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October 15, 2012 8:41 AM   Subscribe

The NYC Stop-and-Frisk Program (wiki). Previously. Previously. Previously. And previously. Now there is new audio of how the stop-and-frisk program is being carried out by the NYPD, revealing the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented. Includes some discussion on the culture of being a cop and how these orders are being handed down from the top.
posted by phaedon (85 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
“He grabbed me by my bookbag and he started pushing me down. So I’m going backwards like down the hill and he just kept pushing me, pushing me, it looked like he we was going to hit me,” Alvin recounts. “I felt like they was trying to make me resist or fight back.”

You got it right, Alvin. That's what they were trying to do. Good for you for recording this.
posted by rtha at 8:45 AM on October 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


Wow, does that violate the hell out of Terry. I'm very surprised there hasn't been a court injunction while the case is processed.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:52 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, read the article but haven't watched the video you yet. Was he just walking around with his cell phone on record hoping to get stopped and frisked? Or did he manage to have time to reach in and somehow turn it on record once he realized he was going to get S&F'd? There's no way I'd have time to do that with my iPhone, plus I'd be worried I was going to get shot for reaching into my pocket or something.
posted by spicynuts at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2012


Sorry, how stupid do we need to be to pretend that this is a surprise? This is exactly what the NYPD, and police departments across the country, have been doing to citizens, but especially to minority men, since before I can remember. If you are making a face, or standing a place where the cops don't want you to stand, or if they just don't like the look of you, you're going to get your pockets searched. If you ask why you're being searched, you're going to get physically abused, sometimes severely, and then accused of ABPO on top of it.

I've had this story or some variation of it described to me by clients, and seen cops get on the witness stand and lie their asses off during motions to suppress. The judge always believes the cop, unless there's a lie so stupidly obvious that even they can't let it go. I've wondered all along, what has to happen before judges accept that it's the cops who are lying to the court? And when are they going to made to pay a price, a REAL price like fines or jail time, for perjury?

The proliferation of ubiquitous recording equipment is a good thing if it helps put an end to this fascist trash. And maybe it sounds unreasonably high-handed, but if my job required me to prey on innocent citizens and make their lives miserable because of little more than race? I'd rather quit than do that job.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:00 AM on October 15, 2012 [37 favorites]


Saw this last week. It was hard to listen to, and stop-and-frisk is disgusting.
posted by andoatnp at 9:00 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in NYC, and between this fucking nonsense and the way Occupy was handled, I never ever feel safe when I am near a cop. I'm never doing anything illegal, bit of a goody two-shoes actually, but being near a New York City cop fills me with dread. You truly don't know what they might do and you have no means to protect yourself. That's how I and most of my friends feel around the people who are ostensibly paid to protect us.

I know there are good cops, but they can't be visually distinguished from bad cops.

Sorry, how stupid do we need to be to pretend that this is a surprise?

The difference here is, this isn't just an unspoken-of bending of the law. This is a legitimate, department-enforced policy that is openly defended and promoted by our mayor and other politicians. There's no shame, no attempt to obfuscate- they are proud of the fact that they do this. It's horrifying.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:04 AM on October 15, 2012 [38 favorites]


As usual, it's the officers engaging in criminal actions more than the vast majority of those they police.
posted by jaduncan at 9:04 AM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


The thing with Eposito makes me wonder if other minority actors with a lot of criminal roles on their resumes get (perhaps somewhat unconsciously) singled out like that because people automatically associate them with the criminal behavior of their characters without immediately recognizing them, and if there is any way (or any point) to show a disconnect of that mindset from a more generalized racism.

Then again, I doubt De Niro or Pesci have ever been stopped and frisked.
posted by elizardbits at 9:07 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and obviously if you threatened to break the arm of an NYPD officer on tape you'd be imprisoned.
posted by jaduncan at 9:07 AM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I live in NYC, and between this fucking nonsense and the way Occupy was handled, I never ever feel safe when I am near a cop. I'm never doing anything illegal, bit of a goody two-shoes actually, but being near a New York City cop fills me with dread. You truly don't know what they might do and you have no means to protect yourself. That's how I and most of my friends feel around the people who are ostensibly paid to protect us.

I know there are good cops, but they can't be visually distinguished from bad cops.


