The New York Civil Liberties Union has caught the NYPD in one of its more glaring lies. And the NYPD has many many lies to its credit — about the 2004 GOP National Convention, Occupy Wall Street, spying on Muslims, spying on all of us. The newly-released NYCLU report betrays the racism behind Ray Kelly and Mike Bloomberg's stop and frisk policy. The cop claim is that stop and frisks deter crime.
The NYCLU shows convincingly that crime rates have been declining (if you believe the NYPD) while police stops have gone up. That much might — on the face of things — seem perfectly plausible. What is really striking is the sheer racial skewing of the search policy. In Bloomberg's first year in office (which came after many years of Giuliani touting his great successes in reducing crime), the NYPD stopped 97,296 people. In 2011, that number was up to 685,724. Did crime decline by that much? Was there a marked increase from Giuliani years when — if you believe the Giulianistas — crime was declining?
Here's the kicker: 87 percent — almost 9 in 10 — of those stopped were black or Latino men. And 90 percent of those stopped were guilty of nothing; they weren't even ticketed. Those stopped most often account for 4.7 percent of the city's population, but account 41.6 percent of stops. "The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men (168,126 as compared to 158,406)." So some are being stopped repeatedly.
But Bloomberg has more lies to cover up the first round of lies.
First, they claim that the policy is justified because it works to reduce crime. Crime rates are down! But we know they were declining before the policy was begun.
Second, and even better, NYPD mouthpiece Paul Browne claims that the reason the cops are finding so little on their searches is that the baddies are leaving their guns at home! What evidence the NYPD has to support this is anybody's guess. Perhaps their spying extends even further than we've yet found reason to suspect.
So here is Mike Bloomberg's NYPD causal chain:
- Bad guy uses gun against victim.
- Victim describes crime to cops.
- Cops go in search of black or Latino guy with gun (because that's what the victim described).
- Bad guy has gone home to leave gun just in case he gets stopped and frisked. Did he ask momma to hide it in the cookie jar?
- Cops stop and frisk every young black man in the city and find . . . pretty much nothing.