Michael Bloomberg is running for president on a platform of, well, I’m not really sure. His advertising slogan is that he’s the guy who’s gonna get things done. What those things are include killing jobs through a $15 an hour minimum wage, killing the economy by reducing plant food emissions (CO2) by 50%, reducing the Second Amendment ability of Americans to defend themselves, making America less safe by boosting immigration from Muslim nations, granting citizenship to 11 million immigrant lawbreakers, getting women who think they are men back in our military, making America less safe by turning more and more inmates loose and making it easier to abort babies.
What he is not going to do is use his “stop and frisk” policy to make America’s minority neighborhoods safer. Bloomberg bagged it because of howls that it was racist. Of course it wasn’t, but that makes no difference to Americans consumed with issues of skin color. They have cowed the former mayor into compliant acquiescence and he has been apologizing all over himself since he decided to run for president.
“Stop and frisk” refers to what are known as “Terry stops,” after an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling in 1968 that 4th Amendment rights are not violated as long as a cop has a “reasonable suspicion” that a suspect has committed a crime or is about to, and may be armed and dangerous.
Stop and frisk in New York was implemented by Rudy Giuliani in an effort to reduce crime in general and murder in particular in New York City. The NYPD put maps up on the wall and using crime reports, put stick pins in the map where crime was the worst. Then they sent cops into those neighborhoods to stop anybody who was behaving suspiciously frisking them for weapons.
The bulk of the neighborhoods turned out to be minority neighborhoods where the crime rate was off the charts. The people who lived in these neighborhoods were the victims of every crime in the book, from murder to assault to burglary to theft. This, mind you, was not racial profiling at all. There was absolutely nothing racist about it. It is true that 83 percent of the Terry stops in New York between 2004 and 2012 were of blacks or Hispanics (the population of New York is 52 percent black and Hispanic), but that’s irrelevant. If a city is made up of purple people and green people, and lots of purple people behave suspiciously in high-crime neighborhoods, justice would dictate that lots of purple people would be frisked by the cops.
It was criminal-conduct-profiling; if a man didn’t behave in a suspicious manner, he wasn’t braced, regardless of his race or skin color. As a result, New York’s crime rate plunged to record lows between 1994 and 2012.
The program showed dramatic results, reducing the murder rate in New York City from 2000 a year to 600 a year under Giuliani, then down to 300 a year under Bloomberg. These once crime-infested neighborhoods became places where minority residents could go to the corner convenience store for toothpaste without being mugged en route. Minority residents were thrilled.
According to The Atlantic, during the two decades of stop and frisk, “the rate of what are termed ‘index’ offenses—homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, larceny, and arson—has been cut by 75 percent in New York. These crimes have been largely erased from the city. The change feels almost magical, and suggests something stunning about the possibility of fixing overwhelming societal problems, and of enabling urban metamorphosis.”
While Mayor DeBlasio was elected mayor in 2013 by campaigning on a pledge to end the practice, the Supreme Court even expanded the reasonable suspicion factor in an 8-1 decision in 2014. But thanks to stop and frisk there are about 20,000 blacks enjoying life today in New York who a generation ago would be underground somewhere. Perhaps it’s time for Mike Bloomberg to apologize for his apology.
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