Reverend Flake on Stop and Frisk

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reverend Floyd Flake, pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Church (Courtesy FBC Somerset)

Rev. Floyd Flake, pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Church in Queens and a former congressman, discusses why he sees Stop and Frisk as an effective tool for policing his community, as well as other matters in local and national politics.


Rev. Floyd Flake

Comments [43]

fuva from harlemworld

But, DTorres, you're saying nothing. Who's denying that the crime rate amongst black and Latino men is too high?...What's required is not just any ol' response to this problem, but, rather, an EFFECTIVE one. And, like all solutions, this will first require an UNDERSTANDING of the problem...If you will submit to being criminalized on sight, rudely and disrespectfully, without explanation, under the assumption that your kind are all inherently criminal, then that's YOUR prerogative. But keep that nonsense to yourself...

Jun. 15 2012 09:19 AM
greg williams from inwood

stop and frisk is not affective.

crime rates are falling more dramatically in almost every other large city in the country, without such fascist tacticts. a broader look at the numbers shows that stop and frisk is actually keeping our crime rate unnecessarily high. our safety is not the motivation for this practice. when the police represent themselves as a threat to a community, they will not get the cooperation needed to be affective.

Floyd flake knows this.


Jun. 14 2012 11:17 PM
DTorres from Nathan Strauss Projects

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of street crime, muggings,
purse snatches, gunpoint/knife point robberies, snatching Iphones on
the street and the subways, are African American & Hispanic young men
and women.

The cases of Asian, Pakistani, Chinese, Bangladeshi, Secular Jews,
Orthodox Jews, Ultra orthodox Jews, Africans born in African countries
committing street crime in NYC, tiny if any at all.
They just seldom happen.

White kids in Park Slope & the Upper East/Westside are not snatching
Iphones from people on the street, do not have Facebook pages, in which
they declare it's "break in day" on the Avenue.

A Roman Catholic Nun could be raped in an East Harlem convent,
while a naked young woman could walk the streets of Borough Park,
Brooklyn unscathed, they won't put a finger on her.

Request the Crime Statistics from the
NYPD and see how street crime,
breaks down along racial lines, who is doing it.

The number of African American,
Hispanics will be high and
everybody else will be miniscule.

Sociologist, etc., will give all the reasons why that is the case.
I barely have a GED.

So if the NYPD does discontinue Stop & Frisk, the people being hurt the
most will be the very people yelling about Stop & Frisk the loudest.

If I were Ray Kelly/Bloomberg, I would say, okay no more Stop & Frisk.
I will stop it.

And then, when the community starts reeling from the upshot in
violence, that Stop & Frisk had at least put a dent in, who will be
screaming then?

Jun. 14 2012 12:52 PM
P.M. in E.V. from East Village

Stop & Frisk...YES PLEASE...Love it, Love it, Love it!

Jun. 14 2012 11:14 AM

If stop and frisk is so effective, why not stop and frisk everyone -- just in case. So only black and Latino (e.g. brown skinned) men are likely to carry concealed weapons and/or small amounts of weed? What about the rest of us? And given that the same people in the same neighborhoods are stopped and frisked over and over, perhaps the police could give out a card with a date stamp verifying that a person was stopped, frisked and released (e.g. they're clean). Then the person could show this card the next time it happened. But this probably wouldn't work either -- when the "suspect" went to produce his card, the police would think he was reaching for a gun and shoot him. And this would be justified since there was good cause to think this random person might have had a gun. Truly Orwellian.

Jun. 14 2012 11:01 AM
Beth from LIC

Of course the good Reverend supports the harrassment of young black and latino men... because none of them support his church. Last time I checked the women to men ratio in churches like Flake's are about 10:1.

Jun. 14 2012 10:53 AM

The problem is, this practice is too easily abused by MORON police "officers" who seek to hassle, intimidate and abuse.

"Hey muthaf*kah, up against the wall!!! You got a gun??? Ooooop! No gun but, a little bit of're under arrest!! Heh...heh...heh..."

These cops are KLOWNS!!

Jun. 14 2012 10:41 AM
Lynn Ermann from Manhattan

I agree with the first caller. Stop-and-frisk is a symptom of a problem. The real issue is that NYPD officers do not know the communities they patrol. We need to reassess Operation Impact, a policy involving sending large numbers of rookies into high crime neighborhoods and rotating them in and out with frequency. These officers don't engage with residents. After, say, a shooting incident, they will react by treating everyone as a potential threat. If there were beat officers, these officers would see patterns over time. They would know which kids were are on their way home from school and and which ones are really out of place and maybe could be a problem.

