Here are some facts about NYC’s Stop and Frisk law. All facts come directly from New York City’s own database found at:
From 1990 to 2012, New York’s murder rate dropped from 2,605 to 724. The murder rate diminished in each of the years between 1990 and 2012 at a steady pace, other than in 1993 and 1994 when the murder rate dropped 20% and 25% respectively. The point here is that I’m not picking 1990 as a starting date for any statistical slight-of-hand. That was the year that it peaked and has diminished every single year since..
Likewise violent crime. In 1990 violent crime in New York City peaked at 212,458 and diminished every single year until reaching 7749 in 2012. I’m giving you these statistics to illustrate that New York City’s crime rate has been dropping dramatically for over 20 years.
NYC’s Stop and Frisk law was passed in 2002. The year before it passed, (2001) there were 960 murders in NYC. In 2012 there were 774. A drop of 19% over 11 years or an average drop of .578% each year that the law has been in effect. In the 11 years prior to stop and frisk, the murder rate dropped a total of 63%, or an average of 5.72% per year. The murder rate in NYC has dropped at a lower percentage after Stop and Frisk than before. One more time: NYC murders were dropping 10 times faster before Stop and Frisk than since!
Now, if I were to use the reductive reasoning of many on the right, with their flawed ability to determine the difference between causation and correlation, I would be justified in saying that Stop and Frisk has caused the murder rate to slow its downward slide. I could even opine that Stop and Frisk may actually be responsible for some murders! But we on the left don’t usually pander to those for whom logic is a second language. We try to be accurate and let the facts speak for themselves. I hope that I have done so.
Well, for those of you who believe that it is acceptable to intrude upon someone’s personal freedom to walk down the street, (shades of Trevon Martin) I propose we go even further and start a program called Invade and Toss. We should allow the police to enter any house that they consider “suspicious” and go through the entire place, looking for illegal drugs, weapons, undocumented immigrants, child porn or any number of other illegal things that might be found in a home. Just think…we could check car registrations to make sure that they’re current, we could confirm that the homeowners aren’t stealing cable TV, we could check their computers to confirm that they’ve paid for all their music. Hell, while we’re there, we could even audit their tax returns!
For those of you who think I’ve gone too far, I ask you: What the hell is the difference?
If the thought of the above scenario offends you, we’re on the right track. Now all you have to do, especially those of my readers who are white, is imagine walking down the street on a nice sunny day, maybe with your spouse and child on your way to the latest Disney feature, only to have four cops stop you, throw you against the wall, and grab the body parts that you thought were reserved for your use alone, reach into your pockets and check to see if there is something about you that warrants handcuffs. Imagine looking at your family (if they let you turn your head while it’s against the wall) and them looking at you in terror. Then, imagine explaining it to your child. And then imagine that the terribly humiliating thing that just happened to you cannot be proven to have any positive effect on crime. NONE! The cops just thought you looked suspicious.
Go ahead and think about it, I’ll wait…