Three years ago this month the New York Daily News predicted dire consequences for public safety in New York City after Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled unconstitutional the NYPD’s program of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people suspected of criminality.
The NYPD under Commissioner Ray Kelly used the lawful tactic of questioning suspicious individuals to deter crime before it happened. Many cops believed, for example, that the fear of getting stopped for questioning prompted would-be gun-toters to stop carrying their weapons.
The editorial commenting on Scheindlin’s ruling stated:
“Make no mistake — Scheindlin has put New York directly in harm’s way with a ruling that threatens to push the city back toward the ravages of lawlessness and bloodshed.”
In other pieces, we predicted a rising body count from an increase in murders.
The Daily News wrote this week “We are delighted to say that we were wrong.”
The NYPD began scaling back stops under Kelly before Scheindlin’s decision and accelerated the trend under Commissioner Bill Bratton. As a result, the number of stops reported by cops fell 97% from a high of 685,700 in 2011 to 22,900 in 2015.
Not only did crime fail to rise, New York hit record lows.
The murder count stood at 536 in 2010 and at 352 last year — and seems sure to drop further this year. There were 1,471 shooting incidents in 2010 (1,773 victims). By 2015, shootings had dropped to 1,130 (1, 339 victims).
The downward march has continued this year — a marked contrast to crime spikes in many major American cities.
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