I think I lost any lingering thread of Not-Way-Around-Cops was scrapped when my friend was arrested for following an officer's order.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM on October 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just to expand a little on the orders being handed down from the top bit: Quotas Exist: Former NYPD officers discuss the data-driven department. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with The Wire should already know all about this. Here is the "shut up and step up" scene where the police captains are ordered to manage crime statistics.
posted by phaedon at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is how the NYPD conducts itself. Courtesy, professionalism, and respect - my ass. They treat civilians with either dismissal and disdain or outright aggression. I've rarely had a cop in NYC treat me otherwise.
posted by entropone at 9:17 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]



Sorry, how stupid do we need to be to pretend that this is a surprise? This is exactly what the NYPD, and police departments across the country, have been doing to citizens, but especially to minority men, since before I can remember. If you are making a face, or standing a place where the cops don't want you to stand, or if they just don't like the look of you, you're going to get your pockets searched. If you ask why you're being searched, you're going to get physically abused, sometimes severely, and then accused of ABPO on top of it.


And I think the takeaway is: Capital-W Whiteness and capital-M Mainstream culture come into being through willful ignorance of abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful. That is what constitutes Whiteness and Mainstreamness - the strong socialization we get to hear this stuff but to ignore it and discount it. That's how we - people at the top of the social heap - can live with ourselves.

I remember that for fucking years everyone knew - for example - that huge numbers of Catholic priests abused boys. People joked about it. Everyone knew. Yet we all did not know, it was not official knowledge that we felt compelled to act on and to speak about openly, officially. We did not start believing kids over priests, we did not start regarding priests with skepticism.

Similarly, white people and mainstream/middle-class/"safe" people know that cops abuse and beat and even kill poor folks and brown folks, particularly men. We know that this is racist. We know that there are cases and towns where the cops are almost like death squads. We know about "the talk". We know about Trayvon Martin and Rekia Boyd and many, many others. And yet we don't know. And if you say that it's a system and that it has to be stopped and that kids, mere babies, are getting beaten and killed and whole communities traumatized, mainstream people think you're some kind of froth-at-the-mouth lunatic, even though many of those people know that it is happening.

And the commonality is that it's easier and more pleasant to believe that power is good and that power deserves its place, and that kids and people of color are always doing something to deserve it, even if things sometimes "get a little out of hand".
posted by Frowner at 9:19 AM on October 15, 2012 [88 favorites]


I was prepared to hear everything that was said on that video, but actually hearing it was so much more unpleasant than I thought it would be. My heart is pounding, my jaw is tight, I actually pulled my hands into fists while listening. It's not even just the aggression and the racism, it's the fury and contempt the officers have for Alvin for not doing something they can arrest him for. Like it's his job as a young male person of color to break the law so that they can make quota.
posted by KathrynT at 9:24 AM on October 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


You're simplifying way too much, Frowner. Plenty of people don't 'know' in the sense you are talking about. Plenty of people... LOTS OF PEOPLE....operate on the principle that 'whatever the police did to you was your fault because if you weren't doing anything wrong nothing would have happened to you'. This is a philosophy. This is not 'I know fucked up shit is happening but I don't want to know'. This is THESE PEOPLE DESERVE WHAT THEY GOT.
posted by spicynuts at 9:26 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


When prosecutors refuse to charge a New York cop who makes an absolutely unprovoked assault on a justice of the state supreme court, on the street and in front of a multitude of witnesses, including a bunch of other cops, you have completely lost control of law enforcement and can no longer claim to live under the rule of law.
posted by jamjam at 9:28 AM on October 15, 2012 [49 favorites]


scariest thing I ever heard, talking to an Important Journalist about some recent arrests, was her genuinely confused expression and tone "But ..why where they arrested if they didn't do anything?"
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on October 15, 2012 [11 favorites]


Exactly, The Whelk.
posted by spicynuts at 9:30 AM on October 15, 2012


F-ing outrageous. Those cops need to go to jail. If a regular person did something like this, they would go to jail. Being a member of the police doesn't exempt you from the law or from being respectful to others.

Also, this is why law enforcement quotas are bad.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 9:32 AM on October 15, 2012


I'll always associate Esposito with Mo Better Blues.

I'm pretty convinced as a white guy that unless I am actually observed commiting a crime by the cops there is nothing I can do to get arrested in New York. When I was younger and stupider I got thrown up against a wall or put into some sort of hi-tech cop chickenwing a couple times and they never even bothered to frisk me. They gave me a "why are you making us waste our time" speech and that was that. This is drastically different from the treatment minorities get.

