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PROPOSED REVISIONS TO NYPD’S CURRENT ‘STOP,
QUESTION & FRISK’ POLICY VIA PROMULGATION OF
A NEW DEPARTMENT ‘PATROL GUIDE’ PROCEDURE
By James F. Dooley
Captain, NYPD (Ret.)
9/30/2014
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I.
P. 4 - Dedication;
II.
P. 5 - Abstract & Summation of Topic;
III.
P. 11 - Introduction / Scope of work;
P. 15 - Video regarding how NYPD’s Stop & Frisk street
encounters are viewed by many inner city, minority youths;
P. 21 - Reflections from a NYPD & US Navy veteran regarding
the Increasing Militarization of American domestic police forces.
IV.
P. 28 - History of ‘Compstat’ & its impact (via ‘Broken Windows
theory’) Upon crime trends in NYC over the last two decades;
P. 43 - Telephone Interview with NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur
Chapman (Ret.).
V.
P. 45 - Review of Stop & Frisk, as per the NYPD Patrol Guide;
P. 46 - Applicable NYS law & ‘Terry vs. Ohio’;
P. 48 - Recent events and the pros & cons of ‘Stop & Frisk’;
P. 52 - Review of the Diallo case & its aftermath.
VI.
P. 58 - A brief discussion of NYPD’s recent dissolution of
surveillance of the Muslim communities in & around New York
City & its relationship to Stop & Frisk issues;
P. 61 - The Handschu Decision;
P. 63 - The Crime Numbers Game – Commentary in regards;
VII.
P. 71 - Rulings by the NYC Council;
P. 73 - Appointment of NYPD’s first Inspector General –
Reflections;
P. 76 - a Federal Judge’s Ruling;
P. 84 - the NYS Attorney General’s Study;
P. 86 - Correlation between Stop & Frisk & reported violent street
Crimes, i.e. Comparison between NYPD’s assertions regarding
Stop & Frisk & the actual crime statistics;
P. 88 - Effect upon (early) crime trends in early 2014;
P. 92 - Update regarding violent crimes within NYC public housing
developments.
.
VIII. P. 95 – 99 - Proposed changes to NYPD Regulations re. Stop &
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Frisk, as delineated in the NYPD’s Patrol Guide and on the actual
‘Stop & Frisk’ (UF250) report;
P. 109 - Introduction of a small detachable form entitled: ‘STOP &
FRISK – a brief explanation & creation of a new investigatory sub
unit within the Internal Affairs Bureau to investigated alleged
abuses;
P. 112 - Proposed ‘Compstat’ correlation between Uniformed
Crime Report’s ‘Seven Major’ crimes, transmitted via the ‘Real
Time Crime Center’, and enactment of Stop & Frisk street
encounters;
Additionally, proposed changes to both Police Academy & In –
Service training need to be developed, implemented and
maintained; including yearly sensitivity training regarding ethnic &
religious minorities.
IX.
P. 114 - Media Interview with Police Commissioner Bratton;
P. 119 - Telephone interview with Frank Serpico, NYPD (Ret.);
P. 121 - Interview with NYPD Police Commissioner William
Bratton;
P. 131 – Interview with the Honorable Peter King, U.S.
Congressman & Chair, House of Representatives Committee on
Homeland Security.
X.
P. 133 - Presentation of new ‘Patrol Guide’ procedure to NYPD
Police Commissioner Bratton, via US Mail;
Circulation to 35 diverse venues.
XI.
P. 139 - Conclusion – Where do we go from here?
XII.
P. 144 - Bibliography.
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I.
DEDICATION.
This work is dedicated to the men & women of the New York City Police
Department, whose courage & tireless efforts have transformed New York
City from a crime – ridden, ‘wild – west’ slum into a vibrant, thriving
metropolis, transforming policing in New York City into a national model.
In the interest of objective fairness, former Commissioner Kelly did an
outstanding, proactive job protecting New York City from terrorism.
The New York City Police Department, the NYPD, is the largest Police
force in the world, comprised of 35,000 Uniformed Members
of
the
service, in addition to approximately 15,000 Civilian Members of the
Service. We serve New York City’s 8.5 million residents on a daily basis,
with integrity, valor & professionalism.
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II.
Abstract & Summary
An Invitation to Understanding
I’m troubled by what I see! At this moment, Police – community
relations in New York City are at an all time low. One would be hard
pressed to find a comparable era in New York City history. Perhaps the
1960s would be comparable. This troubles me tremendously, because I
honestly believe that a better, more positive relationship is possible. Far
too much trust, understanding, and empathy has been lost, possibly
forever. We’re all human beings and we all agree that a safe environment
is one in which we wish to raise our kids. As a NYPD retiree who grew up
in New York City, I have a vested interest in helping to mend fences and
augment this very necessary bond.
The public, particularly many members of the minority communities
throughout New York City, now hold the NYPD in a different, greatly
diminished, light. This reality is troubling at many levels. Community
members may be far less inclined to share their knowledge of ongoing
crime trends with the NYPD. If the public, or at least a substantial part
thereof, can’t be relied upon to be the NYPD’s ‘eyes & ears’, the situation is
in need of immediate redress and remedy. As of Summer,2014, shootings
in public housing developments were dramatically spiking. I feel that this is
due, at least in part, to a dramatic decrease in the frequency of Stop &
Frisks. Human lives are being lost; this is totally unacceptable.
There are common sense, easily attainable changes that the NYPD
could, and arguably should, make to the current Stop & Frisk policies. I
feel strongly that my proposed changes to Stop & Frisk protocols makes
common sense, are easily attainable, and, most importantly, will start the
healing process within our city, which is so desperately needed. Fewer,
better – targeted, and legal Stop & Frisks should be our goal.
I argue in my paper that a change of leadership, and far more
importantly a change in the current, ingrained mindset, within the NYPD, is
needed, and is long overdue. For decades, the NYPD was focused simply
upon generation of numbers, such as aggregate number of Stop & Frisk
reports. Prior Police Commissioners, who did a great job in protecting New
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York City against terrorism, lost the forest for the trees, by focusing only on
numbers, i.e. what’s referred to as the ‘Compstat’ process. Using computer
mapping and technology to analyze and fight crime is without a doubt the
wave of the future, but it must never replace common sense, astute crime
fighting, and respect for citizens’ constitutional rights. Simply generating a
high volume of Stop & Frisk reports does NOT make New Yorkers any
safer. The Stop & Frisk reports must be not only conducted in a legal
manner, but must be done when & where street crimes, particularly
Robberies and any crime involving either a weapon or violence, are
occurring. We can take several proactive measures to ensure that Stop &
Frisks are conducted properly and at the right places & times.
I’ve written a revised Stop & Frisk Patrol Guide procedure, which, in
sum and substance, details exactly how the NYPD should focus Stop &
Frisk to the specific areas and exact times where & when violent street
crimes are occurring. The aggregate number of Stop & Frisks conducted
would decrease, but the overall quality of these Stop & Frisks would be
much better. I’ve also proposed additional internal, administrative oversight
regarding complaints of abuse of Stop & Frisk, at minimal cost to the
taxpayers. I also urge enhanced training at the Police Academy – both
initially as Recruit Officers & via in service (ongoing) training, focusing
specifically upon better, smarter, and more effective Stop & Frisk
encounters. Increased sensitivity training regarding ethnic & religious
minorities, presented on a yearly basis, would also be of tremendous value.
If we know each other better, we’re less likely to see citizens as dangerous
aliens, i.e. halt the ‘us vs. them’ mentality.
Requesting the Communications Division to re broadcast the wanted
perpetrator’s description, when feasible and consistent both with Police
Officers’ safety and the ends of justice, would permit individuals stopped
pursuant to Stop & Frisk to see that it wasn’t being applied arbitrarily or
capriciously.
