Recent gun violence in New York City combined with national attention on the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting, has led several local elected officials -- such Bronx assemblyman Eric Stevenson and State Senator Ruben Diaz -- to announce their support for more aggressive policing measures such as stop and frisk despite the mountains of evidence suggesting that there is no positive correlation between stop and frisk and the reduction of violent crimes. Why is the only choice given to communities one between violent crime and violent, racist policing?
While some people suggest that stop and frisk is no big deal, or at worst "humiliating," I wonder how exactly, Mr. Stevenson, Mr. Diaz, this (see video below) is going to help us keep our communities safe?
Why are efforts to reduce criminality aimed not at the cause, which is and probably always will remain poverty, but at bolstering the military might and lawlessness of the NYPD, which already has some citizens describing their daily experience as living under occupation. The human cost is just too high!
If there is empirical evidence to support the claim that more stop and frisk, and more aggressive policing, reduces crime, someone please show me. Those who have made the claim that historic increases in stop and frisk have resulted in reduced violent crime, must rely on statistical acrobatics, using homicide rates from the early 1990s and comparing them to current ones, which are dramatically lower, while neglecting to mention that the entire decrease came before stop and frisk became a department-wide tactic in the early 2000s. Since then, murder rates have remained stable while the rate of stop and frisk has spiked 600 percent. (These statistics rely on the NYPD's data so their veracity is open to question and doubt.)
DNAinfo.com described its analysis of the NYPD's own statistics like this:
While the NYPD was stopping and frisking a record 685,724 people last year, 1,821 people were victims of gunfire, according to NYPD and city statistics. That's virtually the same number as in 2002, Bloomberg's first year in office, when 1,892 people were shot, but just 97,296 people were frisked.
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