April 18, 2013

NYT: Blacks and Latinos stopped and frisked by NYPD for being shifty-looking really are kind of shifty-looking

Here's a long article in the New York Times on the ongoing trial over whether the NYPD's stop and frisk strategy is racially biased. The theme of the article is that maybe stop and frisk isn't such a bad idea after all. Sure, maybe civil rights extremists are upset that about 1,500 blacks and Latins per day are getting humiliated by cops on the streets of New York, but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. We need to look in a more, uh, nuanced fashion at these accusations of disparate impact. Nobody wants to go back to the Dinkins Era, right? 
Some Testimony on Police Tactic Undercuts Bias Claim 
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN 
One man was stopped and frisked because of his expensive red leather jacket — similar to one that a murder suspect was wearing in a wanted poster. Another man was stopped after a woman complained to the police that he was following her. Still another was stopped by officers who had watched him jostle the door of a home, trying to get in. 
Recruited by civil rights lawyers, these men and others have testified about their encounters with the police in a federal trial weighing whether the soaring number of stop-and-frisk encounters has resulted in widespread constitutional violations for hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic men. They were chosen to give voice to the toll that the police’s use of the tactic has inflicted on an entire demographic, their lawyers say. 
But over the trial’s first month, some of these men’s accounts seemed to veer away from the straightforward narrative of racial profiling — and may have actually undermined the plaintiffs’ efforts to demonstrate that the police routinely disregard the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable police detentions. 
Whether the circumstances of each case rose to the level of “reasonable suspicion” — the legal standard required for forcible street stops — is a question that the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, will ultimately decide. Even if she finds these individual stops fall short of that legal threshold, there is still evidence suggesting the stops were not, as the plaintiffs claim, “suspicionless and race-based.” But the civil rights lawyers bringing the case say they have presented ample evidence of race-based decision-making by police officers. 
So far nine people have testified about more than a dozen occasions on which they were stopped. (Two more witnesses will testify.) These accounts are the foundation of a trial exploring whether the New York Police Department’s training, supervision and patrol strategies have led to weakened constitutional protections for minority men. 
The plaintiffs’ lawyers, who are with the Center for Constitutional Rights, are asking Judge Scheindlin to put the department’s stop-and-frisk practices under judicial oversight. 
But with five million police stops recorded since 2002, it would seem that the civil rights lawyers would be able to find witnesses to present far more conclusive accounts of unconstitutional police stops — an incongruity that lawyers for the city sought to portray during opening arguments as indicative of the case’s weakness. 
... But the testimony offered so far has presented a more nuanced picture of police work than the one the plaintiffs had hoped to show. In several of the dozen stops described by witnesses, the police appeared to have specific reasons for suspecting that the men were engaging in criminal activity. Even a police stop of the lead plaintiff in the case, David Floyd, seems open to interpretation.
David Floyd, shifty-looking door-jostler
Sgt. James Kelly of the Police Department, one of five witnesses to testify about the stop of Mr. Floyd, said he observed Mr. Floyd and another man standing in front of a door, jostling it. He grew more suspicious, he testified, after watching them unsuccessfully try several keys in the door. “It looked like they were forcibly trying to get into a house,” Sergeant Kelly testified. 
During the ensuing stop-and-frisk encounter, Sergeant Kelly and the two officers with him eventually accepted that the two men were not burglars but tenants: one had been locked out, and a neighbor, Mr. Floyd, had sought to let him back in. 

Sounds like Professor Gates and Officer Crowley in Cambridge.
In court, the city’s lead lawyer, Heidi Grossman, observed that several of the stops occurred because an individual matched a physical or “specific clothing description” of a crime suspect. 
One stop followed an anonymous 911 caller who reported overhearing three black men planning a robbery as they walked up Broadway, near 96th Street. The caller described the men’s clothing and mentioned a disturbing detail: one of the men had a gun. 
Nearby, officers spotted three black men seated on a bench. They were dressed much the same way as the 911 caller described the robbers. The officers ordered the men to the ground at gunpoint and frisked them before realizing they had the wrong men. One officer, in an apparent bid to explain the police interaction, radioed the dispatcher and requested that the suspects’ description be repeated, so the men could hear for themselves. 
One of the three men, Nicholas Peart, testified that he could not remember all of what the radio dispatcher said, but he did recall one detail about one of the robbery suspects. 
“Blue shorts, that’s what I heard that night,” he testified. He acknowledged that he had been wearing blue basketball shorts. 
Another stop involved similar circumstances. In that instance, Clive Lino, 32, explained that he was detained for 20 minutes because of his red leather Pelle Pelle jacket. “It’s a popular jacket,” Mr. Lino testified. 
But the two officers who stopped him testified how at the station house that very afternoon, their commander had emphasized a recent unsolved homicide, even distributing a wanted poster. It contained scant description of the suspect, mentioning a “male black” between 5 feet 9 and 6 feet, and a loosefitting, red leather jacket with the brand Pelle Pelle stitched conspicuously across it. 
The evidence involving another stop illustrated the challenge that police officers often face when called to the scene, where they must try to quickly resolve ambiguity and discern what is happening. A woman accused a man of following her around and demanding money at a big-box pet store in Union Square. 