I think many people, including people "in the community", agree that this is a neccessary tactic to discourage open air drug deals and disperse the clumps of dealers you get congregating outside every bodega. But c'mon guys be fair, stop and frisk white people too. I clould stand outside selling drugs all day and probably never be stopped. It seems to me it is no coincidence that all weed devlivery guys are white.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: Did you reply "They were doing something, being *insert minority/SES here*?" or did you save your breath for better things? Either way, I sympathize...
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:33 AM on October 15, 2012


The Problem Of The New York Police - on the anti-terrorism (but not international terrorism) 'Intel' division.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:36 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The majority of the NYPD is giving the other 1% a bad name.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2012 [11 favorites]


This is not 'I know fucked up shit is happening but I don't want to know'. This is THESE PEOPLE DESERVE WHAT THEY GOT.

The same thing, more or less. For a lot of people who know shit like this goes on, know and feel that it's wrong, but are scared of the consequences, being able to blame the victim even if the reasons for why "they deserved it" are ridiculous is an essential defence mechanism. If they deserved it, you yourself won't have to be afraid or think too much about your place in the system that creates this violence.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:47 AM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


As easy as it is to hate on the cop on the street for this shit, I think a good portion of the blame should fall squarely on the overall infiltration of MBA and modern Business type mentalities at the top of political organizations and corporations. When you make things like quotas or test scores the sole means of evaluation, management and development of your staff (look at how Bloomberg manages the teachers) and look at hands on mentoring, nurturing and time intensive knowledge transfer/training as 'inefficient' and a drag on the bottom line, well, then your shortsighted investment in 'efficiency' and 'personal responsibility' results in untrained, basically unsupervised staff left to their own devices to figure out how to meet these ridiculous, reality-impaired quotas. Your managers are completely removed from reality, any actual on the job knowledge gained over decades is scorned and the time it takes to impart that real world experience to new recruits is seen as fat to be trimmed - well, then this is what you get. Just like in corporations where no one actually does any real management anymore - new people, immature young people, etc are just tossed out there with unrealistic directives and left to fend for themselves. As soon as we get away from using Wall Street type metrics to define the return on investment, maybe we can back to investing in people instead statistics on a quarterly report. Then maybe real cops could do their jobs and more qualified people will be interested in being cops (replace that with teachers or what have you and the same arguments can be made).
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on October 15, 2012 [19 favorites]


I never ever feel safe when I am near a cop. I'm never doing anything illegal, bit of a goody two-shoes actually, but being near a New York City cop fills me with dread.

This, I think, is the exact intent of S-A-F laws, and of the open violence directed at Occupy. The goal is a terrified, quiescent public that will flee at the sight of law enforcement.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:55 AM on October 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


If so many of the cops face a moral dilemma in the execution of 250s, why aren't more of them just filling their quotas by stopping little old white ladies?
posted by jeremy b at 9:56 AM on October 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


The goal is a terrified, quiescent public that will flee at the sight of law enforcement.

I believe the flackspeak version of that is 'respect the police again'.
posted by jaduncan at 9:57 AM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


the overall infiltration of MBA and modern Business type mentalities at the top of political organizations and corporations.

Unfortunately, quotas , or metrics, are necessary in corporations. Obviously they can be abused but we need performance evaluation tools that transcend management bias. Without metrics the manager's drinking buddies always get promoted and women and minorites are the first out the door when layoffs hit.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:59 AM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just had a little boggling/satire-is-dead moment. I googled for people used to respect the police and got the following top result:
What is Police Brutality?
www.wisegeek.com/what-is-police-brutality.htm Share
Police brutality is a type of police misconduct in which officers use excessive force. ... be be used for the purpose of physical intimidation or to actually hurt people. ... class, or ethnic group are, for the most part, treated with respect by the police ...
I'm not sure what one could even add to that as a satirical thing.
posted by jaduncan at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2012


I think many people, including people "in the community", agree that this is a neccessary tactic to discourage open air drug deals and disperse the clumps of dealers you get congregating outside every bodega.

An end to the Drug War is a necessary tactic to discourage open air drug deals and disperse the clumps of dealers you get congregating outside every bodega. Stop-and-frisk may seem to help in the immediate term, but over the long term it helps encourage open drug dealing by making it risky, and thus an engine of outsized profits to begin with. If drugs were legal and regulated -- or even simply tolerated by the state -- then they'd be sold inside the bodega, just as with alcohol and cigarettes... and we could start to confront the drug abuse problem directly, rather than wrapping it in fiction and denial.
posted by vorfeed at 10:05 AM on October 15, 2012 [12 favorites]


On preview: I'm not sure what one could even add to that as a satirical thing.

