Re-breaking the Windows


Photo by William Avery Hudson

Mayor de Blasio’s decision to settle the NYPD lawsuit threatens the city’s triumph over crime.

Heather Mac Donald writes:  Bill de Blasio won the mayoralty of New York by running a demagogic campaign against the New York Police Department. He has now compounded the injury by dropping the city’s appeal of an equally deceitful court opinion that found that the department’s stop, question, and frisk practices deliberately violated the rights of blacks and Hispanics. De Blasio may thus have paved the way for a return to the days of sky-high crime rates.

[Heather Mac Donald‘s bookAre Cops Racist?: How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans” is available at Amazon]

Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling against the NYPD last August was built on willful ignorance of crime’s racial reality. Scheindlin invented a new concept, “indirect racial profiling,” in order to convict the department of unconstitutional policing, despite lacking the evidence to do so. The Second Circuit Court of Appealschallenged Scheindlin’s appearance of impartiality last October when it found that she had steered stop, question, and frisk cases to her courtroom. The Second Circuit panel removed her from the case and stayed her opinion while the city pursued its appeal. Now, however, thanks to de Blasio, Scheindlin’s tendentious ruling will stay on the books (unless the NYPD’s police unions succeed in their own appeal), setting back the cause of public safety not just in New York, but across the country.

The least of the opinion’s problems is the unnecessary bureaucracy it inflicts on the NYPD, including a federal monitor, burdensome reporting requirements, and left-wing advisory panels, all overseen by the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The most serious problem is Scheindlin’s statistical test of racial profiling, which compares police stops to population data, rather than crime data. Scheindlin found the NYPD guilty of biased policing because blacks make up a little over half the subjects of the department’s pedestrian stops, though they are just under a quarter of the city’s population. She ignored the fact that blacks commit nearly 80 percent of all shootings in New York and two-thirds of all violent crime.

It’s little surprise that de Blasio chose not to fight Scheindlin’s dangerously misguided opinion, beholden as he is to the city’s advocacy groups…

Read the rest…

City Journal 31 January 2014

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. She is the author of Are Cops Racist?: How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans.

5 Comments on “Re-breaking the Windows”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Mayor de Blasio’s decision to settle the NYPD lawsuit threatens the city’s triumph over […]

  2. lobotion says:

    About time they never made stop and frisk as a number to get. If you don’t have enough stop question frisk they give bad evaluations and other things.

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