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Mayor Mike Was Not Wrong and Should Not Have Apologized!

By Phantom On November 18th, 2019

Yesterday, 12 year mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg yesterday publicly apologized for the ” stop and frisk “ policy that was used during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

In high crime / high illegal gun areas, the practice was for plainclothes cops to approach a suspicious looking person- ie one with what looked like a heavy object in his pocket – and pat him down. If he ( and it would always be a he ) didn’t have a gun, he was sent on his way. If he did have one, he was taken to the station house.

A lot of innocent people were patted down, sometimes many times a year. You don’t have to explain the anger to me.

The criticism is that an overwhelming number of those frisks were of ” people of color ” to use the euphemism. That was supposedly evidence of racism.

But those who criticized the policy tend to skirt the fact that the policy was implemented in the highest crime / highest gun areas, which happened to be areas inhabited by ” people of color “.

Focusing on high crime areas was not practicing any racism. It was going where the criminals were, hat tip to Willie Sutton.

I rob banks because that’s where the money is.

Willie Sutton, American bank robber

There would have been little point to even out the profile of the frisked by doing frisking operations in white areas of Staten Island or in Asian areas of Queens because the street crime / gun carry rates in those areas was and is exceptionally low.

The Maple/Bratton/Giuliani/Bloomberg policing policies of Broken Windows and Stop and Frisk saved thousands of lives here. Most of those were black and Latino lives.

When Rudy took office in 1994, the murder rate was 11.4. For 2018, it was 2.9. Apparently, if you’re running for president these days, you must apologize for overseeing a 75% reduction in the murder rate.

I like and respect you Mike, but you were WRONG to apologize.

14 Responses to “Mayor Mike Was Not Wrong and Should Not Have Apologized!”

  1. Stop, Question, and Frisk worked.

  2. If there was any racial discrimination in the policy it was to prevent an infinitely worse case of racial discrimination – that blacks were much more likely to be victims of murder.

    If it primarily prevented the murder of blacks, the policy should be welcomed by all.

    (Phantom, your post could do with a bit of editing)

  3. It was a sensible policy the saved lives but came into disfavor with the professionally aggrieved. His people probably told him to apologize for it. He should brag about it.

  4. Mike has been a sometimes annoying but fact and results based truth teller.

    That changed yesterday.

    He’s still the best potential candidate for president by a mile, but he has disappointed me here.

  5. There is arguably a bit of post hoc ergo propter hoc. Broken windows and stop-question-frisk was introduced. Crime went down. Broken windows and stop-question-frisk caused crime to go down. One flaw in that. Since Bill de Blasio became Mayor stop-question-frisk has largely been abandoned. In 2011 there were 685,724 stops made by the NYPD. In 2017 there were 10,861. The murder rate in New York City has continued to drop. If stop-question-frisk was the cause of the drop in the murder rate then it stands to reason that abandoning it would cause that rate to go back up. That has not happened.

  6. Giuliani and Bratton began a highly positive trend, that lasted 20 years all through the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

    Trends do tend to continue, for a time anyway.

    There is concern about a comeback in crime, a valid concern I believe.

  7. Stop-question-frisk was phased out six years ago. I agree that often there is a delay to these things. But six years down the line should likely be enough time for it to start to have a measurable effect. There are likely a series of socio-economic factors that have led to the drop in crime in New York City.

  8. This type of crime drop didn’t happen in other cities.

    There would have been other factors in policing other than stop and frisk, including Compstat, which seemingly no one except me talks about here. It remains very much in use.

    We have a very bad mayor and a rising tide of open disrespect for police among the worst of us many that is tolerated.

    Success is never permanent, here there is much reason for concern.

  9. I’d also argue that even if stop and frisk did not have the positive impact that there is no need to apologize for it as a tactic to reduce crime.

  10. Crime has dropped all over the United States. Using FBI data, violent crime rate fell 51% between 1993 and 2018. Using BJS data, the rate fell 71%.

    New York have achieved more than that. And the current Commissioner of the NYPD puts it down to things like CompStat, and aggressive targeting of gangs. The continuing decline in New York City crime numbers would suggest that it those socio-economic factors, and things like CompStat, and the anti-gang task forces, that are putting the dents in those numbers. And not stop-question-frisk.

    A study by the College of Policing, the professional body for the police in the UK, found that stop and search (the UK equivalent of stop-question-frisk) caused an immediate 0.1% decrease in crime, and a 0.3% long term decrease in crime. Largely speaking, in the grand scheme of things, it is not effective.

    “I’d also argue that even if stop and frisk did not have the positive impact that there is no need to apologize for it as a tactic to reduce crime.”

    I’m not a fan of politicians apologising left, right and centre. But as Phantom noted you don’t need to explain the anger. If an innocent person is stopped and searched, in violation of their constitutional rights, then that person is going to be pissed off. When there is a perception that said person was far more likely to go through that dehumanising experience because of the colour of their skin then that anger is going to be even greater. When that person is going through that for a system that doesn’t actually work then yeah that is something that should be apologised for.

  11. The city of NY is a powder keg waiting for the wrong spark.

    SQF worked it is no longer in effect and over that 6 years NYrs elected people who not only don’t support the police but openly sow discontent against them.

    Something bad will happen, it’s only a matter of time.

  12. I endorse the de emphasis of stop and frisk

    I most certainly do not endorse the lessened enforcement of fare evasion in the subway, public drinking/urination, making noise outside late at night, the toleration of any disrespect for police.

    The broken windows theory was and is exceptionally sound. It is at the heart of every good thing that Maple/Giuliani/Bratton/Bloomberg did, along with Compstat and relentless accountability for local police commanders.

    You need to have order. If there is no order, it is the poor and working class who suffer the first and most.

    Even at NYC’s best, there was/is too much gang activity. I would like to break the back of every gang and gangbanger. A good way to help do that would be to legalize more drugs. Take their money stream away from them.

  13. I remember well before Giuliani got in there.

    He said that there would be this big reduction in crime, he guaranteed it, and then he implemented it using the exact methods that he said that he would use.

    It didn’t just happen.

    And NYC drove a lot of the change in the rest of the country. Compstat was exported free of charge to lots of places.

    And that progress could be reversed, quickly.

  14. “And the current Commissioner of the NYPD puts it down to things like CompStat, and aggressive targeting of gangs.” I think he is right about that. Stop and Frisk caused much antagonism and probably the other factors, CompStat, etc. were/are more important. And, the crime rate decline since the policy was withdrawn several years ago indicates it had little, if any, effect.

    I personally think it was unwise of Bloomberg to bring the subject up. Saying you were wrong about it does not banish the issue, rather it reminds people who instituted it. But maybe Bloomberg was testing the waters, if so it did not go well. And, he probably cannot win without the Black and Latino vote.

    Stop And Frisk was bad for comminuity policing because people who feel antagonized tend to clam up and not speak to the police. Currently the NYPD puts emphasis on community policing and I think that is the right policy.