Last year New York City reported its lowest homicide rate since the Police Department started tracking it 50 years ago. Officials say the city’s stop-and-frisk policy has played a large role. It allows officers to stop and search anyone they believe is suspicious.
But an editorial in the Washington Post suggests that if changes aren’t made, the policy may not continue once Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s time in office is over.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and his police chief, Raymond Kelly, say the procedure has saved upwards of 5,000 lives in the past 10 years. “New York has never been safer in its modern era,” the mayor says…
In our view, he should be more open to some reform, especially if he wants his policies to persist after a new mayor is elected in November. He is correct to oppose the council’s measure easing lawsuits. Although it does not allow easy recovery of monetary judgments, it could lead to an “avalanche of new lawsuits against police action” that would impede law enforcement, as the mayor’s office argues. But having an inspector general makes sense; and so would requiring officers to give receipts with identifying information to those whom they stop. Without hurting crime-fighting, such a measure could hold officers accountable and provide those stopped with documentation should they feel they were unfairly profiled.
Read more at the Washington Post.