Streams

30 Issues Day 29: Crime & Policing

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Democratic candidate for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio discusses the state of crime and law enforcement in NYC and explains his proposal to reform the City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Then, Heather MacDonald, a John M. Olin fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal, weighs in on the mayoral candidates' positions on stop and frisk and other policing policies.

Guests:

Bill de Blasio and Heather Mac Donald

Comments [40]

George from Queens

One of the most revealing comments about "stop and frisk" came from the advocate for the program. By way of touting the virtues of the program, she said that Police Academy graduates are immediately sent out to stop and frisk people. This is the worst practice possible if one wants to deter crime without trampling the rights of innocent people. Rookie officers have least experience distinguishing suspicious behavior from innocent behavior. Rookies are most likely to make excessive effort to prove themselves. They are also least likely to know how to exercise restraint in their interaction with people. This is a recipe for abuse.

Her comment about CCRB having little participation from the public indicates that she does not appreciate how little confidence people have in the process. The low number of verified complaints has most to do with a process which makes victims wait months before they are called in to identify the officers involved. By that time, a person who may have been beset by a group of officers, in the dark, will have great difficulty identifying their assailants. The CCRB process inadvertently, or otherwise, give cover to officers who mistreat people.

Oct. 29 2009 12:08 PM
db from nyc

... what are the stats?

Certainly there are plenty of white criminals (i.e. Wall Street, health insurance companies and other predominately white mafias). Also, closer to the street, there are significant numbers of white criminals but what is the relationship between the percentage of black/white S&F's and the percentage of black/white street crimes committed?

Most street COPS are not that bright or discriminating, all they see is black and white.

How do you resolve this issue?

Oct. 29 2009 11:51 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I remember hearing black kids tell WNYC reporters about being stopped multiple times by the same cops on the way to school, even though they'd been stopped before & nothing was found on them. That doesn't sound like stopping people based on a specific crime report.

And just because stop-&-frisks are going up & crime is down doesn't necessarily mean the S&Fs are causing the drop in crime, & certainly not that it's the sole or primary reason. MacDonald doesn't cite any proof of such a relationship beyond the fact that both things are happening. Finally, whether she thinks it's effective or not, if there's no probable cause it's still unconstitutional. I don't think she even addressed that.

Oct. 29 2009 11:48 AM
David Evans from New Jersey

I think that one's view of the success or need for this program is dependent upon how much you trust the police. If you fundamentally believe that the police are the good guys, "officer friendly," then you trust the judgment of the police officers to stop and frisk. However, if you fundamentally believe that the police are not trustworthy, like many people of color who have had negative experiences with law enforcement, then stop and frisk seems to be just another way for police to abuse their power and harass.

Oct. 29 2009 11:43 AM
David Evans from New Jersey

I think that one's view of the success or need for this program is dependent upon how much you trust the police. If you fundamentally believe that the police are the good guys, "officer friendly," then you trust the judgment of the police officers to stop and frisk. However, if you fundamentally believe that the police are not trustworthy, like many people of color who have had negative experiences with law enforcement, then stop and frisk is just another way for police to abuse their power and harass.

Oct. 29 2009 11:43 AM
Zach from UWS

I wonder how Ms. Macdonald would feel about stop and frisk if the primary targets of the NYPD were middle-aged white women.

Oct. 29 2009 11:31 AM
Andriana from Brooklyn

It's worse to be burned alive, but what does that have to do with it, Heather?

Oct. 29 2009 11:31 AM
Siouxie from Bronx

We have had a significant drop in crime for one reason: we are living in a Police State.

As the daughter of a NY Police officer and a law abiding, white, mature citizen, I have to say the majority of my interactions with the police has been negative.

Our police are power mad.

Oct. 29 2009 11:31 AM
Daniel from Munich

Did she just advocate racial profiling? If she's saying that different populations should be stopped and frisked in proportion to the crime rate attributable to their population, isn't that racial profiling?

Oct. 29 2009 11:31 AM
the truth from bkny

HEATHER ARE YOU SERIOUS??? NO other way to get guns off the streets?? OH please end this torture! and if she says Blacks are stopped less again I am going to puke!

