Mayoral adviser N. Allen Sawyer sends a Bill Keller column on stop and frisk. New York mayoral candidate Bill Thompson expressed his thoughts on the controversial policy recently in the New York Times.
“Those neighborhoods are entitled to safety,” Thompson said. “They are entitled to be able to go outside like other neighborhoods at 10 o’clock at night and not worry about being mugged or shot.”
His approach to the issue is almost identical to Bratton’s, although the former commissioner is not backing any candidate. Thompson favors restoring 2,000 of those police jobs and pairing rookies with seasoned officers. He opposes the inspector general as superfluous and the racial-profiling bill as “the lawyer employment act.” (Thompson also has the endorsement of a coalition of unions representing the city’s law enforcement officials.)
“I don’t need the legislation to eliminate racial profiling,” he said. “I think a mayor who’s focused, who’s not going to tolerate that, who selects a police commissioner who also understands that we are not going to tolerate that … then we don’t need a bill to eliminate profiling, which is illegal anyway.”
OK, point taken. There’s an upside to stop and frisk: safer streets, gun confiscations. It just can’t be done by making high-crime neighborhoods 4th-Amendment-free zones where color alone and not suspicious circumstances merits a police stop. Such abuse is why it just got ruled illegal in New York.
Above all it requires wise leadership. Worth reading Keller’s column here.