NYC Cops Sent to Remedial Classes for Not Enough Stop-Frisk Arrests


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly use the “sad argument” that the city’s “victory over crime is so tenuous that only the mass stopping and frisking of black and Latino men keeps a sea-tide of violence at bay,” says New York Times columnist Michael Powell. Federal judge Shira Scheindlin has declared that argument unconstitutitional. She rejected the police argument that stopping and frisking was a time-honored “social institution.”

Powell says stop and frisk, done properly, is useful and legal. “Officers can stop someone when they have reason to suspect that a crime has taken place or is about to take place. But that police favorite, ‘furtive movement’? No such legal animal exists.” Powell quotes a veteran police officer as telling him, “You can't catch innocent young men in your nets and just say, 'Oh, that's all right, I'm fighting crime,' You have to follow the law.” Cops report heavily attended remedial classes for those who fail to record enough stops and arrests. “They want five arrests a month for marijuana for some units,” one said. “If you can do that, you either have X-ray vision or you are breaking the law.”

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