Friday, December 5, 2014

NYC: Crime down without 'stop-and-frisk'

Last year, when New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk program was stymied after a federal court ruling found it unconstitutional, and the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio, observers predicted crime in the city would skyrocket, says the Christian Science Monitor.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "no question about it, violent crime will go up." But the number of reported stop and frisks is down 79 percent this year, and crime has gone way down.
The 'stop and frisk' program enables a police officer to stop, question, and if needed, frisk a person for weapons if the officer reasonably suspects he or she is about to commit, or has committed a crime. The tactic is controversial and critics say it promotes racial profiling. Last year, a federal court found the policy unconstitutional because the tactics illegally targeted minorities, who consistently made up about 85 percent of all stops.
A closer look at the number underscores the dramatic drop in its usage. In 2011, police performed nearly 700,000 stops, the highest total on record. In 2013, it was down to 179,065, through Sept. 30. This year police performed 38,456 stops through the same period – far fewer than previous years.
And yet, serious crime in the city is down 4.4 percent, a 20-year-low.
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