The Post’s editorial board can fume all it wants about alleged racism and-or the unconstitutionality of ‘stop-and-frisk’ laws, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg says, but the system works. New York has fewer murders, proportionally, than does the District, so Bloomberg wonders if maybe we should remove the beams from our eyes before criticizing New York for its eye-boogers. Also, Bloomberg says, it’s not racist to stop black men out of proportion to their general population, because the criterion they are using isn’t race, it’s suspicious behavior.
The Post’s view, the Post’s other view and a story about a journalist who got shot three times by a black man in a hoodie and still doesn’t support treating all hoodied black men as suspicious are linked here.
And now, your turn:
devin3 says the ends don’t justify the means:
Mr. Bloomberg, What part of “unreasonable search and seizure” do you not understand? Based on your reasoning if you could prevent every single murder by taking away people’s freedom of expression, or right to free exercise of religion you would be completely justified in doing so. As it turns out you would not, there is no legitimate function of the government that abridges its citizens constitutional rights. That is why we have a Bill of Rights in the first place.
Liam-still thinks Bloomberg wouldn’t enjoy being profiled himself:
Bloomberg is a Wall St billionaire. That is more probably cause right there, than the vast majority of those being stopped by his Gestapo!
Tobit says that non-New Yorkers have reason to watch this law closely:
Most of us don’t live in the war zone that is urban New York. However, the laws you make there set precedents for the rest of us. That is a cause for concern among those who object to unreasonable search and seizure. There is a fine line between probable cause and reasonable suspicion. We have to err on the side of caution; otherwise we have a nanny police state.
truth2141 is suspicious that Bloomberg mostly addresses racial profiling rather than constitutionality:
Bloomberg likes to discuss the racial thing because it presumes that stop and frisk would be legal in the absence of racial profiling. It [would] not.
And sanfran6003 sees a problem with police being unable to act until they witness a crime being committed, rather than being proactive:
The fact remains that stop and frisk puts hoodlums on notice that being armed with a lethal weapon may be hazardous to themselves. The mayor makes a good case that the police officers on the street have been enforcing the law in a non-discriminatory way. Political activists tend to see this law as a threat to freedom. Then again, they always see law enforcement, especially effective enforcement, as a threat to freedom.