Sure, stop-and-frisk is getting guns off the street but it is also alienating residents and possibly creating new criminals. It is forcing residents to take the law into their own hands. Over time, residents become so mistrustful of the police that they stop calling in when there is a crime. They don't want to come forward as witnesses. They are more likely to turn to gangs for protection and to even act out against the police. They view the police as hostile occupiers which is what they are at this point.

Moreover, the arrest quota system creates incentives for police to arrest residents for bogus 'violations' like "trespassing" or "disorderly conduct." This is incredibly damaging to communities over time...

We have to end stop-and-frisk AND bring back some version of community oriented policing. We have to create community engagement 'quotas' for police where we reward them for making positive contacts in the community, for opening community centers, for coaching PAL leagues... COMMUNITY, courtesy, professionalism, respect.

-Lynn Ermann

Jun. 14 2012 10:41 AM
Amy from Manhattan

To the caller who said the marijuana arrests after a police search finds pot that a person was not displaying are unconstitutional: You've got it backwards. That's a matter of law--if the law of a city or state says carrying concealed marijuana is illegal, then the person can be arrested if pot is found on him/her by a search, as long as there's a legal reason to do the search. But the 4th Amendment says there must be such a reason--police can't just stop anyone on the street if they don't have reasonable suspicion. That *is* unconstitutional.

Jun. 14 2012 10:39 AM
Fran from Manhattan

The way stop and frisk is being conducted is racist and disrespectful. I am appalled at the police state I am seeing around. It is the wrong way to go about it.
It is a mayor waste of resources and intimidation of minorities and non-whites.
If you really want to deal with the gun issue, deal with it a supplier level with police intelligence, and with better rewards for voluntary turn in of guns. I saw a poster the other day "turn in your gun, $100 reward, no questions asked" That's ridiculous. Who will renounce their gun for $100? Instead the NYPD spend millions of dollars in this stop and frisk program, to bust hundreds of people for irrelevant minor drug possession. Stop and frisk is just the pure expression of NYPD taking the lazy road and abusing its power. The police state in this city is completely out of control.

Jun. 14 2012 10:38 AM

The fundamental idea of "stop and frisk" is maybe not a bad idea however, we're dealing with a police force full of ignorant, meat-headed imbeciles who are INCAPABLE of making informed, discerning decisions.

When idiots are sent out with quotas, bad and unfair things are guaranteed to occur.

Another excellent example is the practice of blind quota ticketing as is standard practice throughout the city.

Jun. 14 2012 10:36 AM
Tito from Brooklyn

I think stop and frisk is a lot on nonsense. The better approach is to integrate cops into the community, have them walk the beat, etc. We should know who is policing our streets, not just see them bust onto the scene and then disappear. Most cops are rude. I want to believe that the majority of them are good people, risking their lives, but the fact is, when I think of all the folks I went to high school with who became cops, 99% of them were aggressive, angry jerks in high school. No surprise, they became angry adults, only wearing a uniform and carrying a gun. Sorry, the practice is screwed up and policing in NYC is messed up at its core. Beyond this, there is the broader societal issues: why are these guns on the street, why are people carrying them? Stop and frisk attacks the branches, but the roots remain. A more integrated approach all around will make the streets safer.

Jun. 14 2012 10:35 AM
John A.

I was stop & frisked. Very adversarial until friend/foe status could be established, and then slowly and weakly the apologies and politeness came out. But for 4 minutes or so I could have thought I was about to be thrown in jail. Harrowing.

Jun. 14 2012 10:34 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

It’s clever to suggest a few more searches on the UES would help whites see this issue more clearly, but such remarks simply ignore that 88% of murder victims are black or Hispanic, and very few of them are killed on the UES. A helpful map for this discussion:

Jun. 14 2012 10:33 AM
fuva from harlemworld

There's simply just no way to prove that the 1 OUT OF 1000 hit rate in anyway proves the success of 'stop and frisk'. There's no way to prove that the 999 blacks and Hispanics who were stopped and found to have nothing would have otherwise been carrying a gun.

And that last caller's account of an entire train car -- man, woman and child -- being frisked IS emblematic. Yes, frisking an entire train car is not common, but this is: The LACK OF EXPLANATION, the RUDENESS, the DEHUMANIZATION. Not to mention, the LACK OF CONTEXT -- what's driving the high crime rates?

And, c'mon: The millionaire rev couldn't find a decent line to speak with Brian on? Puhlease...