No kidding. Mentions of Nazi Germany: one. Mentions of the United States: three, during three different eras.

WE'RE NUMBER ONE!
posted by vorfeed at 10:06 AM on October 15, 2012


"As easy as it is to hate on the cop on the street for this shit, I think a good portion of the blame should fall squarely on the overall infiltration of MBA and modern Business type mentalities at the top of political organizations and corporations."

Yeah but unless we just presume that a cop is an empty vessel imbued with ethics by their MBA bosses it's pretty apparent that they're deciding to behave contra-ethically in a way with macrosocial implications. Any justification for macrosocial injustices based upon personal convenience or lifestyle is insufficient.

Also, what's the sense in talking about good cops? How good can a cop possibly be if unwilling to say "this abuse of rights stops with me."
posted by Matt Oneiros at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you make things like quotas or test scores the sole means of evaluation, management and development of your staff

That isn't what's happening here.

and look at hands on mentoring, nurturing and time intensive knowledge transfer/training as 'inefficient' and a drag on the bottom line

This seems like a groundless assumption, where are you getting this information?

our managers are completely removed from reality, any actual on the job knowledge gained over decades is scorned

This all seems anecdotal. Again, where are you getting this?

Just like in corporations where no one actually does any real management anymore

What?

maybe we can back to investing in people instead statistics on a quarterly report

Things are much more complicated and subtle than this.
posted by jeremy b at 10:10 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


read the article but haven't watched the video you yet. Was he just walking around with his cell phone on record hoping to get stopped and frisked?

He had been stopped and searched multiple times that day already. (Practically the first thing in the video is a title card explaining this. It's odd that that information was left out of the article, as it seems highly relevant.)
posted by ook at 10:16 AM on October 15, 2012


Also, what's the sense in talking about good cops? How good can a cop possibly be if unwilling to say "this abuse of rights stops with me."

Why does it stop with cops? The people of New York City have thrice elected the man who not only won't stop this madness but determines it to be "necessary" policy. There's absolutely no point to being yet another martyr in the war against police brutality when the people won't stand up and say "no more". Society at large seems to be nothing more than a high-functioning sociopath in this regard.
posted by Talez at 10:19 AM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]



This all seems anecdotal. Again, where are you getting this?


From:

a) 25 years in the corporate world as both a manager and staff
b) a friend who is an NYPD Sergeant
c) living under 3 terms of a Bloomberg administration and watching/reading about the management of the education department
d) having 8 to 10 friends who are NYC teachers
e) yes, anecdotal 'instincts'

You are right...I'm not writing a dissertation here...I'm stating an opinion.
posted by spicynuts at 10:22 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Why does it stop with cops?"

Cops have a singularly opportune position to witness and understand the inequality they create and the education in law to understand they are violating rights. Ostensibly they exist to protect and serve and as grotesque as the officers in the tape posted are I am sure if they spoke honestly they know they are not protecting and serving citizens and that they are violating rights.

Citizens certainly should do their part at the polls but due largely to the activities of cops for the less informed citizen it's easy to mistake the origins of cop activity. Part of altering citizen behavior, short of cops standing up and doing the right thing, is to help them understand that cops do not do the right thing (though a solution where cops actually stand up and do the right thing is somewhat preferable I think).

My line of thought does not stop with the cops, but that is the part I have addressed.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 10:28 AM on October 15, 2012


The people of New York City have thrice elected the man who not only won't stop this madness but determines it to be "necessary" policy.

The alternative last time around was basically Hitler.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on October 15, 2012


Wait, not Thompson. Who the hell am I thinking of? halp
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on October 15, 2012


Unfortunately, quotas , or metrics, are necessary in corporations. Obviously they can be abused but we need performance evaluation tools that transcend management bias

Except that the MBA-types often choose quotas and metrics that are easy to measure but are poorly correlated with actually doing a good and proper job. Yes, in some cases metrics might be useful and relevant, but when major parts of the job can't be measured quantitatively (like judgement), the metrics can do more harm than good. I think any quantitative measurement (for staff evaluations & promotion) of something like stop-and-frisk will lead to abuse.