Oct. 29 2009 11:30 AM
mozo from nyc

Put her on Fox News -- get her off this show.

Oct. 29 2009 11:29 AM
JR from Brooklyn

"Stop and frisk" is from my attorney perspective, unconstitutional. However, the gentleman who called about 167 and Sheridan-- that area is well known as the line of demarcation between the two major gangs in the South Bronx, which explains the heavy police presence in that neighborhood.

Oct. 29 2009 11:29 AM
LM from Long Island

This woman needs to get a dose of reality.

Oct. 29 2009 11:28 AM
D.K.

@ John from office: This is absolutely not true. I am a "white" (whatever that means; in fact am from Eastern Europe and am sure that if I was living in the US in an earlier part of the 20th century probably would not have qualified for the definition of that category at the time) female and have had the experience the last caller (who has been stopped numerous times when with a boyfriend from another race) in a very affluent area of Long Island.

When in college, I had an African-American boyfriend and any time we would be together in a car past sundown, we got stopped by the police for no obvious reason. The first time it happened, the officer leaned down through the window by my boyfriend's seat and before addressing him as the driver, asked "Are you OK, madam?" I was livid, but could feel my boyfriend tapping my knee to make me calm down and whispering "It's better if you say nothing." He had the sad wisdom that comes from a much longer experience with the racial profiling rampant in this part of the country, despite growing up in a safe middle class neighborhood with none of the "bad" stereotypes about his race.

Oct. 29 2009 11:28 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

When I was 16, I was stopped by an officer while walking down the street in a "bad" neighborhood. The officer asked what I was doing in the neighborhood and told me to get in the car. He gave me a ride home and asked me out on a date.

Talk about a stop and frisk.

Oct. 29 2009 11:28 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

So, the pro stop and frisk guest is proposing having quotas on who should be stopped and frisked regardless of probably cause, that the arrest rate is equal amongst black and white so justifying the exponentially larger number of blacks stopped (and she went on to say blacks are under-stopped), and sending inexperienced rookie cops with relatively poor judgment into high-crime areas where experience and street-smart judgment would benefit all are all good things?

Oct. 29 2009 11:28 AM
mary from the bronx

I don't get the question about why increase stops when the crime rate is down. It's like asking why I should continue to save regularly when I already have money in the bank. When something works, why should it be discontinued?

Oct. 29 2009 11:27 AM
Sarah Peck from Brooklyn, NY

I feel like stop and frisk is a symptom of a larger problem - high rates of crime in minority communities. Because of a series of disadvantages minorities are committing a lot of crimes. Poor education! Bad to no health care! Family planning! Diet and exercise! It isn't the responsibility of a probably underpaid, probably underprepared police officer to understand the intricacies of the larger issues.

Oct. 29 2009 11:27 AM
john from office

He is chasing higher office, I am very aware of who he is. That why he drags hios wife everywhere.

Oct. 29 2009 11:27 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper West Side

Anecdotal evidence of abuse is attractive but not very sound. The figure 12% sounds high to me, indicating relative success. What would be the success rate stopping people on the street at random?

Oct. 29 2009 11:26 AM
Pablo Alto from Da' Bronx

It is always conservatives of the Caucasian persuasion that say that Stop and Frisk is fine thank you. That is because they never have to deal with these issues directly.

Oct. 29 2009 11:26 AM
Terry from Farmington

Did she just say "blacks are being understopped"?

Oct. 29 2009 11:26 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

"Blacks are being UNDER-STOPPED?!"

Wow, that statement reeks of white privileged. And I'm white!

Oct. 29 2009 11:26 AM
Shana from Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, Brooklyn

John, I live in a pretty nice neighborhood and my purse has been searched on two occassions. My white husband has never been asked to have his bags checked or anything. There was almost a third time when I was six months pregnant, but my husband would not allow it.

I think that the NYPD has done a lot of great things for this city, but being bothered by police as I am trying to go to work is disheartening.