NYPD has tremendous, state of the art resources available to her;
however, these resources are not always properly utilized. The ‘Real Time
Crime Center’ could provide a daily transmission of serious street crimes,
including Robbery, to various overhead commands, which in turn could
disseminate this data to the 77 precincts, which cover the entire City of
New York. This would allow Stop & Frisks to be directed to exactly the
appropriate places at exactly the appropriate times, i.e. when & where the
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violent crimes are occurring. This is exactly what’s needed. My proposed
changes would allow timely & proper deployment of enforcement teams,
especially Patrol units, to implement better – focused Stop & Frisk street
encounters, where they are most needed and most appropriate. By laser –
focusing Stop & Frisks where they’re needed most, we will maintain a
unified chain of command. Where feasible, re – broadcasting the stopped
person’s description to demonstrate the legitimacy of these Stop & Frisks,
in addition to better training, will increase both transparency and
professionalism.
Numerous members of the public hold the notion that NYPD Police
Officers are indiscriminately stopping citizens, often without sufficient
cause. My proposed changes go a long way in diminishing illegal Stop &
Frisks, thereby rebuilding the public’s confidence in the NYPD. My
suggestions regarding a re - broadcast of the perpetrator’s description;
smarter, more focused & more limited use of Stop & Frisk, in addition to
training & oversight will help to rebuild bridges. This matters tremendously
& we can do this together.
Simply explained, we must strike a delicate, but attainable, balance
between protecting New Yorkers from both crime & terrorism, and
protecting their civil liberties. Doing so, via improvements to the
implementation of Stop & Frisk street encounters, will protect new Yorkers
from violent street crime, while concomitantly building bridges to lower
income, often minority, communities throughout New York City for
generations to come. A few, relatively simplistic changes can fix this
incredibly divisive issue.
The NYPD is the finest law enforcement organization in the world, with no
exceptions. In 2012, the NYPD reported the following activity citywide:
● 4,107,144 Radio Runs;
● 497,323 Total Crime Complaints;
● 873,528 Arrests and Criminal Court Summons issued;
● 532,911 Stop & Frisk reports generated.
These numbers are most impressive, and I’d like to focus on the Stop &
Frisk policies. I argue that several things need to be changed for Stop &
Frisk to become more effective as a crime fighting strategy, both legally &
operationally: 1. A change of leadership within the NYPD, i.e. less focused
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simply upon generation of numbers, such as aggregate number of Stop &
Frisk reports prepared by Patrol Officers; 2. a revised Stop & Frisk Patrol
Guide procedure (including the possibility of the stopping Police Officer
requesting a Communications Division re – broadcast of the description of
the wanted perpetrator), 3. a revised Stop & Frisk worksheet (which is
carried by Patrol Police Officers), 4. (a.) a new simple form to be handed
out, which I’ve presented, 4. (b) creation of a new sub –unit within the
Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate Stop& Frisk complaints, 5. enhanced
training at the Police Academy – both initially as Recruit Officers & via in
service (ongoing) training, 6. Establishment of a direct correlation between
the FBI’s UCR & Stop & Frisk street enforcement, as updated via
Compstat, and 7. a daily transmission, via the ‘Real Time Crime Center’ of
the ‘seven major crimes’, i.e. Robbery in particular, to the respective Patrol
Boroughs, with subsequent distribution to all respective commands. This
would allow timely & proper deployment of enforcement teams, especially
Patrol units, to implement Stop & Frisk street encounters, where they are
more needed and most appropriate.
My four main points, as a distillation:
 Focus Stop & Frisk where it’s most needed;
 Expect & accept fewer, but better, Stop & Frisk
encounters;
 Implementation of better training & administrative
oversight regarding Stop & Frisk;
 Re – broadcast the description of the wanted
perpetrator, to demonstrate that Police Officers
aren’t stopping citizens indiscriminately, when
consistent with both safety & the ends of justice.
Measurement of aggregate numbers of Stop & Frisk street
encounters and attendant generation of UF 250s, i.e. Stop & Frisk
Reports, primarily due to Compstat – related pressure, should be
replaced by fewer, higher quality Stop & Frisk Reports, driven by better,
more specific and legally accurate training. Stop & Frisk Reports must
NOT be used as a measure of productivity.
As I wrote, New York City is not Iraq. Enhanced training, both
initially for Police Recruits at the Police Academy and ongoing for Police
Officers via in – service training, is key to both teaching a revised
procedure initially, and for following up upon initial training to ensure
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proper implementation thereof, on an ongoing basis.
Police
Commissioner Bratton can order this training, if he sees fit to do so.
Additionally, and more importantly, Commissioner Bratton can reduce
the aggregate use of Stop& Frisk street encounters in such a way as to
use Stop & Frisk more intelligently, more selectively & legally. This will
reduce crime, particularly violent street crime, and will rebuild the Police
– community bond, which is currently in shambles. Stop & Frisk must
not be viewed as either a mechanism of oppression or as a vehicle to
simply produce meaningless ‘enforcement numbers’, in an attempt to
appease select, affluent sections of New York City.
My suggestion is that Stop & Frisk street encounters be directly
linked to crime statistics, i.e. where violent street crimes, Robbery in
particular, are occurring, via a direct link to the FBI’s Seven Major
Crimes Index (as continually updated by NYPD’s Compstat Unit and
NYPD’s ‘Real Time Crime Center’). This has not been the case under
former Police Commissioner Kelly, but it appears to be so under
Commissioner Bratton.
Precinct Commanding Officers and Executive Officers have
traditionally reviewed all Complaint (crime) Reports, which occurred
within the proceeding 24 – 72 hours. This is well established precedent.
My proposal regarding daily transmissions from the Real Time Crime
Center simply uses under - utilized technology to facilitate & streamline
said review.
In 2001, then President George W. Bush told a joint session of
Congress regarding Racial Profiling that “It’s wrong and we will end it in
America”. Racial profiling is wrong; criminal profiling, by contrast, is not
wrong. The majority of NYPD Police Officers conduct legal & proper
stops. A small, but significant, minority of Police Officers have
conducted illegal & improper Stop & Frisks. This trend must cease.
Additionally, real penalties must follow for NYPD Police Officers who are
clearly proven to have blatantly & willingly disregarded both NYPD policy
& New York State law.
NYPD Police Commissioner Bratton has assumed leadership of
the NYPD on January 1, 2014. Under Police Chief Bratton’s most
recent leadership, LAPD Officers conducted legal and fruitful Stop &
Frisk encounters far more frequently than did NYPD Officers. I am NOT
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faulting NYPD Patrol Officers, who are both national and international
models of excellence in policing, but I do reference the high percentage
of arrests that flowed from these Stop & Frisk street encounters in Los
Angeles, in comparison to New York, i.e. 30% vs. 6%. NYPD can, and I
believe will, follow this model, with the return of Police Commissioner
Bratton to NYPD. We’re heading in the right direction. Welcome back!
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III.
Introduction / Scope of Work.
My intention is to critically examine the existing NYPD ‘Stop,
Question & Frisk’ operating directive, considering both recent legislation &
court rulings, with the intention of promulgating a revised procedure, which
will not only facilitate removal of illegal guns from the streets, but will
ensure both Police Officers’ safety and augmentation of the currently
waning Police – Community bond, i.e. to fix the broken Social Contract.
I feel that Stop & Frisk should be mended – not
ended. It should not be used as a blunt instrument, ignoring in many
instances citizens’ constitutional rights, but should be used much more
selectively & effectively throughout New York City. A change of NYPD
leadership occurred on January 1, 2014 – this is a positive step, since
Police Commissioner Bratton agrees with my position on this issue.
Enhanced training, both initially for Police Recruits at the Police Academy
and ongoing for Police Officers via In – Service training, is key to both
teaching a revised procedure initially, and for following up upon initial
training to ensure proper implementation thereof, on an ongoing basis.
Police Commissioner Bratton can order this training, if he sees fit to do so.
Additionally, the revised Patrol Guide procedure, which I present and
the revised Stop & Frisk form, also presented, will facilitate better,
more effective, and less intrusive use of Stop & Frisk throughout New York
City in the years to come. A top – down change in Police operations,
focusing upon using Stop & Frisk both more selectively & legally, and not
as a blunt instrument, and highly focused, via a direct link to the FBI’s
Unified Crime Report, will ensure that Stop & Frisk will be applied
intelligently & legally. The FBI’s uniformed Crime Report, as updated by
NYPD’s Compstat process will allow Stop & Frisk to be used legally &
intelligently.