After all, New York isn't some minor league town like, say, L.A. where the feds were right to use the purported racial bias revealed by the Ramparts Scandal to get a consent decree over the LAPD. This is New York!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love how the judge is scotch irish and the lawyer is scotch irish and the guy writing is scotch irish.

The judge will give the NYPD a pass.

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand how the Ramparts scandal became lodged in the public imagination as just another 'whitey beating up poor young black kids' thing. The main players in that scandal were black. It was mostly about gang influence in the LAPD.

Italian Ice said...

"Sounds like Professor Gates and Officer Crowley in Cambridge."

No No No Steve, you're just not getting it at all. Its nothing like Gates & Crowley. Bloomberg played a big part in this one occurring, as did the good Scots-Irish of NY. They're all good guys, see. So if they did it its okay. Its all "Who? Whom?" Steve, and they are higher on the grievance totem pole that they created than is Mr. Floyd. They're bigger victims, even if they are the ones who are wealthy and they are the ones doing the victimizing.

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago I met a scotch-irish in Manhattan, he worked for the big media. Never seen so much hatred.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how the federal lawsuit turns out. The state courts in NY are beginning to rule against the NYPD's stop and frisk practices, on state law grounds. The leftist ruling class of NYC sees that, once Bloomberg (who is pretty good on law enforcement issues) is gone, it has no effective opposition, and will be able to do whatever it wants to suit its ideological and minority constituencies.

peterike said...

Different immigration rules for Israel. Different police rules for New York. Same group benefits from both.

Robert in Arabia said...


http://feministconservative.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-first-week-of-work/

feministconservative
secular humynist, pro-Israel, feminist, and fiscally conservative Arianna Pattek
My first week of work
Posted on June 8, 2012 by feministconservative

Like I said in my last post, I’m working in my school’s admissions office for the time being. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m so glad to have the ability to decide who will come in and who won’t. We are here to make future leaders of America and the world, and as such we have the responsibility do keep those who would make the world a worse place far away, while admitting those who have potential to use their abilities to improve the world.

For instance I can’t tell you how many applications I saw that were just dripping with white male privelege. Any of those that I saw basically went straight to the garbage can regardless of how good their qualifactions were. If I saw an application from a white male that basically was just good test scores, and activities like chess club or math club or what not then it shows me this person is not interested in a diverse environment. Obviously he made no effort in integrating with minorities or to sympathize with them and is counting on male privelege to get in. So that kind of application should get ignored. In their place I admitted a female student. This goes double especially for math/science majors.

Another time this I had an application for what sounded like an arab male who wanted to study computer science. On paper he looked good enough, decent above average scores, and such. But I checked facebook and sure enough on his wall I came came upon a particularly hateful post about Israel supposedly not having a right to exist. I promptly trashed the application and sent out a rejection letter.

The lesson here is that people are multi-dimensional. We can’t boil people down to numbers or statistics, or reject people based on the color of their skin. I’m happy to say that I approved nearly 90% of all female minority and 80% of all (white female applicants especially if the girls want to study math or science) while rejecting over 50% of white males this week and hope this trend holds out.

rob said...

Anyone remember the tear-jerking NYT magazine article about the 'liberal' woman in prison for murdering people during a bank robbery? Her 'left wing' terrorist group decided that the Jewish revolutionaries should let the black ones take the heat, I mean the lead. Probably the well-noticed 'interest' Jewish women have in male blacks.

Anyway, blacks cleared the WASPs out of New York, but couldn't manage to distinguish Jews and whites. Also, Jewish men feel the sexual competition from blacks very intensely. Of course they want blacks ethnically cleansed or at least kept on a tight leash. They just want someone else to take the lead/heat.

Svigor said...

Yeah, I bet blacks who tuck their shirts in, wear belts and clothes that fit, etc., receive a hell of a lot less persecution from NYPD; all their persecution probably comes from the brothas, lol.

