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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 21, 2013/ 15 Elul, 5773

In defense of stop and frisk

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Shira Scheindlin, the federal judge who found the NYPD's implementation of "stop and frisk" unconstitutional, relied largely on a numerical analysis in concluding that there was "indirect racial profiling" in violation of the Fourth and 14th Amendments. But John Timoney, who ran police departments in New York City, Philadelphia and Miami, told me that the numbers don't tell the full story.

The parameters for the crime-fighting tactic were established in a 1968 Supreme Court case, Terry v. Ohio, which allows stop and frisk under certain circumstances. The Terry case involved a veteran police officer who spied three men he thought were casing a store for a robbery. His pat-down of one of the men revealed he had a weapon. In Terry, the court ruled that such an intervention must be based on more than an officer's hunch.

More than any other factor, police in New York cite "furtive" movements as a justification to stop and frisk someone. That means a person was jittery. Maybe he walked in an odd fashion, or touched a pocket in a certain way. Or perhaps it seemed he was trying to determine if he was being observed. Furtive movement was the reason 48.3 percent of blacks were stopped, as well as 45.2 percent of Hispanics, but only 39.9 percent of whites. Scheindlin also found significance in the fact that 83 percent of stops between 2004 and 2012 involved blacks and Hispanics, even though they are just over 50 percent of the city's residents.

Additionally, the judge noted that between January 2004 and June 2012, the NYPD conducted more than 4.4 million Terry stops. Fifty-two percent of these were followed by a frisk for weapons, and a weapon was found in 1.5 percent of these instances. In other words, in 98.5 percent of the 2.3 million frisks, no weapon was found.



Timoney says there is more here than just the numbers.

"Well, when you look at the gross number you say, 'Oh, my God, that's an awful lot of people,' but when you break it down to the size of the police force, the size of the city, on average it averages out to one stop a week per uniformed police officer," Timoney said.

Timoney said the low yield of weapons confiscated does not justify ending the program.

"The point should not be to use the low percentage as a rationale for not using 'stop, question and frisk,'" he said. "The proper response is to make sure the officers are doing these according to law, that is, based upon reasonable suspicion and are able to articulate the rationale. Again, while the numbers, when taken in total, may alarm many people, when you break them down and give them some context it is a lot more meaningful. However, that may not satisfy the average citizen, especially from a minority community."

Timoney worries about the impact of the decision on cops.

"You know, there's a perception out there that the police departments are filled with all the eager-beaver police officers looking to get out there and lock up the bad guys, work their tails off," Timoney said. "Unfortunately, that's not true. They reflect the society they come from, and so you've got some very good cops, you've got some cops that are mediocre, and then you've got some cops that are out-and-out lazy — you can't get them to work, and I think this will play into their hands. I hope it doesn't, but I think it will. Some of the lazy cops will tell the good cops, 'You see, you do this stuff, you go out and work, and you get yourselves in trouble.'"

He also believes that his former colleague New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is getting a bad rap.

"The guy doesn't have a racist bone in his body," Timoney said. "I've known him for 30 years, and I know a lot of the men and women that lead that department and they are not deliberately indifferent. Clearly in every department there is room for improvement and, obviously, more training. However, the notion that you stigmatize that department, that's a heavy lift. So, we'll see how the appeal plays out."

There's another important consideration that is being lost in the celebration of Scheindlin's opinion as a victory for civil rights — namely, who might be adversely affected. Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to the racial implications by saying: "We go to where the reports of crime are. Those, unfortunately, happen to be poor neighborhoods, or minority neighborhoods."

His words were reminiscent of something President Obama offered in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

"The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

"Now, this isn't to say that the African American community is naive about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal-justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It's not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context."

Should crime rise as a result of limiting stop and frisk, the most victimized will be from the same communities whose civil liberties the judge sought to protect.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Previously:


07/10/13 Elections with open primaries no longer a voter's dream
04/04/13 Being stalked --- by cookies
03/26/13 Food giants engineering the recipe for obesity
03/07/13 He wrote the book on keeping the fires burning
02/05/13 Making policy palatable with food and drink think
12/19/12 In defense of the DJs
12/17/12 Key to election --- stocks, not jobs
12/11/12 United Airlines' post-9/11 commitment to security rescinded?
11/01/12 Good reasons to revive draft
09/25/12 If Romney loses
04/19/12 Christie will get GOP nod in 2016
04/06/12 Romneys not only family with embarrassing stories
03/08/12 Here's an easy fix for King monument quote
02/28/12 Valor-medal lie as free speech
02/21/12 Now we know: Van Halen's M&M rider was just a test
02/14/12 Life inside the (class) bubble
02/09/12 Rethinking paths to wealth
01/17/12 Romney must face his work history head-on
01/11/12 Don't let those gift cards be a gift to retailers or the state
01/03/12 Headlines hoped for in 2012
11/09/11 Romney, beware: Cain may bob through the straits
11/02/11 Where there's ad smoke, there's … what?
10/20/11 After husband is murdered, 30 long years of phone calls
10/13/11 Black women should only marry out of their race?
08/31/11 Some political gaffes really say something
07/27/11 An overture of candidates' theme songs
06/28/11 Where's the app for common sense?
06/02/11 Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders
04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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