Jun. 14 2012 10:33 AM
Robert from NYC

Cut the baloney Brian, the cops are as gun happy as the criminals, we see it all the time. I don't know any other western culture whose police are so ready to us guns and other such "weapons" i.e., pepper spray. If they're so well trained and are so "courteous" and "professional" then why can't they handle non violent situations without using some kind of weapon! Baloney. And again I repean Kelly is a thug who wears expensive made-for-him ties.

Jun. 14 2012 10:32 AM from NJ

A society which is supposed to be free and open and one in which people are not at the mercy of authority figures has risk built into it. That's the trade off bewteen being the U.S. or being China or Cuba.

The reason the constitution limits search powers is that the founders recognized that authority can and will always--in the name of security--say they need more authority. As police and government are made up of flawed people just like everyone else--as opposed to saints--unfettered power inevitably is abused and corrosive to freedom.

Jun. 14 2012 10:32 AM
R Pine from Westchester

For the fellow who said the small number of guns found is evidence that stop and frisk works, would he believe that the NYC elephant catcher program works even better because NYC has no elephants on the streets?

Jun. 14 2012 10:30 AM

Brian, please stop having guests on who are too busy for you and doesn't see speaking on your show as a priority. He's doing other things and does not care if his phone works or not. Bad phone connection and he doesn't care, so you should have never had him on in the first place.

Jun. 14 2012 10:28 AM
John A.

People named Flake should not get a reputation for 'flaking'.

Jun. 14 2012 10:28 AM
Chris Garvey from More Guns, Less Crime

The fallacy here is that more guns cause more crime. John Lott set out to prove that premise, but his research caused him to change his title to "More Guns, Less Crime".
State Senator Sullivan was a gang leader who who wanted to protect his criminal supporters, who were being shot by their robbery victims. He passed NY's unconstitutional pistol licensing law, which has protected muggers from their victims since 1911, by disarming the law-abiding victims.

Stop and frisk violates both the 4th 2nd Amendments.

Jun. 14 2012 10:27 AM

NEVER MENTIONED As long as drugs are criminalized there will be guns. Most crime is drug related.

Jun. 14 2012 10:27 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

Go a little deeper. What about the very fact that there are, to hear Rev. Flake describe it, people who think to take a gun to a birthday parties where they weren't invited? Are these attitudes the elephant in the room here?

Jun. 14 2012 10:26 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I live in a neighborhood where shootings still take place somewhat regularly - Bed Stuy. Once you have a shooting happen on your own street corner, or in front of your home - and you notice that it happens regularly in certain parts of the neighborhood, it's clear that these areas do need to be under surveillance. What has always struck me as insane is that there are very few police men and women on the streets doing patrol, and hanging out on corners. If a shooting happens, they send officers out in that area for a few weeks, then as time passes, those officers disappear, and the same thing happens again. It would seem that instead of focusing on "stop and frisk," which has such an incredibly damning psychological effect on young people, the city could bring extra officers - in uniform and undercover - from other precincts into these gun-filled neighborhoods.

Jun. 14 2012 10:24 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stop and Frisk is too much power in the hands of the police! Rev Flake call us after you have had the experience. You can only believe this is a good idea because you do NOT live in one of the affected areas. So until you are bent over a police car, genitals groped, tazed and verbally and physically should not put your stamp of approval on this for "anti-gun" control!

Jun. 14 2012 10:23 AM
JSP from Brooklyn

superf88, you are too naive my friend.

Here are some examples:

Here's one article about Flake and his controversial bid in the Aqueduct Racino

Abyssinian Baptist Church got a $2M item in a federal spending bill thanks to Sen. Hilary Clinton. Well, low in behold when she ran for President, guess what minister wholeheartedly supported her? Take a wild guess.

Do you remember when Metrotech was built and the developer, Forest City Ratner, promised all kinds of jobs to people living in the projects across the street?

When plans were announced to build the arena at Atlantic and Flatbush, the developer (again, Forest City Ratner) showed their "support" of the neighborhood by making contributions to many local community organizations. Interestingly, many of these organizations didn't exist until the announcement that the developer planned on building an arena in downtown Brooklyn. How convenient! (in the SNL "church lady" voice).

The other tidbit about this development is that the leaders of these community organizations, the Mayor and FCRC signed a Community Benefits Agreement promising all kinds of jobs (15,000 to be exact!), senior centers, affordable housing, office buildings and all types of services and amenities. First and foremost, this was the first Community Benefits Agreement I've ever seen that didn't involve the community. Second, Ratner sold his stake in the Nets (which was used PERFECTLY as the bait). Third, most of the plans will never come to fruition as retail and housing market conditions have changed (this even I knew was coming).

