Monday, 19. August 2013
“I think no question about it, violent crime will go up,” Kelly said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is not a program; this is something that is integral to policing.”
Kelly is referring to the ruling last week by Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled that the city’s stop-and-frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of minorities. In her 195-page ruling, Scheindlin said authorities in New York City were basically resorting to a “policy of indirect racial profiling.” A look at the data collected during the stop-and-frisk encounters revealed that 83 percent of searches were conducted on African Americans or Hispanics.
To combat the unconstitutional techniques, Scheindlin appointed a Manhattan prosecutor to oversee fundamental changes to policy guidelines, and she also instituted a pilot program that will mount cameras on deputies in five precints to record their interactions with civilians.
Kelly disagreed with Scheindlin’s ruling, saying, “this case cries out for appeal.”
Many proponents of the stop-and-frisk techniques point to drop in violent crime during the program’s tenure.
“What we’re doing and what we’re trying to do is save lives,” said Kelly. “Murders are down to record lows, shootings down to record lows; things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it.”
Attorney Mel Welch comments
Does the rationale offered by the police commissioner sound familiar? It’s the same justification offered by Missouri in the Missouri v. McNeely case as to why police ought not to be required to obtain a warrant before subjecting people to searches.
The thing is, we could probably impose a single-room occupancy curfew for all people, with police authorized use of force for curfew and isolation violators – I bet that would significantly reduce crime too.
The larger question at hand is “when does safety cease to become the justification for imposition upon people’s rights?” When did The People become answerable to the eavesdropping and gun-toting government rather than they answerable to The People? It is an outrage that those with guns and authority to use them have become untethered to the law that they swear to uphold.
You have to show justification to search a person when you stop them on the street, yet these officers are unjustly stopping average citizens under the vaguely defined “suspicious activity” clause. Officers are stopping people for simply looking over their shoulder, as they take this as an indication of guilt.
The reason the Constitution was drafted was to limit authority and grant unalienable rights to its citizens. It’s a shame those in power are attempting to suppress individual liberties under the guise that they are making the nation a safer place.
Related sources: Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC
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