It's a lot easier to instantly rule yourself out as a potentially armed suspect when your shirt is tucked in and your pants are belted. On the other hand, NYC's latitude means more of the year is jacket weather, so the city will always have more of a problem with this than LA.

Anonymous said...

Civil rights stop at the Brooklyn Bridge.

To be fair, the NYPD has never seemed as corrupt and terrible as the LAPD, a police department which is just one step above from being a criminal cartel.

Anonymous said...

These aren't "noble Negros" of the sort we all know to exist in the South, bravely meeting Evil White Racists with pluck and dignity - no, these are New York City blacks, who are understood to be rather shady characters by the sort of people who read the New York Times.

Two completely different things, really.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a nationwide civil rights movement organized to end this discriminatory and Jim Crow-like policy occurring in our flagship city. If this can happen in NYC, it can happen anywhere. It is also upsetting because NYC has historically been a city that welcomes immigrants. How can we stand for a policy that might end up with the police harassing these new Americans just because of the color of their skin?

I would like to see people organize boycotts of NYC. I would like to see freedom riders and others descend upon that city to protest. I would like to see them organize patrols to protect our fellow citizens from this unnecessary harassment.

Yes the above is tongue-in-check, but I think conservatives should welcome this opportunity for payback. After all we are the ones who have put up with similar campaigns directed against us. Why not return the favor? Make the elite whites (Scots-Irish) have to defend themselves for a change.

Make them publicly make our case for us by forcing them to defend themselves. Who knows. Once demographics are discussed on this issue, maybe they can be discussed on immigration too.

Anonymous said...

A thoughtful article concerning the police and racial profiling. A nuanced account that shows both sides of the story and is free of bombastic language insinuating black and brown suffering. Only in New York.

Steve, the photo caption is very funny.

Steve Sailer said...

"I'll never understand how the Ramparts scandal became lodged in the public imagination as just another 'whitey beating up poor young black kids' thing. The main players in that scandal were black. It was mostly about gang influence in the LAPD."

As I've mentioned before, there were two Oscar-winning movies, "Training Day" and "Crash," that got the Ramparts scandal more accurately than the references to it you read in the newspaper, but nobody notices.

Power Child said...

Hah, in film school we watched Crash and, even though it was part of a pretty sophisticated course on Modern Anxiety taught by a pretty sophisticated professor, the movie was just framed more or less as "an examination of racism in modern America." No mention of Ramparts at all.

Anonymous said...

Now blacks and browns know how Palestinians feel.

Anonymous said...

If NY elites were really smart, they should come up with two kinds of frisking: 'white grannie' kind and 'swarthy muslim' kind.

After 9/11, EVERYONE was frisked at airports but white grannies got light treatment whereas swarthy muslims got the more thorough treatment. But since white grannies were technically frisked too, there was no official stats showing 'racial profiling'.

Similarly, NYPD should do a lot of wink-wink 'white grannie' frisking on whites just to pad the stats that EVERYONE is being frisked and not just blacks and browns. And whites will just wink-wink go along with being 'white grannie' frisked since it will justify the more thorough-going 'swarthy muslim' frisks on blacks and browns.

Dennis Dale said...

We talk about the search for the Great White Defendant, but at least one of those comes along every now and then. Media bias does the rest.

What is more striking is the perpetual futility of the search for the Great Black Defendant--that wrongly accused, dignified black fellow we know from countless Law & Order-type shows, who's utterly blameless yet finds his neck under the jackboot of white justice. I always picture him in an argyle cardigan vest (he's Gus from Psych, but with a tragic dignity instilled by years of suffering in place of the bemused easy-going nature).

I mean, millions of stops and this is what they come up with? I have a whole new respect for the competence of the NYPD, to pull off this policy without at least one glaring instance of a yahoo cop stepping out of line.
I find it hard to believe the "civil rights" lawyers behind this case haven't rued this in the deep recesses of their parochial little brains.
If you really want to "effect change", progressive do-gooder, learn how to write for television. It's both harder (to break in) and easier (to make sh-t up when working from whole-cloth).

Anonymous said...

Rob,

We do not view Black men as our sexual competitors. Are you some kind of bizzaroworld, antisemitic version of Whiskey?

Hypocrisy and moral posturing aside, we have a strong aversion to getting assaulted or mugged for the crime of utilizing public sidewalks.

-The Judean People's Front

Whiskey said...

Except Steve, Protected Class means that even in NYC, you can't do things like stop and frisk if it negatively impacts Protected Class groups: women, gays, Blacks, and Hispanics. That is the law. A terrible policy, but the law.

The Judge will strike down Stop and Frisk. That it even went to TRIAL ought to tell you something. Besides, Obama has to have something to give to his base. This is one.