Here, the arguably better cops, the ones who aren't willing to stop-and-frisk for no good reason, are penalized by the metrics chosen. The winners are the cops who will stop and frisk (and threaten) a kid for looking at them. Those winners become the managers that do the evaluations.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:41 AM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's like this...Americans get all 'f that nerdy shit' when someone in baseball tries to insist that sabermetrics is more precise and a more efficient means of evaluating a player than the whole 'scouts know how to see the intangibles..intangibles are more important' blah blah. But as soon as it's the workplace or the public sector we're talking about then it's all QUOTAS, STATISTICS, METRICS, blah blah. The correct answer is BOTH...with probably more of the intangibles.
posted by spicynuts at 10:44 AM on October 15, 2012


Cops have a singularly opportune position to witness and understand the inequality they create and the education in law to understand they are violating rights. Ostensibly they exist to protect and serve and as grotesque as the officers in the tape posted are I am sure if they spoke honestly they know they are not protecting and serving citizens and that they are violating rights.

Citizens certainly should do their part at the polls but due largely to the activities of cops for the less informed citizen it's easy to mistake the origins of cop activity. Part of altering citizen behavior, short of cops standing up and doing the right thing, is to help them understand that cops do not do the right thing (though a solution where cops actually stand up and do the right thing is somewhat preferable I think).


Two words: Frank Serpico.

Another two words: Adrian Schoolcraft.

The idea that good cops should put their lives on the line exposing brutality and corruption when nobody in power and a great majority of the citizenry doesn't give a shit is laughable.

Better to make sure cops that don't abuse the fuck out of people stay on the force and do their own bit to make the world a better place. Call it harm minimization if you will.
posted by Talez at 10:49 AM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


The people of New York City have thrice elected the man who not only won't stop this madness but determines it to be "necessary" policy.

The alternative last time around was basically Hitler.
posted by elizardbits at 1:32 PM on October 15


INCORRECT. The alternative last time was a black man who came 5% close to dethroning Bloomberg. we haven't hit Hitler yet but Bloomberg is Francisco Franco to Giuliani's Mussolini.

Bloomberg has bought all three of his terms. the amount of political opponents he literally hired into government positions and/or his company's offices is just absolutely staggering. am talking about community organizers, progressive think tank opponents, local party bosses; you name it. he just threw money at people who could stop him and many sold out.

that's why if you have never been involved in actual electoral campaigning in NYC, you will never understand how easy it is to buy yourself public office with the right amount of money. we still have a system based on "political clubs" that are part of the ring kissing involved in garnering a Democratic or Republican nomination. Bloomberg, when he decided to run as independent, did so because he didnt need these clubs to raise money for his election --and he went about literally gutting every single one of them by buying key people out of these places. politics is just an job for a lot of people and the prospect of earning more money with the guy with the deepest pockets made a lot of people sell out in a heart beat.

but that's just part of the picture. from where i stand, the evisceration of affordable housing is the single most devastation blow to true democracy in NYC.

with the destruction of affordable rental housing & home ownership in NYC --thanks to policies going back to the years of Ed Koch that were staunched during Dinkins tenure but were eviscerated by both Giuliani & Bloomberg-- have led to a huge transient population in this city. the numbers of voters keeps dwindling in NYC as permanent living becomes harder and harder to maintain. leaving housing to the vagaries of "the market" with 30-40% rental increases has had a HUGE impact on the demos. getting elected in NYC isn't about knowing your neighbors anymore. it's about hitting the right combination of corporate & wealthy fat cat jackpot that will bankroll your election.

that's why it's no coincidence one of the Koch brothers keeps a permanent residence here in Manhattan. they honed their dirty electoral politics right here in the Big Apple.

and that's why, to counter this political corruption, we can't go back to the same party politics. you know how old is the "reform democrats" pseudo-movement? something like +50 years old. anything having to do with democrats (or republicans, when it comes to upstate) will never change. so the challenge is: how can "the little people" can impact politics the way independent billionaires.
posted by liza at 10:55 AM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Whoa. I wouldn't argue against sabremetrics. Just as I wouldn't say metrics are the only measure worth having. I also acknowledge that metrics can be gamed or the metrics themselves can be based on a faulty premise. In programming LOC metrics is a good example of a metric based on a faulty premise. The fact that metrics can be misapplied doesn't make all metrics worthless.

If the goal is to drive people off corners, counting the number of people you harass in the street probably isn't a good metric.

I've noticed some bodegas near me have put cameras outside the store, of course recording everyone who walks by is problematic in itself.

For a long time it seemed like the NYPD was content to contain drug deals to certain areas, washington sq park and the sheeps meadow where good examples. I think those days are long gone.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:56 AM on October 15, 2012


c.f. Vito Lopez
posted by spicynuts at 10:57 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]



Whoa. I wouldn't argue against sabremetrics.


