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Queens Chronicle

Republicans rally against Safety Act

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Tom Hillgardner posted at 11:16 am on Sat, Jul 13, 2013.

    Tom Hillgardner Posts: 0

    Republican city council candidates who allegedly "support Stop & Frisk" appear incompetent to hold office where they appear to be completely unfamiliar with the constitutional guarantees their Tea Party brethren frequently accuse "liberals" of ignoring. The issue with Stop & Frisk isn't whether you support it or not. Rather, the issue is whether city officials behave properly when they continue to be deliberately indifferent to the extremely low rate of success when police officers, whose productivity is measured in part by how many Stop & Frisk forms they file, fail to find any evidence of wrongdoing, criminal or otherwise, in 89% of all stops. The rate is even lower for turning up criminal wrongdoing. Whereas the constitution requires such stops be based upon "a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot," a success rate of less than 10% in finding criminal wrongdoing suggests that the suspicion upon which such a massive number of stops are made frequently are not "reasonable" suspicions. This deliberate indifference to systematic deprivation of constitutional rights is especially unsavory given that it is visited inordinately upon persons of color; 87% of all stops are of African-Americans and Latinos.

    But Republican city council candidates apparently want to prey on your fear of crime while suggesting that, collectively, citizens are free to democratically surrender up their individual liberties for a little extra security. This is pandering at its worst where the inevitable result of a policy that ignores police abuse of the Stop & Frisk tactic will be years of unsuccessful litigation by the City of New York to defend the indefensible - the systematic abridgement of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures - with city taxpayers ultimately paying the tab to plaintiffs in class actions and individual lawsuits when people whose rights are trampled upon ultimately and inevitably vindicate them.

    If you "support Stop & Frisk" in the face of the stark evidence that police systematically disregard their oath to abide by the constitution just to make themselves appear "productive" to their superiors - and not based upon reasonable suspicion - then you cannot be trusted to discharge your duties in public office consistent with the Constitution. Finally, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's denial that any changes are needed with the NYPD Stop & Frisk program is the loudest and clearest argument for why we need an inspector general to watch over the NYPD.