Stop & Frisk not only helps to reduce violent street crimes,
specifically Robberies, but also aids Detectives, who are charged with
apprehending wanted perpetrators. Detectives normally run a suspects’
name to ascertain when and where s/he may have been stopped via a Stop
& Frisk encounter in the past – in an effort to locate him or her in the future.
Additionally, and equally importantly, perpetrators are now very much
aware that they should not routinely carry weapons, because, especially in
certain areas or neighborhoods and at certain times, the likelihood of a
Stop & Frisk by the NYPD is quite high. They know this reality, so our
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tactics need to somewhat evolve.
Briefly, the ‘Compstat’ process utilizes computer technology to
pinpoint & to examine crime patterns in different geographical areas,
divided up into Patrol Precincts, Transit Districts, and Housing Police
Service Areas. It, theoretically, facilitates a pooling of NYPD resources
with fresh ideas to yield a potent arsenal, with which to battle emerging
crime patterns, particularly violent street crimes, such as Robbery.
Regrettably, what’s occurred over time is devolution of ‘Compstat’ to simply
a never – ending quest for lower crime statistics. A direct result of this
quest has been the push for generation of UF 250s, i.e. ‘Stop, Question &
Frisk’ reports.
It’s an impressive accomplishment for any Precinct
Commander to boast of his / her personnel having generated high numbers
of UF 250s – particularly at high crime locations & during high crime time
frames., better known as ‘crime spikes’. This sends a clear message that
he / she is using appropriate resources in an effective way to attempt to
reduce violent street crime in their respective commands.
Conversely, it also puts tremendous pressure upon Patrol Officers to
generate UF250s, and herein lies the dilemma! Patrol Officers are
pressured to cut corners, meaning to conduct Stop & Frisks, thereby
generating UF 250s, sometimes without the required legal prerequisite for
so doing, i.e. ‘reasonable suspicion’.
This violates citizens’ rights,
undermines Police – Community relations, and fails to produce a genuine
reduction in weapon possession or violent street crimes. However, it looks
great at monthly ‘Compstat’ meetings. It has help propel many Precinct
Commanders into the highest Executive ranks of the NYPD, but at what
cost?
New York City’s economy grew dramatically due to improvements in
public safety, which, in turn grew to the efforts of NYPD Police Officers,
significantly including the implementation of Stop & Frisk policies. This
policy must continue as a sine qua non, but must be fundamentally altered
both in form & in a tangible, substantive manner; I shall attempt to do so via
my proposed changes to this policy.
Recently the NYC Council passed legislation, having overridden a
Mayoral veto, which prohibits racial profiling, sharply curtails NYPD’s use of
‘Stop & Frisk’, and provides citizens with legal recourse in many, specific
instances. Additionally, a Federal Judge placed additional restrictions upon
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NYPD’s use of ‘Stop & Frisk’, which, very recently, have actually been
countermanded & stayed by a three – judge appellate panel. I’m not
attempting an in depth legal review per se, but simply a critical analysis,
within a common sense framework. I’ll address each issue in greater
detail, but, without any doubt, the current situation is a shambles. I hope
my proposed amendments and subsequent publication, perhaps even in an
incremental manner, contribute to rebuilding Police – Community relations
& trust, and thereby help to ensure both individual Police Officer &
attendant public safety. It is my honor to attempt to ameliorate this
situation. We can and must do better!
As presented in my ‘Summation of Topic’, above, I argue that several
things need to be changed for Stop & Frisk to become more effective as a
crime fighting strategy, both legally & operationally.
A change of leadership within the NYPD, i.e. less focused simply upon
generation of numbers, such as aggregate number of Stop & Frisk reports
is crucial. Revising the Stop & Frisk Patrol Guide procedure, which I’ve
presented, a new simple form to be handed out, which I’ve presented, the
creation of a new sub –unit within the Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate
Stop& Frisk complaints, which I’ve proposed, enhanced training at the
Police Academy – both initially as Recruit Officers & via in service
(ongoing) training, are all important. Focusing specifically upon better,
smarter, and more effective Stop & Frisk encounters, as described in my
new Patrol Guide procedure and establishment of a direct correlation
between the FBI’s UCR & Stop & Frisk street enforcement, as continuously
tweaked by the NYPD’s Compstat process and a daily transmission, via the
‘Real Time Crime Center’, of the ‘seven major crimes’, i.e. Robbery in
particular, to the respective Patrol Boroughs is crucial. Subsequent
distribution to all respective commands would then facilitate Stop & Frisk
enforcement to occur where it’s needed most. These changes would allow
timely & proper deployment of enforcement teams, especially Patrol units,
to implement Stop & Frisk street encounters, where they are most
appropriate.
Currently, NYPD Police Academy Instructors teach Stop & Frisk
protocols, both from a legal & a tactical perspective. It would be simple and
most effective to incorporate my suggested changes into the existing
protocols. Tremendous revisions need not be made; I simply suggest the
addition of my listed NYPD Patrol Guide additions to the current Stop &
Frisk procedure. These revisions will enhance Police – community
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relations and will place those few Patrol Officers who were acting recklessly
on notice that misconduct, including illegal search & seizure, will not be
tolerated.
The minority of Police Officers who’ve habitually conducted illegal
Stop & Frisks merit tangible, potent, negative administrative sanctions and
punishment, subsequent to an administrative hearing. This is quite
possible, because the legal standard of proof at NYPD’s ‘trial room’ is
‘preponderance of the evidence’, i.e. 51 % vs. 49 %, in favor of either an
administrative conviction, or an administrative acquittal. This must be
contrasted with the must more stringent legal standard of ‘proof beyond a
reasonable doubt’, i.e. the legal requirement for a criminal conviction. The
NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of trials oversees & adjudicates
departmental, administrative hearings against Police officers, at the ‘trial
room’. Therefore, administratively at the ‘trial room’, it’s far easier to
prosecute and punish police Officers, than it is to do so criminally. Police
Officers absolutely do deserve the presumption of innocence. However,
fear of negative administrative, departmental sanctions should serve notice
to the minority of Police Officers, who have conducted illegal Stop & Frisks,
that conducting illegal Stop & Frisks will no longer be tolerated. Bending
the rules, i.e. denying citizens’ their constitutional rights, is unacceptable,
even if motivated by concerns for public safety. This is and will remain a
powerful deterrent.
Racial profiling is wrong; criminal profiling, by contrast, is not wrong.
Simply blanketing an area with Stop & Frisk enforcement produces great
enforcement numbers, but at what cost? Police Commanders’ careers are
enhanced and enforcement numbers are driven higher - artificially, but
numerous citizens’ collective constitutional rights are sacrificed, to a greater
or lesser degree. This is not acceptable. What worked as a surge in Iraq
will not work in New York City. As written in my first, and most important,
proposed change, emphasis must be placed upon quality and
constitutionally permissible enforcement activity, as opposed to simply
hammering a high – crime area, in a never – ending effort to produce high
enforcement street contacts. A large segment of our city is beginning to
distrust the NYPD, as illustrated by my video link. This trend must be
reversed, before the damage is irreversible. Additionally, better sensitivity
training would decrease the “us vs. them” mentality. Seeing peoples of
diverse communities as fellow New York City citizens and not as potential
14
enemies would help heal the current, dangerously wide, police –
community chasm.
VIDEO
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rWtDMPaRD8
The inclusion of this video is intended not specifically to shock, but to
engender critical thinking and dialogue, in addition to present a fair &
balanced examination of both sides of the contentious issue of Stop &
Frisk. There exists a small minority within communities throughout New
York City, and the entire United States in point of fact, that view Police
Officers not as valuable public servants, but as alien, hostile, militarized
forces, emanating from outside of respective communities, which exist
simply to generate money and enforcement statistics for the powers that
be, i.e. to maintain the socioeconomic status quo. They see local police as
a hostile, foreign army, which routinely, and in fact by deliberate design,
preys upon hard – working residents - thus, harming them tremendously.