Wasn't really saying you would...but you know..I listen to a lot of sports radio and watch a lot of sports...the mook factor when anyone brings up sabermetrics is redonkulous.
posted by spicynuts at 10:57 AM on October 15, 2012


Not many "MBA types" in the NYPD -- a four-year degree isn't required (and is rarely possessed) to enter the academy, and promotion is strictly from within. (A college degree doesn't become a requirement until one is a candidate for Captain, and those are usually earned part time.)

It's actually quite fascinating to see how an organization which is (essentially) blue-collar tradesmen up through the hierarchy adopts and implements metric and data driven approaches to operations. Lots of opportunity for misfires, but also a tremendous potential benefit that career analysts / pencilpushers aren't holding all the power to devise metrics and interpret data.
posted by MattD at 10:58 AM on October 15, 2012


Not many "MBA types" in the NYPD -- a four-year degree isn't required

Look at where Ray Kelly's consultants and immediate staff in the mayor's office come from.
posted by spicynuts at 11:01 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting for my "random" stop and search, esp. of my bag on the subway. I'm just dying to get a look at the random (and not pseudorandom) number generation algorithm the police are using. I'm sure when I ask to see it, they will just politely oblige. I mean, I'm half-white, right?
posted by Eideteker at 11:03 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please note the part where they ask the kid if his father is a cop, as if assessing whether or not they might see repercussions for their actions, or whether to give the kid special treatment. It strikes me as particularly thuggish. They're trying to decide whether or not the kid is affiliated with their gang. That gang just happens to be the NYPD.

The fact that Bloomberg and Kelly will not even entertain the idea that their policy is flawed, or that they could try something else, just blows my mind. It makes clear their disdain for the communities they're policing, and betrays the meaninglessness of the laurels on which they rest: "Look at our statistics! Numbers don't lie! Wait, what do you mean by 'control group'?"
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:08 AM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


INCORRECT. The alternative last time was a black man who came 5% close to dethroning Bloomberg.

Uh, did you see my moments-later followup when I realized that I was totally mistaken and not actually thinking of Thompson at all? Guess not.


(nb i was actually thinking of the crazy demented bag of dicks who ran against Cuomo in 2010; an entirely different election for entirely different position.)
posted by elizardbits at 11:09 AM on October 15, 2012


Talez: "Two words: Frank Serpico.

"Another two words: Adrian Schoolcraft.

"The idea that good cops should put their lives on the line exposing brutality and corruption when nobody in power and a great majority of the citizenry doesn't give a shit is laughable."


Serpico and Schoolcraft -- both actively resisted the unethical practices of the department and used their time there to take substantial action. Both Serpico and Schoolcraft put their lives on the line to do so and ultimately have had (and will have, respectively) positive effects on the NYPD.

So I guess I don't get your point.

Police officers have placed themselves in a position of power where they may experience risk of physical and psychological hazard in the course apprehending any criminal. I would argue that if they should risk their lives at all in fettering criminals our society stands to benefit most from them taking that risk to stop abuses of police powers.

An officer who is unwilling to resist unethical policy, to use their position to make a positive change, to risk their life to protect the rights of citizens is an officer not substantially less harmful than their more egregious peers. Such an officer will violate rights to appear normative. Such an officer should resign from their station rather than knowingly violate rights even through silent complicity.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 11:13 AM on October 15, 2012


They're trying to decide whether or not the kid is affiliated with their gang. That gang just happens to be the NYPD.

It is pretty crazy they know the kid used to be an NYPD explorer and they know his family history. I kinda suspect in this particular case they are targeting that kid for some reason which makes the situation much worse in my opinion. Terrorizing specific individuals is an incredible abuse.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also of note, given the talk about "keeping guns off of the streets": the data visualization by WNYC that shows that the majority of the guns found by the NYPD are not found in areas where stop-and-frisk is concentrated.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:18 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


oops, sorry about that elizardbits. enisgweys, just wanted to make a point about why people in NYC seemingly have voted against their interests.
posted by liza at 11:19 AM on October 15, 2012




From The Nation website: "The Community Safety Act is a landmark police reform legislative package currently pending in the New York City Council that consists of four bills aimed at ending discriminatory policing. If you’re a New York City resident, implore your local reps to support the CSA." (link to Center for Constitutional Rights)
posted by newpotato at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Operation Clean Halls: With your landlord's permission, you can be stopped and frisked by the police in the hallway outside your apartment. According to the NYCLU, virtually every privately owned apartment building in the city has signed up.

