During a time when the New York Police Department has been under fire for its highly controversial stop-and-frisk policy, commonly known as a 250 stop, because it has been accused of unfairly targeting Blacks and Latinos, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told ABC’s Nightline on May 1. 2013 that Blacks are actually being “under-stopped.”
According to Kelly, “African Americans are being under-stopped in relation to people being described as perpetrators of violent crime.”
But according to ABC’s Nightline, only 6% of the thousands of daily 250s (stop-and-frisk) lead to an arrest, with only about 1.2% actually producing a weapon.
Also, with Blacks only making up 23% of the population and Hispanics only making up 29%, both groups represent approximately 84% of the people who are stopped and detained during the dreaded 250 stops.
This has caused critics like the ACLU to make the case that these 250 stops do not work, while the victims of the 250s (mostly Black males) overwhelmingly accuse the tactic of representing a legal right to racially profile and abuse Black men, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg disagrees.
Mayor Bloomberg recently said:
“That’s the reason we need it, to deter people from carrying guns. We are the first preventers. They seem to believe that the department should be run according to the standards of political correctness, not public safety.”
This idea that simply having Black skin is enough to warrant the suspicion of guilt and the engagement of law enforcement is the same argument that George Zimmerman infamously used in the Trayvon Martin incident. It is the same argument that drone proponents use, and it is the same ideology shared by the Boston bombers.
It’s called collateral damage. For example, the Boston bombers knew that in order for them to make their terroristic point, innocent people would have to be unjustly affected.
George Zimmerman knew that in order to, in his mind, protect his community from Black thugs and criminals, innocent people like Trayvon Martin were going to be unjustly affected, so when you examine Zimmerman’s justification for vilifying and racially profiling Martin, it is no different than the justifications given by Commissioner Kelly.
And, whenever there is a U.S. drone strike on some community abroad, the U.S. knows that innocent people are going to be unjustly affected based on the premise that has switched domestic crime with terrorism.
It’s the classic model illustrating how the good/innocent will be forced to suffer certain inconveniences based on an atmosphere that has been created almost solely by the bad, in hopes of effectively dealing with that bad.
The supposed pay off for this collateral damage is an increased state of safety!
So law enforcement is basically saying pick your collateral damage. Would you rather live in a high crime area where Black and Latino thugs and gangsters wait on the corner to rob you, or would you rather live in a lower crime area where the police wait on the corner to stop, frisk, humiliate, harass, racially profile, and some cases even kill you?
And that is the $64,000 question, which leaves Blacks and Latinos who live in these high crime areas left to ponder the proverbial dilemma of the lesser of two evils scenario.
Also, if White men just happened to be the high crime demographic, would we still have a White police chief claiming that White men deserve to be stopped and frisked at a higher frequency than other groups all the way to the point where White men could be accused of being “under-stopped?