“The Hunted and the Hated; An Inside Look at the NYPD’s Stop
& Frisk Policy”, published on October 9, 2012 & viewed by over 14,00
people, is the video I choose to highlight the severe and persistent
problems regarding the improper implementation of the NYPD’s Stop &
Frisk policies. The video speaks of approximately 1% of Stop & Frisks, out
of a total of 600,000 Stop & Frisk encounters, actually yielding a weapon. It
also asserts that 87 % of persons stopped were Black or Latino. These
figures are, in and of themselves, compelling. However, the emotional and
sincere testimony by Officer X, who speaks out anonymously (in silhouette)
to confirm Alvin’s assertions, and especially of Alvin are what convinced me
that this video must lay the foundation for all the changes for which I argue
in this paper. Officer X supports the notion that Police commanders are
inappropriately pressuring subordinate officers to conduct illegal Stop &
Frisk enforcement operations.
I selected this video, after reviewing over fifty similar videos. There
were many viable videos, but I am very enthusiastic about this one. The
main narrator is Alvin, a black male 17 years of age, who currently resides
in Harlem. Alvin surreptitiously recorded several instances of his having
been unlawfully stopped by NYPD Officers, without any just cause
15
whatsoever. Alvin is understandably very skeptical of NYPD’s Stop & Frisk
policies. Trevor, a black male 19 years of age, who currently resides in
Brooklyn, adds his equally negative opinion regarding the recent and in fact
ongoing implementation of NYPD’s Stop & Frisk protocols. Alvin had once
aspired to join the NYPD, but has been so discouraged by his negative
interactions with NYPD Officers, that his dream has been derailed. This
public service, community oriented young man, with no criminal record, has
been persuaded to pursue other interests by a few NYPD Officers. That is
a
disgrace!
The
underlying
story
is
available
at
http://www.thenation.com/article/1704..., on Video Nation.
As a former Patrol Police Officer, it is absolutely personally
compelling for me to more closely consider this position. I comprehensively
saw the other side; perhaps it’s fair time to view this issue panoramically,
and to consider different perspectives. This presentation does not assert
that I agree with the statements of its author, but that we should attempt to
view the world from other people’s perspectives and through their eyes.
Common ground is more readily achieved by so doing. We don’t
necessarily have to completely agree on every topic, but we must
peacefully live and work together. Reaching some common ground helps
us to do just that. I do believe that the best place to begin is by an
invitation to understanding others’ views on the world.
Their stories are very compelling, but the primary reason for having
selected this video is because an active NYPD officer – appearing in
silhouette - adds his commentary regarding Stop & Frisk policies. This is
both dramatic and compelling. He concurs with, and validates, all of my
assertions regarding recent and ongoing NYPD Stop & Frisk policies. He
asserts that Precinct Commanding Officers desire only promotion to Deputy
Inspector and that Precinct Executive Officers desire only to become
Commanding Officers. His main point is that they put tremendous and
inappropriate pressure upon Sergeants and upon Patrol Police Officers to
produce vast quantities of Stop & Frisk reports, i.e. UF 250s. A retired
Police Officer asserts that Police Commanders desire Stop & Frisk quotas,
even if they mask the term quota in other, less offensive, language, such as
performance goals.
I picked a video that portrayed a somewhat jaded perspective on Stop
& Frisk street encounters. I did not pick this video because it corroborates
my position, but because it adds both depth and perspective to my
16
analysis. Analyzing numbers regarding Stop & Frisk is necessary, but not
good enough. We must set aside our own biases and examine this
compelling issue from the perspective of a few young men who have
experienced it firsthand, and from Patrol Police Officers, who express grave
concern regarding both its implementation and the attendant pressure
placed upon Police Officers to generate numbers – who almost total
disregard for the manner in which those numbers are achieved.
Alvin’s audio is the only known recording of the NYPD’s controversial
Stop & Frisk program in action. The Nation, aka Video Nation, aired :The
Hunted & the Hated: An Inside look at the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk Policy”. If
one copies & pastes this web link, or presses Ctrl + Click, the video is
viewable on line on You Tube. It speaks for itself.
Racial profiling is a very divisive issue, which many in academia and
legal circles have opined has invited both federal oversight and honest,
open dialogue. In addition to New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles
may well need to revise their Stop & Frisk policies, which are potentially the
by- product of racial profiling. Its roots may well be grounded in decades –
old prejudices; prejudices that contemporary white Americans need to
address. I concur to a certain point. Stop & Frisk stops have saved lives, if
for no other reason, by diminishing the tremendous number of illegal guns
being carried until the mid 1990s.
(Hutchinson, 2013)
Analyzing any social issue / problem from merely an academic and /
or statistical point of view is never a positive. “12 Angry Men” is a collection
of essays by contemporary black men in America, which portrays the
American experience from the subjective viewpoint of black men in
contemporary America. One’s personal perspective can always benefit
from a view of the outside world from a different, sometimes diametrically
opposed point of view.
Allowing oneself extra time to get to work or school because one
anticipates being pulled over by the police – never even occurred to me.
Being accused of casing homes in order to burglarize them, when one was
merely returning home after work – was an experience I’ve never had.
Being stopped & frisked on a daily basis, even sometimes more than once
in a single day, is also an experience, which I’ve never had any experience
of.
17
Joe Morgan, a former Major League Baseball MVP, was tackled and
falsely arrested, while walking in his own neighborhood in Washington,
D.C.; Kent, a devoted husband and father, was stopped and searched
when he visited his mother’s housing project; Solomon Moore, a criminal
justice reporter for the New York Times, reported repeated, negative
interactions with the local police. Although there is absolutely some
thematic repetition, these essays on racial profiling are extraordinarily
compelling, from a human interest point of view. Contributors were from
very diverse backgrounds; were of different education levels, varied
professions, varied ages, varied socioeconomic upbringings, but were all
black males.
I’m actually not exaggerating when I observe that being stopped by
police, in many different, primarily black, communities across America, has
actually come to be viewed as a rite of passage, similar to one’s first job or
prom date! One essayist commented that he felt that “It sometimes feels
like my humanity is being chipped away”. This is indeed sad.
All these essayists have alleged that they were forced to either
produce identification; were frisker and / or searched, were forced to stand
by while their vehicles were searched, or were merely detained repeatedly
for flimsy or no reason at all.
A sports writer successfully sued police officers in court. Several
other have publicly argued with stopping police officers regarding the
constitutionality of said stops. (Parks & Hughey, 2010)
The stories of these essayists should not be ignored, but we must
seek an objective counter balance. Until recent years, dealing with racism
actually united black Americans, rich & poor alike. Both economic classes
could count on daily injustices. Since the civil rights era, however, racism
has been in steady decline. White supremacists have been replaced by a
generation of white Americans, who’ve been raised on The Cosby Show &
Oprah Winfrey. Prestigious schools and corporations alike actively recruit
minority applicants. In summation, opportunities for mainstream blacks are
on par with those of mainstream whites. Racially tinged snubs are little
more than an annoyance.
Meanwhile, members of the quite large black underclass struggle to secure
such basics as nutrition, employment and personal safety. Their
opportunities for social advancement are stuck somewhere near
18
Reconstruction. For them, racism is much more a fact of life. (Ford, 2012)
Former Mayor Bloomberg repeatedly stated that members of
minorities were not being stopped too frequently, but had been stopped in
direct proportion to their descriptions, as matching persons wanted for
arrest or questioning in murders. Bloomberg stated that over 90 % of
murder suspects were of minority status, while only 7 % were white, and
the percentages of whites stopped by police amounted to more than 9%.
Minorities accounted for over 80% of perpetrators, who are wanted for all
crimes. A close examination of the statistics reveals that violent crimes,
including murder, accounted for approximately 25 % of all crimes within
New York City. When other non - violent crimes, such as larceny and drug
possession, are factored in, whites comprise 14 % of all suspects. This
would under represent their numbers in the general population of all
persons subject to Stop & Frisk.
The Daily News examined a neighborhood comprised primarily of
white & Asian residents. Blacks & Latinos were still being stopped at
higher rates, despite the fact that whites & Asians represented the majority
of crime suspects.
90 % of all persons stopped, pursuant to Stop & Frisk, were found to
be innocent of any criminal activity, and 87 % of all stops were of Blacks or
Latinos. Less than 0.2 % of all stops yielded an illegal firearm. Former
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had cited the removal of illegal firearms as
an initial reason for aggressively pursuing Stop & Frisk enforcement
initially.
