
I think that's a bit strong. A police state is one where people are sent to a gulag or worse for merely complaining about their daily lives. NYC is merely clamping down on criminals in a way that poses an inconvenience to innocent civilians whose time is wasted.
“So if a suspect sees a cop and starts running away, the cop has no right to pursue and search the suspect? “
That’s correct. You know why? Because running isn’t a crime! I’m dismayed at the amount of conservatives that are in favor of this clearly unconstitutional policy. Stop and frisk in NYC is a joke. And their claim that it has lowered crime is also a joke. They claim this by including all of the completely bogus little tickets they hand out to reach their quotas for things like blocking the sidewalk (because they are being stopped by the cops!), or any number of other BS reasons they make up.
As an American I really hope some of you rethink this position. It’s terrible policy and if it keeps up, you’re next.