Meanwhile Wall Street gets a slap on the wrist.
posted by phaedon at 12:02 PM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


two words: Bad Lieutenant
posted by ennui.bz at 12:23 PM on October 15, 2012


NEVER pull anything out of your pockets or bag if they ask you to do it. Its a trick to incriminate yourself.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:55 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


NEVER pull anything out of your pockets or bag if they ask you to do it. Its a trick to incriminate yourself.

Posted here before, but worth repeating: Don't Talk to the Police.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:16 PM on October 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Operation Clean Halls: With your landlord's permission, you can be stopped and frisked by the police in the hallway outside your apartment. According to the NYCLU, virtually every privately owned apartment building in the city has signed up.

Dammit, sci-fi wasn't supposed to inspire this, just those damn flying cars we don't have.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:31 PM on October 15, 2012


Also, from my limited readings on this, it would seem that a bill dismantling the numbers driven culture of the NYPD would be better in the long term than the CSA. Not that the CSA is a bad step, it would just surprise me if the NYPD didn't find a way around it/ignore it.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:41 PM on October 15, 2012


I am NOT defending the cops or the program. There really is no way to defend such a program and I am baffled how it is legal.

I wonder if there has been any of the insane seizures you read about where some presumably innocent motorist gets stopped, has large amounts of cash on him, causing the cops to take it, claiming that the driver has to prove that the money isn't drug money. How the f you prove a negative I don't know. Why are the presumed guilty until proven innocent I don't know.

My question, is the program racist because more minorities gets stopped or is just statistically driven. Are the stops in neighborhoods that have a large population of race 'x' or where more crime is done by race 'x'?

example if you were doing frisks in a neighborhood controlled by M13 you would have a greater chance of catching a drug dealer or other criminals by stopping Hispanics. Whereas if you were stopping people in a neighborhood controlled by the Nazi Lowriders you would stop more whites as there would be a larger percentage of white criminals. I mean the boys from Charming aren't going to pull too many drug deals in the middle of the Niners territory.

Or am I giving the cops too much credit and they are just going for the fear and intimidation route while counting on a still too prevalent pubic racism to not raise too big of a fuss over their obvious unconstitutional searches?
posted by 2manyusernames at 3:08 PM on October 15, 2012




NYPD Officer Brutally Assaults Man in Synagogue

Wow, that's just sick.
posted by phaedon at 3:31 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Serpico and Schoolcraft -- both actively resisted the unethical practices of the department and used their time there to take substantial action. Both Serpico and Schoolcraft put their lives on the line to do so and ultimately have had (and will have, respectively) positive effects on the NYPD.

So I guess I don't get your point.


The point is that cops who do stand up to the rampant brutality and corruption are at risk of being murdered at best.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:14 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The real question, to me, is where is this push for Stop and Frisk coming from? Who is the constituency? What is the rationale?

Don't think you're immune to this because you're not in New York. San Francisco started making some serious noises about Stop and Frisk recently. Why? That's what I want to know.
posted by effugas at 6:16 PM on October 15, 2012


"The point is that cops who do stand up to the rampant brutality and corruption are at risk of being murdered at best."

No, I get that. It's why I insist that any "good" cop either resist, resign or lose the right to claim the title "good cop" or "honest cop" etc.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2012


Why? That's what I want to know.

A government that is slowly conditioning civilians to never question authority? Submit or else?

Could be a conspiracy theory, I guess, but seems as logical as anything else.
posted by Malice at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2012


The real question, to me, is where is this push for Stop and Frisk coming from? Who is the constituency? What is the rationale?

...really? Who do you think wants a cowed, impoverished populace?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:51 PM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's actually quite fascinating to see how an organization which is (essentially) blue-collar tradesmen up through the hierarchy adopts and implements metric and data driven approaches to operations. Lots of opportunity for misfires, but also a tremendous potential benefit that career analysts / pencilpushers aren't holding all the power to devise metrics and interpret data.

I think data-driven policing is a great idea, but like cosmic.osmo stated, the implementation is hilariously insane and indicates that the people implementing it have tiny bird brains. The point is to minimize arrests! The arrests are the cost of preventing crime.

It's hardly beneficial for the officers themselves to be making more arrests, so it's not as if the public are the only suckers here. I have no idea how these guys put on their pants in the morning if this typifies the quality of their decision-making.
posted by value of information at 7:47 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who do you think wants a cowed, impoverished populace?

From what I've seen of Boston Herald comments sections, the cowed, impoverished populace.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:49 PM on October 15, 2012


arrests are the cost of preventing crime.