Jun. 14 2012 10:21 AM
bernie from bklyn

i think the way the nypd is implementing this policy is lazy and based on statistics and racking up #'s. the nypd does not really want to solve the problem of crime. they want each of their precincts to APPEAR as if crime is low. the reality on the street is different.
that said, who is most likely to stick a weapon in your face for your cell phone? yes, black men aged 15-25. sorry everybody but that is a fact, not an opinion. and i don't want to hear about the supposed "socio-economic conditions" that force these men to behave this way. it's all about parenting and lack one in these men's lives ever told them or taught them how to behave and act like a proper member of our society. so when cops racially profile, can you blame them?

Jun. 14 2012 10:21 AM
David Goldbeck

Just becaue it is effective doesn't make it good: curfews would work, so would identity papers, setting up airposrt style body detectors. Lets keep it constitutional and effectiveness is not a test. How about going after gun dealers and more jobs?

Jun. 14 2012 10:20 AM

@john from office- here's to hoping you get stopped & frisked. And everyone else who supports it but hasn't had the pleasure.

Jun. 14 2012 10:19 AM
Shereen from Brooklyn

I work in Jamaica and I witness many "stop and frisk" situations that enrage the community and break our hearts. I have to disagree with Rev. Flake. Extreme police surveillance and racial profiling do not a "safe" environment make. Stop and frisk appears to be a form of racism and targeted humiliation.

Jun. 14 2012 10:18 AM

the Rev is not radical if he says we need somethng like stop and frisk

Jun. 14 2012 10:18 AM
john from office

Wow, a rational black leader. Speaking truth to nonsense. You go Mr. Flake.

Black male shooting statistics speak for themselves.

Jun. 14 2012 10:16 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Super88 -- The connection between Flake as a Bloomberg beneficiary and his stance here is not incidental. It is at least correlative if not causative...Please. Because someone is a clergyman and black does NOT therefore make him discerning and credible around black issues. Let's not be naive...Here, the name Flake is descriptive.

Jun. 14 2012 10:15 AM

So you quote the numbers and ask the Rev if those are acceptable. How is he the arbiter of this. I say its bad...on to next segment.

Jun. 14 2012 10:15 AM
joe from nearby

@JSP from Brooklyn- If what you're saying is true then it's a valid point that should be explored.

The Rev's position basically elevates (assumed) results over our Constitution. The police can still be effective by not violating the Constitution. It seems that the prevailing view among them is that the Constitution just gets in their way.

We The People, however, don't see our Constitution as an obstacle.

Jun. 14 2012 10:13 AM
The Truth from Becky

**correction 59%

Jun. 14 2012 10:13 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Rev. Flake flakes out on the call-in. Priceless.

Jun. 14 2012 10:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Maybe the reverend is being stopped and frisked?

Jun. 14 2012 10:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

Saving lives by getting guns off the street is a no brainer, everyone approve, the abuse of power and the racial profiling is what is where the problem lies.

Jun. 14 2012 10:12 AM

lets stop and frisk for cigaretts! Bars of soap kill people lets frisk for them! Its all BS Brian, no Devil's Advocate on this one. Its ALL bad.

Jun. 14 2012 10:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

Since 9% of white new yorkers approve of stop and frisk, perhaps nypd should stop and frisk more white new yorkers! Since they are sooo darn cool with it!

Jun. 14 2012 10:10 AM

JSP -- you'll need to do more than point out that Bloomberg gives money to Flake and that Bloomberg gives millions of dollars to black churches to prove a conspiracy.

I"m open to the idea and no Bloomberg fan but cringe when I hear accusations that aren't backed up, and worse, undermining somebody's argument by accusing him of not being real.

Perhaps Brian will kick off the interview with your accusation and see how responds. If that happens though you might want to follow up your posting with another that actually proves conspiracy so that Brian could follow up Flake's response with actual fact.

Jun. 14 2012 09:45 AM
JSP from Brooklyn

Please understand that Rev. Flake has been on Bloomberg's payroll since the Mayor took office. Bloomberg has always been a charitable contributor to many causes, but he has "donated" millions of dollars to many city organizations (including Black churches) that in turn support the Mayor on many of his political and business initiatives even when some of these plans are not in the best interest of the constituency.

Jun. 14 2012 09:32 AM

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