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The Other Reason Bloomberg's Wrong About Stop and Frisk

The other piece of big news today was a federal judge finding New York Police Department's "stop and frisk" program unconstitutional. Judge Scheindlin used some pretty scathing language in her nearly-200 page opinion. Phil's article is here.

Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to appeal the ruling, claiming that the stop and frisk practice works and makes the city safer. But as I pointed out in a recent post, while there is research suggesting NYC police have done a lot of good innovating, so far at least the research has not borne out stop and frisk as being one of them.

That is to say, there are other things police do in New York, besides stop and frisk, that have produced a larger than average crime drop than other cities. And they also do stop and frisk, which research hasn't found to help with that.

One more note for now is that we have also written, and more extensively, about NYC as the world's marijuana arrest capital. This is different from the stop and frisk practice, but stop and frisk undoubtedly fuels it.

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As in your other post, people like Bloomberg and Kelly do not deserve the faintest hint of a compliment.

Bloomberg and Kelly deserve pink slips, not compliments. Their ideas do not belong in America.

I know you learned in school somewhere to try and be politically correct  -- complimenting someone with a contrary position.

However, this type of submissiveness should never extend to Constitution-shredding monsters.

borden's picture

It's not political

It's not political correctness, Matt, it's accuracy.

But speaking of political correctness, if you think that throwing around words like "monsters" will persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with you, you are quite mistaken.

Don't shoot the messenger...

People who blatantly violate the Constitution deserve no credit.

They are what they are.

Drug warriors have been quite successful using terms like "monsters" to breed generations of people too ignorant, too scared,

too hateful, or too indifferent to help change this human rights disaster known as the War on Drugs!

Don't be singling me out, friend. I have convinced plenty of people who are on the fence about medical cannabis... while using the term "monster".

borden's picture

Accuracy, Matt. I've read up

Accuracy, Matt. I've read up on the research about this. It says what it says. It doesn't say this other thing that you'd rather I say. If it did, I'd say that, but it doesn't. So I say what I have said -- because that's what the research says.

As for strategy about what terms to use, believe what you want, but most of the people we need to convince are not brought over by words like "monster," regardless of your experiences talking to some people.

You have obviously....

You have obviously missed my point, because you are fixated on me calling two of the most frigtening figures in American politics today "monsters". If I were writing a publicized article, would I call them monsters? Probably not. However, I sure wouldn't try to say anything good about them. It's a simple matter of looking at the big picture. Whatever good you think they ever did is nullified by their zeal to dismantle our civil liberties.

*My point is they deserve no compliments*. How much more clear do I have to be?

I never said you must use the term "monster" or something similar, yet that's what you are insinuating....

Why don't you get on NORML's case for calling John Walters "full of shit" in a publicized article? That's not "accurate" in the literal sense. Sometimes you have to call a turd exactly what it is. It's a shame, really, that we don't do that much anymore.

You can use your term all you want, I will simply have to disagree. It is NOT "accurate" to compliment people who violate our Constitution.

borden's picture

Matt, it is accurate to speak

Matt, it is accurate to speak accurately. The reality is that New York City has had a larger than average crime drop compared with other US cities, and that researchers attribute it in part to a variety of innovations in policing that NYPD has implemented. Media and in fact members of the general public are aware they've had a larger than average crime drop. And so pretending that they've done nothing right to accomplish that is not going to work. It will just make us seem uninformed and biased. And while the media have to quote the mayor and the police chief, and policymakers have to consider what they have to say, they have no such need to quote us or consider what we have to say. They'll only do so if they perceive us to be accurate and reasonable. Anytime we leave out an important fact -- such as New York's larger than average crime drop and the reasons scholars believe it happened -- we enable them to dismiss us. Once that happens, it's hard to get a second chance. And of course, throwing around words like "monsters" just hastens that.

And so the accurate, and strategically smart, thing to do is acknowledge what has happened in New York, while criticizing the violation of rights that occurs under stop and frisk -- and calling out the mayor and police chief for their unfounded claims about what stop and frisk has accomplished.

Lastly, your analogy about NORML and John Walters does not work at all. "Full of shit" is an idiom that is understood to have a certain meaning. That meaning very accurately applies to John Walters, in ways that are easy to demonstrate.


Apparently my response didn't go through last night, so here's the gist of it:

Here is an example of what could have been written, maintaining objectivity (and what you call "accuracy") without openly complimenting Ray Kelly:

"Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly have touted "stop and frisk" as being a significant force behind the drop in New York City's crime rate. Evidence does not support this. Moreover, their praise of "stop and frisk" diminishes the praise that should be given to the innovative police procrdures that actually have been successful."

Also, your thoughts on my NORML analogy totally missed the mark. A "monster" is also an idiom; it it used to describe a person with dangerous ideas and the power to wield them. So, in essence, right back at ya!

I can spend day after day nitpicking semantics with you. I'd rather not.. Keep up the good fight, I know you're on my side.

P.S. You can imagine me in a suit and tie crossing my arms in your direction, if you'd like.

borden's picture

Crossed arms and suit and tie

Crossed arms and suit and tie back at you too...

Hi again

"While it is all well and fine to try to make it impossible for people to buy large sodas or food with salt"


Uh, no, it's not.



A citizen of what's supposed to be a free country.

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