That's the beauty of stop and frisk. It only takes a minute, 99% of the time there's no arrest, and it's a metric that proves the officers are out doing something. ("Was visible presence in bad neighborhood, deterred crime" is hard to measure)

implementation is hilariously insane and indicates that the people implementing it have tiny bird brains.

Don't bet on it. Organizations are started by people but soon take on lives of their own. It's likely that everyone involved will tell you that it's a stupid way to do things, but that's the way the system works.

While i think it's cool that individual officers are speaking out, this is one of those issues where public pressure against the highest levels in the department will be neccesary. And even they will have trouble getting it under control.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:19 PM on October 15, 2012


NYPD Officer Brutally Assaults Man in Synagogue
This kind of barbaric bullshit, and the crap they pulled on Alvin from the OP, is why people hate cops.

Mr. Pink: You kill anybody?
Mr. White: A few cops.
Mr. Pink: No real people?
Mr. White: Just cops.

Maybe if all the thugs, racists, and sadistic fuckers get tossed off the force in every town and they put an end to crazy, stupid shit like this, citizens will start thinking of cops as real people again. Maybe.
posted by xedrik at 8:36 PM on October 15, 2012


The people of New York City have thrice elected the man who not only won't stop this madness but determines it to be "necessary" policy.

The alternative last time around was basically Hitler.
Huh? What are you talking about? All I know about the last guy was that he was an African American democrat. Seems kind of hard to imagine he'd be worse on stop and frisk... It was situation where no one knew much about him and didn't pay much attention because they didn't think he could win. But he ended up getting much closer then the polls predicted, probably due to a lot of anti-wallstreet sentiment.

I don't live in NY and didn't really hear much about the guy.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2012


Maybe if all the thugs, racists, and sadistic fuckers get tossed off the force in every town and they put an end to crazy, stupid shit like this, citizens will start thinking of cops as real people again. Maybe.

Well said. Maybe if the American police accomplished something so far beyond what has ever been done in the history of the world that it would take divine intervention to pull it off, the type of person who thinks of people as "cops" instead of "people" would change their view. Maybe.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:13 PM on October 15, 2012


Why? That's what I want to know.

I'm sure you guys think it is wall street or multinationals but I think it is much simpler. People who feel terrorized by gangs.. But ultimately real estate developers and gentrifiers. I think if we see all sorts of things happen once white people complain.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:23 PM on October 15, 2012


Ad Hom--

So you think it's just to make minorities move away?
posted by effugas at 11:08 PM on October 15, 2012


Well no. I don't think it is anything so overt. I think that residents have probably complained about open air drug deals and various crimes in Brownsville for years but nobody really gave a damn. Brooklyn is undergoing a huge wave of gentrification, people move there and see open air drug deals but also a host of minor infractions that are a way of life in New York, kids hanging out on stoops, people drinking beer outside, loud music. They call the cops and raise a stink, Soon there is a community group or a BID pressuring city hall. There is a crackdown. That is the kind of place stop and frisk is happening right? It isn't in midtown or the upper east side.

Landlords already have ways to drive tenants out, stop doing maintenance, maybe forget to turn the heat on, neglect to clean common areas. When I was a kid they did shit like bounce basketballs against the floor above the bedroom at night. The tenants may stop paying rent but they are a day late and they are summoned to housing court. It goes on month after month and soon they leave and you have a gut remodel and new tenants.

That is just the way it seems to me. I am willing to entertain other theories.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:43 PM on October 15, 2012


NYTimes: Pockets of City See Higher Use of Force During Police Stops
The police used some level of physical force in more than one in five stops across the city last year, according to an analysis by The New York Times. In the West Bronx, the rate was more than double that. Yet the high level of force seldom translated into arrests, raising questions among black and Latino leaders about whether officers were using enough discretion before making the stops in the first place, much less before resorting to force.

The four precincts with the highest use of force — the 32nd in Upper Manhattan, the 44th and 46th in the Bronx and the 115th in Jackson Heights, Queens — all include or have included what the police call “impact zones,” violent pockets that the police routinely flood with officers, often in their first assignment out of the academy, in an effort to suppress crime. That combination of putting inexperienced officers in the worst neighborhoods may be one reason that the use of force is so high, residents said. And the encounters, they added, while apparently not leading to a higher number of physical injuries, do create lasting feelings of resentment and a distrust of officers.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:02 AM on October 22, 2012


More NYPD awesomeness:
NEW YORK (AP) - A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press.

Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bengali descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.
DOING. IT. WRONG.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:36 AM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]






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