But the real reason is the fantasy preferred by most of the White Upper, Middle, and Working class. That of the noble oppressed person of color who the "good" White person can champion and protect showing their superior moral status. That's extremely powerful. Its not Jewish. Jews who figure non-Jews are a threat moved to Israel, toted guns, and had kids who joined the Airborne Infantry or in the Mossad shot the Red Prince behind the Munich Massacre. [Bibi and Ehud Barak respectively.] Those guys might as well be aliens from another planet compared to say, Tim Wise. Bibi KNOWS everyone particularly Black people hate Jews (his brother was slain rescuing the hostages in Entebbe) and trusts Israel's nukes to get him through.

Tim Wise is indistinguishable from Bill Gates, or Rupert Murdoch, or George Clooney, or Ashley Judd in his attitudes towards "the wrong sort of White person" and non-Whites.

The faustian bargain elites made with non-Whites is that special racial privilege once invoked cannot be revoked without riots. Look at the death-rattle of Chicago. "Teens" and "Youths" are destroying the city, tourist and wealthy urban areas as well as Southside and Westside.

Anonymous said...

Yes,of course it's hypocritical. If you guys want to restore sanity, use issues like stop and frisk as an inroad into the broader discourse. You'd think that after endless years of droning about the Frankfort school, somebody in the sphere would learn something from its methods and actually use them for the public good. Buck up guys!!!

-The Judean People's Front

Svigor said...

I love how the judge is scotch irish and the lawyer is scotch irish and the guy writing is scotch irish.

The judge will give the NYPD a pass.


Why, are the cops "Scots-Irish" too? ;)

secular humynist, pro-Israel, feminist, and fiscally conservative Arianna Pattek

IOW, your standard lefty racist hypocrite. Post sounds too openly racist, sexist, and Jewish to be true, though. And one would expect an admissions officer to be able to spell "privilege."

To be fair, the NYPD has never seemed as corrupt and terrible as the LAPD, a police department which is just one step above from being a criminal cartel.

I remained agnostic until they lit up not one, but two trucks of the wrong make, model, and color in their frenzied, cowardly jihad to kill Dorner on sight, without so much as a nod to proper procedure.

LAPD is rotten to the core.

I find it hard to believe the "civil rights" lawyers behind this case haven't rued this in the deep recesses of their parochial little brains.

Maybe they were put up to it; they take a dive, and precedent solidifies S&F (isn't this how the law works?).

Rob,

We do not view Black men as our sexual competitors. Are you some kind of bizzaroworld, antisemitic version of Whiskey?


Yeah, that one's sort of like Affirmative Action (inter alia); Jews are the last ones to feel it.

Anonymous said...

"Robert in Arabia said...

http://feministconservative.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-first-week-of-work/
"

Smells like a false flag blog to me too.

Anonymous said...

Svigor said: Yeah, that one's sort of like Affirmative Action (inter alia); Jews are the last ones to feel it.

AA, along with busing, hasn't elicited the sort of nearly community wide support from the tribe that has been seen for some other expressions of leftist interest-group politics. While we are not all anti-AA crusaders, opposition isn't exactly a conversation stopper in predominantly Jewish circles, even leftist ones.

Anecdotally, I can't say that I've ever heard a family member complain about directly loosing a job to AA, but have definitely heard gripes about working with surly incompetents who know that they can't be fired. Some of these complaints date back to incidents that occurred before I was born, so I'm not so sure that Jews are the last to feel it.

I get, and agree with, your larger point that the Jewish community's high average SES helps temporarily insulate many members from feeling the effects of destructive policies.

As a community, our cybernetics are crap, but one could say the same of most middle-class, bicoastal Americans.

Hopefully, a critical mass of the current generation can escape the solipsism that at present is leading us all to ruin.


-The Judean People's Front

rob said...

Anonymous said...
Rob,

We do not view Black men as our sexual competitors. Are you some kind of bizzaroworld, antisemitic version of Whiskey?


I write those not-serious, near nonsense comments so I can picture steam coming out of Whiskey's ears a la Yosemite Sam.

It's nice to see that someone notices. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Robert in Arabia,

Are you sure feministconservative isn't some kind of joke. Maybe I've been living in my own bubble for too long but it reads like an alt-right/MRA parody of a neoconservative blog. I suspect Ferdinand Bardamu himself might have put it up. See

https://feministconservative.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/beware-of-impostors/

The entry links to an obscure inmalafide posting. Not the sort of thing likely to show up on an unsophisticated neocon's radar.

-The Judean People's Front