NYPD Target for Lefty Politicians Despite Success
As New York City enters yet another interminable mayoral race, the single target virtually all would-be candidates use as a whipping boy is the New York City Police Department. NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, has been with the Department 43 years. To say he suffers no fools is an understatement. (Block quote credit The Political War on the NYPD Wall Street Journal 4/5/13)
“The police department has sort of become a piñata in this mayoral race,” [Kelly] says… “Their goal is to see who can get as far to the left as possible because they see that as the key to winning the primary. A small number of people and groups control the Democratic primary.”
The liberal candidates—there is no other kind in these parts—are whacking with particular gusto at a police tactic called “stop-and-frisk.” The practice involves stopping people who behave suspiciously, questioning them and, if they appear to present a threat, frisking them to see if they’re carrying a weapon. The accusation is that this age-old police tactic unfairly targets minorities.
“[The media] are hellbent on finding anything they can wrong with the department,” says Mr. Kelly of his press critics.
[One particular] story that doesn’t get out is the astonishing transformation of New York City over the past two decades. In 1990, there were 2,245 murders, a record. There was a sense of menace in every borough and on the subways.
Since that terrible year, the annual number of murders has fallen more than 80%, to 419 in 2012. If the 1990 murder level had been maintained for the past 23 years, the rough math suggests that perhaps 40,000 New Yorkers—most of them black and Hispanic—wouldn’t be alive today.
In trying to spot the troublemakers before shots are fired, are the police unfairly targeting minorities? The commissioner says the data suggest that blacks are “under-stopped significantly,” while other ethnic groups are “over-stopped.” He reports that 53% of stops involve African-Americans, though blacks commit more than 70% of crimes. Hispanics on the other hand make up 32% of stops but commit 26% of crimes.
The top cop adds that even if his department is taking heat from the left, police stops of suspicious characters are popular where likely crime victims live. After all, 96% of shooting victims and 90% of murder victims in New York City are black or Hispanic.
“If you don’t run the risk of being stopped, you start carrying your gun, and you do things that people do with guns. And you see what you have in some other places in this country.”
Understand that when a politician or the press attacks the NYPD or Mr. Kelly, they are implicitly attacking the NYPD Police Officers on the street, the “grunts” if you will. These are the police officers on the front lines against anarchy; the very folks who show up when one dials “911” for help. For all their anti-NYPD rhetoric, you know the press and politicians also call “911” seeking an NYPD officer when they need help; ironic isn’t it?