Minorities commit the vast majority of homicides, and represent the
vast majority of persons stopped via Stop & Frisk. There is both justice &
injustice in this reality. At a prima facie glance, it would appear just, and it
is to a certain extent; however, those stopped without just cause are still
being denied their constitutional rights.
Pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, stopping a person on the street for
suspicious behavior without a warrant has been both legal and
incorporated in virtually all police jurisdictions nationwide since 1968.
Racial profiling, however, is not and never has been legal. (Goyette, 2010)
19
THE INCREASING MILITARIZATION OF
AMERICAN DOMESTIC LAW ENFORCEMENT
I am a retired NYPD Captain. I am also a veteran of the US Navy
Reserve, having received an Honorable Discharge, after seven years of
reserve service. I would like to add my rather unique perspective, speaking
first & most importantly as an American citizen, second as a US Navy
veteran, and finally as a retired NYPD Captain.
I am worried! I am troubled by the increasing militarization of
domestic law enforcement agencies, and the general public’s apathy
thereto. Sometime around the peak of civil disturbances in America, circa
the late 1960s and early 1070s, an article entitled ‘The Vietnamization of
Main Street’ was published. The author bemoaned developing trends in
American law enforcement such as increasingly aggressive tactics,
enhanced armament and a military mindset. The author felt that these
were dangerous influences from the Viet Nam war, which had been brought
home and recklessly & inappropriately applied to domestic policing. Years
ago, I dismissed this article as more typical propaganda being distributed
by socialists, communists, revolutionaries & assorted radicals of the time,
particularly in urban areas & universities, whose sole purpose was to ‘stick
it to the man’. (Wells, 1970, 38 -40)
To be clear, I still believe that fringe, radical elements of our society
profit greatly from false, baseless attacks on law enforcement. These kinds
of persons helped to organize the civil disturbances of the 1960s & 1970s,
and propagated them with the assistance of ‘useful idiots’, like left – leaning
college students and the urban poor. These revolutionaries continue to
spew lies & propaganda, and many of them are now at the controls of
government, unions, and educational institutions. They are currently very
much ‘inside the system’, where they can cause maximum damage and
chaos. Many of these individuals hate law enforcement and are more than
happy to co – opt ‘police militarization’ as a new weapon to attack law
enforcement. However, there’s more to be said on this growing trend.
Forty years later, I’m not so certain that the author may not have
correctly identified a growing, frightening trend in domestic law
enforcement. Even though radicals have jumped on the bandwagon to
achieve their end, this doesn’t negate the underlying concerns about police
militarization. American policing has evolved significantly in the last several
20
decades; perhaps more quickly than ever before in American history.
Tactics, equipment, technology & procedures are radically different today
than they were 40 years ago.
In objective fairness, American Police are the best trained and most
restrained in the entire world. However, we must never allow surplus
military supplies to be used as articles of subjugation against the American
people. Departments must never justify receipt of these military vehicles by
using them to enforce minor infractions. There is an evolving body of
evidence to suggest that this trend is emerging throughout the United
Sates.
For decades, Police Officers carried a .38 handgun, extra
ammunition, a night stick, a flashlight, and handcuffs. Most were not even
issued a portable radio. Today, in addition to all of the above, police
officers carry OC spray, electrical discharge weapons, advanced radios,
lasers, collapsible batons, among other new technologically – driven pieces
of equipment. SWAT teams, armored personnel carriers, sniper teams,
hostage negotiation teams, helicopters, automatic weapons, explosives,
remotely piloted drones, night vision goggles, dash cams, gang teams,
mobile computer terminals, and mobile command & control vehicles are but
some of the recent changes to domestic law enforcement. Contemporary
Police Officers sometimes look more like Navy Seals than Police Officers.
A by-product of the Gulf war’s de-escalations is a flood of surplus military
equipment into the civilian market, i.e. local law enforcement agencies.
More significantly, police procedures and underlying philosophies
have evolved, and not in a positive direction. Forty years ago, Police
Officers referred to the public they served as ‘citizens’, i.e. non law
enforcement personnel. It was widely understood that Police Officers were
also citizens whose job was to serve & protect other citizens. Police
Officers were understood to be members of the communities they policed,
in accordance with constitutional principles. This mindset has virtually
disappeared from contemporary policing. Today, by contrast, Police
Officers refer to members of the public as ‘civilians’. The distinction
between citizen and civilian may seem subtle, but it is not. Contemporary
Police Officers often seem to believe that they are part of the US military –
and they are not. Domestic law enforcement officers are not members of
the uniformed services, and are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military
21
Justice. Police Officers are part of ‘civilian’ society as well, although an
emerging mindset among Police Officers is to the contrary.
It appears that many new Police Officers do not comprehend the
source of their power & authority. The uniquely American concept that
government, and by extension its officers, derives its power from the
consent of the governed is lost on them. This is particularly strange given
the emphasis this idea is given within the legitimate military society, which
many of these Police Officers are trying to emulate.
Many contemporary Police Officers are likely to believe that a
different set of laws or rules applies to them, as opposed to ‘civilians’. A
simple example of this would be LEOSA, i.e. HR 218, which is a federal law
permitting active and retired Police Officers to carry their firearms anywhere
within the United States, including for personal use. This privilege does not
apply to fellow citizens, who currently are not and never were law
enforcement officers. Citizens may carry firearms only within their state of
residence / permit issuance, in addition to any other states which recognize
firearm permits from their state of residence. This seems reasonable to
many police Officers; however, they fail to understand that a system which
grants some groups of citizens more rights & privileges than their fellow
citizens is fundamentally flawed, unconstitutional and un – American.
(le.nra.org.)
Yes, there is a risk having American domestic law enforcement
equipped with state of the art military equipment, but, more troubling is the
fostering an attendant mindset or attitude that law enforcement officers are
somehow a society unto themselves, subject to a different set of laws and
standards than the public, whom they serve & protect, and can
disassociate themselves from that public. This is the most dangerous
aspect of the militarization of our police. If left unchecked, this will lead to
abuses and violations of the constitutional and natural rights of the
citizenry. We’ve already witnessed the leading edges of this development
in places like post – Katrina in New Orleans; post – bombing in Boston,
where the relationship between the police and their public has been
damaged. The police and the public, from which Police Officers come,
should be natural allies, and have been for most of American history. We
must not allow the current trend of Police militarization to destroy this
uniquely American relationship; we must guard against this emerging threat
to our liberty & pursuit of happiness. (Wood, 2014)
22
The use of terror by the United States of America is historically quite
strong. I feel that America is a great nation, having liberated millions
throughout particularly the 1900s. Americans are also a generous people,
donating more to charity than any other country on earth, and by far the
most in human history. However, we have a dark side.
American history is replete with examples of governmental over reach
and abuse, including the use of terror to gain compliance by its citizens and
by foreigners, alike. Several early examples include slavery, General
Sherman’s brutal ‘march to the sea’ towards the end of the Civil War;
President Coolidge’s use of the US Army to break up the Boston Police
strike, and , President Hoover’s use of the US Army to break up the
Veteran’s protest in Washington, D.C., amongst others.
At the beginning of World War II, the United States, with the blessing
of the Supreme Court, interned over one million Japanese Americans, who
lived on the west coast of the United States, in camps, which were guarded
by American Military Police. This was done without trial, habeas corpus, or
right to appellate review. At the end of World War II, America dropped two
atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These
cities were NOT military targets, comprised mainly of civilians, not soldiers.
I assert that these two acts, particularly the second, were done to shock the
Japanese people, and to use sheer terror – in order to achieve our goal.
Subsequent to the horrific impact of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans,
Police Officers seized lawfully - possessed firearms, without just cause and
absent Probable Cause. This should have raised many more red flags
than it did.
The Patriot Act, passed subsequent to the terror attacks of 9-11-01,
allows, amongst other things, the National Security Agency to conduct
warrant-less cell phone searches, with only weak judicial review. Under the
guise of fighting the so – called war on terror, Americans have lost some
basic civil liberties.
