By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
“The department will also be required to develop more specific policies on what constitutes biased policing and better reporting when such episodes occur.”
I expect many New Yorkers think they’re a lot more hip and otherwise sophisticated than those folks way out there in Seattle. But think about it. We have something to learn—with variations we can work out—from what Seattle is doing to reasonably Americanize its police force.
Maybe some of our local radio, TV, and digital-media reporters and commentators could interview participants—police, politicians, citizens, as well as students in Seattle schools about what it took to get this agreement swinging.
And among those interviewing these Seattle contributors to a police force effectively at ease with the Constitution should be all our New York City candidates for mayor.
Of course, one thing I’d surely ask these candidates is whether they plan to retain Ray Kelly as police commissioner.
And if New Yorkers did come to an agreement along the lines of what was accomplished in Seattle, would Ray Kelly, if he were asked to stay on, accept being in the close company of the Constitution of the United States?
Seattle aside, a vital message for New York voters as they replace Bloomberg is raised by NYCLU’s Advocacy Director Udi Ofer: “Anyone interested in increasing student achievement, and particularly in closing the achievement gap, should pay close attention to the impact of stop-and-frisk practices on the lives of black and Latino students, including on their view of authority and ability to succeed academically.”
In this primarily segregated, largest public school system in the nation, so many black and Latino students on its streets are treated by the NYPD as decidedly suspicious persons of interest.
Adds Ofer: “This experience on the street is only compounded by the experience that many [of these] young people face in school. The NYPD arrested or ticketed more than 15 students each day in school during the first three months of 2012.”
Do the math.
“More than 96 percent of the arrests were of black and Latino students. About 18 percent of the arrests were of students between the ages of 11 and 14. Disorderly conduct, a catchall category that could encompass all kinds of typical misbehavior, accounted for 71 percent of all summonses.”
And dig this: “Last year, 90 percent of all stops of young people [mostly blacks and Latinos] did not result in an arrest or a ticket—meaning that in 131,087 of the stops, the young person being stopped is innocent of any action that would constitute a crime or an infraction.”
Yeah, but Bloomberg and Kelly glory in all the guns seized. Ofer smacks them in the face with this: “Only 1.4 percent of frisks of young people in 2011 recovered a weapon.”
This is how New York City fosters, among the majority of its public school students, confidence in academic achievement, let alone lifetime love of learning?
With the NYCLU suing over stop-and-frisk, our Education Mayor snapped: “If the NYCLU is allowed to determine policing strategies in our city, many more children will grow up fatherless, and many more children will not grow up at all.”
NYCLU president Donna Lieberman let him have it: “It’s a lot easier to trash the NYCLU than to acknowledge the widespread dissatisfaction the community feels with an NYPD that acts like it’s above the law” (New York Post, July 16). Oh, but the number of stops and frisks has fallen. However, our royal mayor assures us he is certainly staying with this essential way to retain his reputation as the best mayor we have ever had.
It’s up to you, New Yorkers. How many of you are going to demand that the next mayor, starting on his or her first day in office, shows us with absolute clarity how he or she is going to bring the NYPD back into our rule of law?
All of us have been shamed long enough by Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly.