If you’ve suffered the TSA’s gate-rape at the airport, you have an inkling of life as a black or Latino man in dystopian New York City: at any time, while minding your own business and peaceably pursuing your affairs, cops may “stop and frisk” you just to see what turns up.
Jaenean Ligon’s 17-year-old son was one such collar. She sent him to buy ketchup for the family’s dinner one evening – only to have cops phone her to come “identify” him. She understandably panicked, assuming someone had injured or killed her boy. Instead, cops had “stopped and frisked” this innocuous teen running an innocent errand. They had no warrant, suspicion that he had committed a crime, or anything other than a general belief that guys his age and color are all criminals. New Yorkers have endured such humiliation something like 5 million times over the last decade.
The NYPD’s top cop, Ray Kelly, has long defended this insult. He whitewashes it as a “service” his uniformed thugs “provide” poor people. He dismisses critics as rich, out-of-touch misers, endeavoring to deprive the impecunious of protection they themselves enjoy: they “probably … live in buildings with doormen, and they have a level of safety that people who live in tenements … don’t have.”
I’ve often visited friends in buildings with doormen. Never once have any of these guards, who range from courteous to bored but who are harmless either way, demanded my ID. Nor has even one proposed that he fondle me before alerting my host of my arrival. They would not only be fired but arrested and prosecuted for “providing” such a “service.”
The NYPD has groped the public since the 1970’s, after Terry v. Ohio empowered its minions to ignore the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. But over the dozen years of his suzerainty, Nanny-sorry, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dramatically escalated this abuse. He and his accomplices staunchly insist that everyone in the five boroughs is subject to “stop and frisk.” Theoretically, tourists from Iowa shopping at Tiffany’s and banksters striding along Wall Street are as liable to wind up spread-eagled against a wall with a cop’s hand between their legs as the 15-year-old black kid in the South Bronx or Staten Island.
But they don’t.
During stop-and-frisk’s reign of terror, I’ve walked an average of 3 miles per day in Manhattan. Yet I’ve never witnessed one of these legalized attacks. Why? Because I’m almost always in wealthier, white neighborhoods. Authorities ever reserve such egregious contempt for the poorest and most vulnerable among us, in this case young black and Hispanic men from 14 to 21 years of age.
But you needn’t take my anecdotal word for it. The NYPD’s own data on “stop and frisk,” and the exhaustive analyses various parties have run on it, prove that statistically, I am unlikely ever to see a “stop-and frisk,” much less become its prey.
As with its myriad other revocations of freedom, the government justifies “stop and frisk” because it supposedly protects citizens – except, of course, for those like Ms. Ligon and her son. Just as the TSA pretends that strip-searching grandmothers somehow vanquishes terrorists, so molesting teens of dusky hue fights crime and even “saves lives,” according to Nanny Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. In fact, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner, Paul Browne, boldly quotes exact figures for that hypothetical: “5,628 lives saved—attributable to proactive policing strategies that included stops.”
This subterfuge allows another whopper as well: that the NYPD can save even more lives by pawing people in “crime”-ridden neighborhoods, i.e., ones populated by poor folks named “Rivera” or “Washington.” (And where much of the “crime” isn’t any such thing. Instead, residents exercise their inalienable right to keep and bear arms, to buy and sell without the State’s interference, to work or drive a car free of its license, to live where and how they please despite a bureaucrat’s displeasure.)
And so, while stop-and-frisk’s legion of enemies decry the NYPD’s obvious, nauseating racism, Nanny and various commissioners blandly insist that they’re fighting “crime” where they find more of it. Why assault Jewish grandmothers shlepping through Bloomingdale’s? How many of them are packing heat?
Because in the end, that’s what “stop-and-frisk” is all about: it strips guns from the “well-regulated militia.” And since most white New Yorkers are neither desperate nor courageous enough to defy Our Rulers’ hostility to self-defense, the battle is left to black and Hispanic teens. (Ah, but politicians have their revenge. They regularly imply that only murderers and thieves need guns, not the beardless child a couple of cops are bullying.) Nor are New York’s rulers reticent about that goal. Nanny Bloomberg has earned national disrepute for his obsession with depriving everyone but his bodyguards of firearms. And Paul Browne told Britain’s Guardian that “commissioner Kelly said he wants gunmen to be deterred from carrying weapons on them in the streets, particularly in those communities most victimised by gun violence.” Gun-violence apart from what the cops inflict, that is.
Meanwhile, Kelly himself provided the best of all reasons for abolishing not only stop-and-frisk, but the NYPD and all police-forces nationwide when he confessed, “Last year, stops by police resulted in the seizure of more than 7,000 illegal weapons, mostly knives, as well as nearly 800 guns. Stops are authorized by New York state criminal-procedure law.” Oh, well, then that makes it OK, just as the Nazis legalized slave-labor and genocide. “Every state in the country has a variant of this statute, as does federal law. It is fundamental to policing.” What’d I tell you? Abolish ”policing” and the labyrinthine bureaucracies that protect these sadists while also bankrupting us.
If you consider stop-and-frisk so un-American, so anti-Constitutional that any judge must immediately enjoin the NYPD from unleashing it on us … well, you’ll never warm a bench in New York City. Unbelievably, victims have brought lawsuits against this wickedness for years. Even more unbelievably, the courts continue excusing it. They see “good arguments on both sides of this debate.” Rather than objecting to the dehumanization and anti-Constitutionality, they quibble that potential victims don’t have “standing” – i.e., haven’t yet become actual victims – and thus cannot sue to stop this horror. They are equally punctilious of other technicalities and callous towards overriding concerns like liberty.
Nonetheless, four incurable optimists have once again asked the court to rescue them. Judge Shira Scheindlin is currently hearing arguments from them and from the City of New York. The latter persists in averring that black and Latino males lack any right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. That putrid position has the City defending the indefensible: when tapes of superiors ordering patrolmen to stop and frisk black teens surfaced at trial, Paul Browne protested that the conversation was taken out of context. And in another such “recording played for the court, … a NYPD captain told officers: ‘the summons [cops give some victims of stop-and-frisk] is a money – generating machine for the city.’” Imagine the gargantuan City of New York balancing its bloated budget on the backs of boys.
One possible outcome of the trial: the judge agrees with the City that “stop and frisk” does indeed curb “crime” while also acknowledging the plaintiffs’ point, that this “crime”-fighting falls disproportionately on them. And so, she grandly decrees, the NYPD’s pedophilia may continue so long as white teens in Manhattan experience their fair share. Wanna bet stop-and-frisk suddenly, ignominiously ends the first time a cop assaults the son of a particularly generous political donor?
This isn’t to say that stop-and-frisk doesn’t have its place. It could be an invaluable tool for protecting New Yorkers and Americans in general – provided cops use it correctly. But they’ll need to move their gangs of rapists from tenements and poor neighborhoods to the halls of legislatures, bureaucracies, governors’ mansions, the White House, courts, and Congress. The thieves, liars and murderers in office threaten us far more lethally than a kid buying ketchup.