So – called enhanced interrogations, used at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by US military personnel, i.e. “water boarding” are
clearly forms of torture, admittedly less in ferocity than other forms, but
troubling none the less. (gpo.gov)
23
Emergencies such as Katrina or the amorphous war on terror do not
and cannot justify suspension of the Bill of Rights, i.e. the first ten
Constitutional Amendments, which protect Americans from governmental
intrusion & abuses.
The National Defense Authorization Act allows any ‘declared enemy
of the United States’ to be arrested for ‘aiding the enemy’, however this is
interpreted to have occurred. Additionally, under The Military Commissions
Act, the President of the United States has the sole authority to declare
martial law. (govtrack.us)
It is easily understandable why Police Officers need to be better
armed & equipped than those, whom they intend to take enforcement
action, i.e. to arrest. They risk their lives on a daily basis, and they desire
to return home at the end of their shift / tour of duty. A big display of force
can make a suspect think twice about pulling a gun. This aspect is
understandable. NYPD Commissioner Bratton recently said “An awful lot
of SWAT tactics are focused on forcing the suspect to surrender”.
(Economist.com)
Civil libertarians such as Radley Balko, the author of “Rise of the
Warrior Cop”, fear that American police are becoming too much like
soldiers. Special Weapons & Tactics Teams (SWAT) were initially formed
to counteract civil unrest and life – threatening situations, such as shoot
outs, hostage rescue, serving high – risk warrants, and entering barricaded
buildings. These instances were severe, but relatively rare. Peter Kraska,
a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies,
estimates that SWAT teams were deployed about 3,000 times per year in
1980, compared with approximately 50,000 times per year today. Wow! In
2010, New Haven, Connecticut deployed a SWAT team to a bar to stop
underage drinking. This same year, heavily armed Police raided barber
shops around Orlando, purportedly searching for guns & drugs, and
discovered nothing. They did, however, arrest 34 persons for “barbering
without a license”. (Economist.com)
Police departments across America are fairly routinely purchasing
surplus military supplies, including tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers
(APCs). By 2007, more than 80% of police departments across America
with populations between 25,000 – 50,000 people had SWAT teams.
SWAT teams proliferated as violent crime diminished.
Many smaller
24
departments, particularly those located in relative close proximity to larger
departments, fear being left behind and reportedly desire to keep up with
the alleged cutting edge in law enforcement – in an era of terror.
(Economist.com)
An equally disturbing trend is the dramatic increase in “no knock”
warrants, i.e. search warrants which allow police to enter a private
residence without knocking first if they have a reasonable suspicion that
knocking would either endanger anyone’s safety or facilitate the destruction
of evidence, particularly drug – related evidence. Many heavy – handed
SWAT teams have been deployed for non – violent, non – dangerous
crimes, i.e. possession of stolen property. I must wonder aloud – why?
Federal grant money has been allocated – first to combat illegal drugs
& second to combat terror. This money has largely paid for SWAT teams
and military equipment. Additionally the Pentagon offers surplus military
kits to domestic police force. By 205, over 17,000 departments were so
equipped. Body armor and helmets are understandable, but I question the
deployment of an armored personnel carrier, with a revolving turret. 58%
of Americans believe that the use of drones, military weapons and armored
vehicles by the Police has “gone too far”. (Economist.com) I concur!
Many departments utilize forfeiture laws, which disproportionately
impact low – income people, to seize property. For example, the police can
seize anything determined to be “proceeds of a crime”. In theory, drugs
found in someone’s home would allow seizure and sale of this property.
The local departments often earn a percentage of the proceeds from any
such sale. SWAT teams facilitate this seizure.
It is both an objective and economic fact that endless war will
facilitate further diminishment of Fourth Amendment Constitutional
protections. I don’t argue for elimination of SWAT teams, but I rail against
using them to serve warrants on people accused of non violent crimes and
to break up poker games. Stop & Frisk in New York City has recently
approached the paramilitary level of SWAT teams in other parts of
America. NYPD calls its SWAT team the Emergency Service Unit, and had
not abused ESU, but has used Stop & Frisk in a too – broad, heavy handed
manner. The mechanisms have been slightly different, i.e. over use of
SWAT vs. over use of Stop & Frisk, but the common denominator is the
same, i.e. the abuse of Police authority vs. American citizens. Although I
25
strongly assert that Police Officers absolutely DO deserve the presumption
of innocence, they must act with tempered restraint!
Commissioner Bratton, as I describe in my interview has thankfully
reversed this dangerous trend. Thank God!
26
IV.
History of ‘Compstat’ & its impact (via ‘Broken
Windows theory’) Upon crime trends in NYC
Over the last two decades –
First things First! Describing as an incredible adventure being a
New York City Police Officer in the 1980s is a tremendous understatement!
Having recently graduated from college, I began my NYPD career in Patrol
Borough Brooklyn South, specifically in the 67 Precinct & the 63 Precinct,
i.e. East Flatbush & Flatbush, Brooklyn, respectively. The 1980s were
unique, and were arguably the busiest, most violent times in the 265 – year
history of the NYPD. Additionally, the crime reduction paradigms employed
by the NYPD in the 1980s initially reduced crime to historic lows, and
subsequently created a crime – reduction role model and example for most
large American cities’ crime fighting paradigms - throughout the United
States. This role model exists to this day throughout the United States.
Vast areas of New York City, during the 1980s, were plagued by
gangs, violent street crime, and drugs. It was common for neighborhood
residents to understand that one simply didn’t go outside after dark, and
that certain street corners and blocks had to be avoided at all costs. This
was common knowledge. In one calendar year, in one Police Precinct, the
77 Precinct in Brooklyn (one, out of 76 Patrol Precincts), there were more
homicides than in the entire city of Boston! This situation had to change,
but change is never easy, and very often comes at a high price.
Re - gentrification involves the movement into an inner city
neighborhood of well educated, mobile young professionals. They bring in
money, careers & families to (very often quite recently) decaying, drug
ridden, crime ridden, gang infested neighborhoods.
They refurbish
brownstones, import expensive boutiques & shops, and raise property
values across northern Manhattan& northern Brooklyn. This is often done
to the consternation of indigenous residents, who can’t compete with these
new well off interlopers. Quite often a high end, luxury building is located
adjacent to a low income, section eight, public housing project. I examine
this phenomenon because it has been rapidly transforming vast areas of
New York City for the past fifteen years, almost unaffected by the recent
economic recession. Most importantly, because vast areas of Patrol
Borough Manhattan North & Patrol Borough Brooklyn North are
demographically changing, old, outdated crime strategies, specifically
focused upon over - employment of Stop & Frisk as a blunt instrument in
27
vast areas of so – called ‘bad neighborhoods’ can’t continue. Truth be told,
it should never have been so employed in the past, but, having said this,
we must move on proactively, but not aggressively, and within legal
boundaries, and linked to current, topical crime spikes, as broadly
determined by the Uniformed Crime Report, and as focused or tweaked by
the more timely & up to date Compstat process.
Where do we begin? The ‘Broken Windows’ theory of crime control
was initially introduced in a 1982 article by social scientists James Q.
Wilson and George L. Kelling. Since then it has been subject to great
debate both within the social sciences, and in the greater public sphere in
academia. The theory has been used as a motivation for numerous reforms
in criminal enforcement policies. The broken windows theory has received
support from several empirical studies, but has also been the subject of
criticism. (Manhattan – Institute.org)
The ‘Broken Windows’ theory of crime enforcement proposed that
NYPD begin to address lesser, so – called ‘Quality of Life’ offenses, in
addition to more serious, often violent, street crimes, such as Robbery and
crimes with a weapon. The broken windows theory is a criminological
theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and
vandalism upon additional crime and anti – social behavior. The theory
states that maintaining, via ongoing monitoring, of urban environments in a
well-ordered condition may stop further vandalism, and escalation into
more serious crime.
NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton and Deputy
Commissioner Jack Maples utilized the Brocken Windows theory of policing
to stanch more serious crimes. Quality of life offenses included aggressive
panhandling, public urination, homelessness, graffiti, and minor, obvious
street – level drug possession. The theory was that by stemming quality of
life offenses, more serious crimes could be indirectly thwarted. All these
minor offenses generated an arrest, and resulted in names being checked
for warrants. Soon after, busloads of predicate, violent felons were
sentenced to significant prison time in upstate, New York jails. Just as
significant was the dramatic reduction is the aggregate number of firearm
possessions on public streets. Crime in NYC dropped by 50% in three
years. This was an incredible statistical fact. Compstat has been
successfully exported to many other American jurisdictions, specifically Los
Angeles, CA and Boston, MA. When functioning properly, Compstat is
28
both effective and produces positive results over a time span. Below I
present Los Angeles LAPD’s perspective on Compstat, as established by
LAPD Police Chief, and current NYPD Police Commissioner, William
Bratton:
Commissioner William Bratton & Deputy Commissioner Maple turned
Maples’ ‘Charts of the Future’, which mapped out (predicted) future crime trends
within the NYC Subway system into ‘Compstat’, which debuted in 1992 in New
York City. Simply explained, ‘Compstat’ utilizes computer technology to chart
crime patterns and to analyze Commanding Officers’ responses thereto. In
1993, in between time periods when serving as Chief of the NYC Transit Police
and NYPD Police Commissioner, William Bratton also served as Boston Police
Commissioner, and he exported Compstat to Boston, and later to Los Angeles.
‘Compstat’ is now in use in the Los Angeles, CA Police Department.
Detective Jeff Godown, Officer in Charge, CompStat Unit, Los Angeles,
California, Police Department says that representatives of many law
enforcement agencies in the United States and around the world have now had
the opportunity to attend training sessions and/or workshops on the principles,
practices, policies, and procedures of implementing and sustaining a viable and
successful CompStat process. However, attendees at many of these events
have asked such questions as “Where do we buy the CompStat computer
software application?” and “Where is the CompStat computer that will allow us
to have the success in crime reduction that the LAPD, and NYPD prior to this,
has achieved for the last six years?” From these questions, it is clear that many
have a specific misunderstanding about the CompStat process and its
application to crime-fighting efforts. The reality is that the CompStat process is
not a single state-of-the-art computer equipped with a special software program.
In general terms, the CompStat process is a method of management
accountability and a philosophy of crime control. It is less about procuring stateof-the-art equipment than about adopting a state of mind that police really do
count in reducing crime. CompStat is not a quick-fix answer to crime but rather a
process of organized problem solving that, when coupled with commitment and
consistency, inexorably leads to the positive outcome of recurring incremental
reductions in crime. (Policechiefmagazine.org)
This article explains how the CompStat process can be applied to any large
or small agency and even to any civilian organization. There is one caveat:
whether chief executives or command or staff officers of any police or sheriff’s
department or other law enforcement agency, those who are interested in
29
adopting the process must be willing to enter a new paradigm and search for
best practices in crime reduction based on the information provided about
CompStat. The good news is that for many agencies, the CompStat process will
combine and realign existing capabilities to coincide with basic CompStat
principles.
Value of Police in Preventing Crime
Leading, managing, and directing a law enforcement agency toward its
stated mission is a demanding responsibility for the agency’s chief executive,
regardless of the agency’s size. An important part of this responsibility is
propagating the message that, in the words of one commanding officer, “the
police do matter when it comes to preventing crime” (emphasis in the original).
This value has been shared publicly on many occasions by the pioneer of
the CompStat process, former New York City Police Department (NYPD)
Commissioner and current chief of the LAPD, William J. Bratton. Building on the
successes of the CompStat revolution in the NYPD in reducing New York crime
beginning in 1994, Bratton introduced the process in Los Angeles in 2002, his
inaugural year leading the department. (Policechiefmagazine.org)
Management System for Police Operations
CompStat, short for “Computer Comparison Statistics,” is a multifaceted
system for managing police operations. Used in many different law enforcement
agencies across the United States and around the world, it is an innovative
business management process, system, and strategic methodology that assist
an organization in achieving its mission and goals. The methods are
transferable, compatible, and replicable in any organization or environment. In a
police organization, CompStat functions as a crime control process manifested
in recurring meetings, usually weekly, during which the agency’s performance
indicators are reviewed critically for opportunities for improvement. This
organizational management philosophy, concept, and tool combine a classic
problem-solving model with accountability at all levels of an organization.
At the core of the process is an examination and review of an organization’s
status as revealed by quantifiable statistical indicators. In a police environment,
this means analyzing numbers and locations of crimes and arrests as well as
suspects, victims, days and times of criminal activity, and so forth, to identify
crime patterns, clusters, suspects, and hot spots. Strategies are then formulated
to counter increasing incidences of crime. The CompStat process encourages
30
creativity in creating strategies, allocating resources, and deploying police
personnel while holding managers and employees accountable for confronting
the problems of crime proactively.
The CompStat process can be described as a two-pronged examination of
police operations. The first prong looks outwardly at crime and its effects in the
community, while the second examines the organization internally to identify
best practices in managing such police personnel and risk management issues
as sick time, use of force, pursuits, complaints, and accompanying municipal
liability. The examination of crime and internal police department processes
allows for the reengineering of those processes in response to crime, an action
that can produce significant public safety gains not only in terms of reducing
crime but also in increasing effectiveness in various other essential police
performance measures.
The CompStat process can best be summarized by the following text, which
the LAPD uses in its CompStat materials: “Collect, analyze, map, and review
crime data and other police performance measures on a regular basis; create
best-practice strategies to address identified issues and implement these
strategies in real time; hold police managers and employees accountable for
their performance as measured by these data; and consistently review and
repeat the process.”
This process seeks to instill a new organizational culture that keeps
personnel focused on the mission of the organization and creates a
management mandate to adapt continuously to the ever-changing crime
environment.
Four Principles of CompStat
One of the most important roles of a police chief is to set organizational
goals and objectives, a responsibility that can send a powerful message
throughout a police department about the importance and direction of
employees’ efforts. Once the CompStat process is communicated to the
organization as a foundational objective to be achieved, its principles can be
used to support, enhance, and streamline other processes and procedures that
define the multitude of functions inherent in the competent performance of patrol
and detective operations in an organized approach to crime reduction.
As a problem-solving model, the CompStat process directs employees to
identify problems, formulate and carry out solutions, and analyze results for
31
effectiveness. Created around this model, the process’s business management
model consists of four principles, which together define the strategy for driving
down crime as well as creating internal procedural economies and efficiencies.
The principles are equally applicable to addressing community crime problems,
quality-of-life issues, and internal risk management incidents and policies.
During weekly recurring meetings and inspections, led by the chief of police or
other assigned high-ranking command or staff officers, the application of these
principles to specific agency commands is reviewed, examined, and discussed.
The four CompStat principles are as follows:




Accurate and timely intelligence: Know what is happening.
Effective tactics: Have a plan.
Rapid deployment: Do it quickly.
Relentless follow-up and assessment: If it works, do more. If not, do
something else.
Accurate and Timely Intelligence: The CompStat process encompasses
best practices from various past and present policing methodologies. It includes
successful leadership ideas and concepts as well as practices from the
community policing, problem-oriented policing, and “broken windows”
philosophies. It is inclusive of the definitions of reviewing, inspecting, auditing,
analyzing, and information sharing.
At the core of each activity is the use of computer-generated and other
statistical data that are gathered in as close to real time as possible and
subsequently presented in various formats in hard copy and electronically at
CompStat meetings; formats include charts, graphs, maps, command profiles,
and crime snapshot reports. The analysis of this information by command and
staff officers then triggers action on identified problems.
The CompStat process is driven by information and data; as such, it is
necessary for all information to be as timely and accurate as possible. Without
accurate and timely data sources, management decisions could be rendered
ineffectual. Furthermore, management might question the credibility of the
process. Employees expect to be able to act on the data, as do other
stakeholders, such as community groups, the mayor’s office, and other law
enforcement entities, who routinely use the information. The basic information
necessary to make informed decisions about crime reduction strategies and
action plans comes from many sources.