Oct. 29 2009 11:25 AM
the truth from bkny

Did she just say "Blacks are being under stopped" please get her delusional brain off the line!

Oct. 29 2009 11:25 AM
Jackie from Queens

What's particular disturbing about the stop and frisk policy in NYC is the database kept by the NYPD. Even if a New Yorker is found to be completely innocent after a stop and frisk, their name is entered into a database. The result? More than 500,000 innocent people are registered in a police database every year, and they are mostly people of color.

Oct. 29 2009 11:25 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

John from Office - you are ignorant. The guest just wants to get his name known? He's the democratic candidate for public advocate - his name is not unknown.

Educate yourself before making false and ridiculous statements.

Oct. 29 2009 11:25 AM
josh from brooklyn

I'm white and was stopped and frisked in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and was given no reason by the 2 thuggish cops. I asked why and they said I knew why.

Oct. 29 2009 11:25 AM
the truth from bkny

Ask that caller how many times she would like to be stopped for no reason...how many times would she like to be frisked! and then she will have an idea of how much is too much! Oh yeah even just for a warning...

Oct. 29 2009 11:23 AM
mozo from nyc

If you're that worried about crime like Ms.MacDonald, move to some gated community in the suburbs.

Oct. 29 2009 11:23 AM
Daniel from Munich

Why is the drop in crime an argument for a tactic shown to be effective only 12% of the time.

Why is anyone in favor of a police tactic that is only 12% effective? Especially when the other 88% of the time it means innocent people are made to feel like criminals in their own city.

Oct. 29 2009 11:22 AM
the truth from bkny

Stop and frisk is too broad! My 70+ mother was stopped not frisked but the reason for the stop was not signaling to change lanes...the real reason was the luxury vehicle...this was in Brooklyn

Oct. 29 2009 11:21 AM
the truth from bkny

Not only do they NOT get stopped and frisked or harrassed they have the courage to inform the officer loudly of their rights! Do not try this one Black and Brown folks...lol

Oct. 29 2009 11:19 AM
Nicole from Washington Heights

I watched a number of stop and frisks going on from my boyfriend's old apartment on 156th Street. There are some times when it is necessary. In the cases I saw, it was absolutely appropriate--given the regular dealers working the street. (Note to the police--check the space behind the license plates--that's where they hide the drugs.)

If the police want to have a better presence in the community, they should meet with tenant groups. In response to a request from the tenants in my building (also in the heights), representatives from the local precinct as well as our former councilman came to talk with us about the dealers working around our building. It worked.

Oct. 29 2009 11:18 AM
john from office

Did this caller ever think that they think he is car Jacked.

Oct. 29 2009 11:17 AM
Jason from Midtown

I don't really know anyone that is white that gets stopped and frisked. the only ones i hear of are from friends that are black. honest. its a shame. and its not coincidence, im sure.

Oct. 29 2009 11:17 AM
john from office

This is a false issue, used by political maggots to get known and placate the minority community.

Police patrol high crime areas, which results in stops of minority groups. This guest wants to get his name known with those groups that makeup who is stopped and frisked.

Oct. 29 2009 11:16 AM
"Freelance" Attorney from Park Slope

If NYPD use of stop and frisk is excessive and widespread, why no class action based on 4th Amendment violation?

Police are supposed to have "reasonable abd articulable suspicion" that crime underway or suspect involved in past crime. So, advocates think that current S & F jurisprudence too loose? not trully enforced? Class action ineffective?

Oct. 29 2009 11:13 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

The stop and frisk policy goes far beyond the example in the clip just given.

Stop and frisk in the REAL world largely involves the harassing of the disenfranchised. Surprise, surprise.

Oct. 29 2009 11:12 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

I am a big fan of Bill de Blasio's! Can you ask him if he has any mayoral aspirations?

To Ms. McDonald: More than relying on racial profiling, the stop and frisk relies on the ignorance of those it targets in regards to their rights. It's not resulting in more arrests, so how does this practice benefit the citizens of New York.

Oct. 29 2009 11:07 AM

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