32
At the basic level, information is gathered from an agency’s statistical
archives on crimes and arrests required to be reported to the U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting program—that is,
criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary,
larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In addition, intelligence data are
obtained from archived calls for service, field interview cards, incident reports,
and any other sources of information that are normally maintained by agencies’
information technology sections. Any other pertinent data subsets can be
reviewed as well, such as parole and probation issues, gun arrests, sex offender
residences, and so forth, for analysis and/or inclusion in single purpose or
relational geographic information system automated “pin” mapping.
In addition to crime and arrest statistics, agencies must analyze risk
management issues related to their internal administrative and personnel
operations. With data related to these concerns, trends can be identified and
negative issues quickly addressed and resolved, ensuring that personnel are
available to implement crime reduction strategies and action plans.
Well-running internal police department mechanisms support external efforts
to address crime and its effects. Risk managers must think critically, analyze
relevant issues, and use problem-solving skills to ensure that internal
department operations are not creating procedural impediments to successful
crime reduction efforts. One of the basic problems in the early stages of the
implementation of a new CompStat process in a law enforcement agency is that
the agency may be unable to use its existing computer technology systems to
produce appropriate data. Without the ability to extract this type of information,
the CompStat process cannot address emerging crime and risk management
issues in a timely manner, which is critical to a successful process. Information
systems will need to be audited, monitored, and tested for both accuracy and
timeliness, and existing capabilities may need to be enhanced to accomplish
these types of tasks. The information used absolutely needs to reflect what
actually happened; accurate and timely data are the lifeblood of the decisionmaking process. Accuracy can be authenticated through audits and supervisory
review.
The initial target of review should be the crime or incident report, which is
the primary documentation vehicle and information platform for the majority of
police statistics. These reports have to be completed accurately in a timely
manner by first responders, and then the information has to be transferred to the
agency’s records management system by data entry personnel before it can be
33
used in the CompStat process. The records employees entering these data are
critical to producing timely and accurate information for subsequent use by crime
analysts. If attention is not paid to this process, the proverbial “garbage in,
garbage out” dilemma will taint the analysis and decision-making processes.
Effective Tactics: In the words of Jack Maple, former NYPD deputy
commissioner and a contemporary of Chief Bratton during the creation of
CompStat in New York in the early 1990s, “Nobody ever got in trouble because
crime numbers on their watch went up. . . . [T]rouble arose only if the
commanders didn’t know why the numbers were up or didn’t have a plan to
address the problems.” 2 After command and staff officers are in possession of
timely and accurate intelligence, they are accountable for the creation,
development, and implementation of crime reduction strategies and action plans
for the purpose of minimizing the identified crime or risk management problems.
These officers’ understanding of recurring problems and strategies that have
been successful in the past will be communicated and delegated to specific
subordinate command personnel, who may add their own creative ideas to the
strategy and “think outside the box” to ensure that problems are addressed in an
optimal fashion. It is not sufficient to randomly throw additional resources, such
as more patrol cars, at the problem without a clear and concise plan or to
conclude that not enough resources are available to improve the problem.
Understaffing and insufficient resources may be an impediment to a specific
operational plan, but it does not preclude the problem solver from making an
effort to identify other, perhaps less conventional resources. Partnerships with
the community and other government agencies should be explored for creative
solutions to recurring problems, and a lack of regular police resources should
not be cited during a CompStat meeting to justify or explain inaction on an
identified issue, problem, or crime increase.
34
For tactics to be effective, commanders must direct specific resources at all
aspects of a problem, including existing police resources as well as resources
from available community, city, county, state, and/or federal capabilities. Some
of the potential partners or resources with which agencies can work to reduce
crime and improve quality of life in their communities are listed in table 1.
For decades, police departments responded to calls for service with limited
resources in a reactive manner. But with the CompStat process, agencies can
be armed with vital information regarding emerging crime trends or patterns that
enable the creation of effective tactics and a proactive strategic police response,
during stand-alone efforts or in partnership with other community or government
stakeholders.
There are many varied and unique crime reduction and problem-solving
strategies that are limited only by the level of creativity, experience, and
35
institutional knowledge of police managers and employees, who must look at
crime problems from different perspectives to see different results. One of the
strengths of the CompStat process is that it provides a vehicle, in the form of
recurring meetings, for tweaking operational plans and reviewing implemented
strategies at various stages of a tactical plan. Included in these discussions are
debriefing-style after-action analyses of the results of specific plans.
In addition, CompStat builds accountability into tactical strategies.
Command officers assigned to a CompStat review know in advance that their
crime reduction/problem-solving activities and tactics will be reviewed in light of
conventional wisdom and knowledge as well as the results of their plans. They
will be asked, “Did your efforts result in any effects on the identified problem?”
This way, not only are command officers accountable, but each individual
involved with the plan—detectives, lieutenants, and/or other officers—may be
questioned about the process during the CompStat meeting. In addition, the
collective knowledge of various employee ranks will be brought to bear on the
creation of effective tactics.
Rapid Deployment: Once an issue has been identified and appropriate
resources have been formulated into a tactical plan, command personnel must
rapidly deploy the plan to get results before their target moves. In the past,
regular, recurring crime was addressed in a reactive mode, after the fact.
CompStat strives to identify emerging problems using real-time information
and a real-time capability to strike at the heart of the problem rapidly. Police
departments will never have the resources to post an officer on every corner.
Therefore, it is imperative to deploy to where crime is happening now.
Traditionally, rapid deployment has been used effectively to address ongoing
crime incidents, such as hostage situations, active shooters, riot conditions,
“suspect there now” calls for service, and so forth. In these cases, force
sufficient to resolve the situation is gathered and deployed rapidly and directly.
CompStat seeks to apply this philosophy to regular, recurring crime patterns,
clusters, series, and hot spots. This philosophy also applies to recurring internal
risk management incidents. The use of rapid deployment increases the
likelihood of affecting a problem before it shifts to another day, time, or area.
Strategies to enhance the capabilities of rapid deployment could include
changes in work schedules or realigning crime suppression units to meet the
demands of problems at hand.
36
Note that throwing overtime at a problem is not an effective strategy in itself.
Overtime can be used to enhance rapid deployment, but to be most effective; it
should be part of a comprehensive plan. However, overtime used by itself to
increase officer presence might enjoy short-term effectiveness, but once funds
for overtime dry up and the personnel leave the area, the problem will most
likely recur. To gain the upper hand in such a situation, commanders must
design an overall plan including rapid deployment, set the plan into motion,
monitor the plan’s results, and be ready to analyze and discuss the plan’s
impact at the command’s next scheduled CompStat information-sharing
meeting.
Relentless Follow-up and Assessment: As Jack Maple aptly stated about
the CompStat process, “You can only expect what you inspect.”3 An essential
element in any operational plan is the need to assess critically what, if any,
impact the implementation of the plan has had on targeted goals. Weekly
CompStat meetings fill this need. Whether the goals of the plan included crime
prevention and suppression, apprehension of offenders, or quality-of-life issues,
the two basic questions agencies should ask are whether the plan succeeded or
failed to affect the identified problem or issue and to what degree it can be
shown through quantitative and/or qualitative measures that the plan
accomplished its stated goals. It is impractical to design and implement an
action plan and trust that it will be carried out without looking at the results. Did
the plan meet and accomplish the desired outcomes? If not, why not? Should
the plan be changed or repeated? For example, did a crime reduction strategy
actually drive down regularly recurring crime, or was the crime merely displaced
to nearby territory as a result of the plan’s implementation?
The essence of the CompStat process is managing for results, and success
can be measured by the absence of crime. The primary method for measuring a
successful outcome of a crime reduction strategy is via hard numbers, that is,
crime statistics. What were the crime numbers before the plan, during the
execution of the plan, and after its conclusion? Continued monitoring of a target
area can demonstrate the long-term effectiveness, or lack thereof, of any crime
reduction strategy.
But crime reduction is assessed not only by arrests and field enforcement
measures; it is also measured through an agency’s ability to manage its internal
mechanisms, such as overtime; sick time; complaints; traffic collisions; and
general adherence to policies, standards, rules, and procedures. These risk
management issues affect the ability to staff and resource operational plans.
37
Successful risk management efforts ultimately assist managers in making
decisions about creating crime reduction strategies, allocating resources, and
deploying personnel.
The bottom line with the CompStat process is that it is driven by results.
Everything the process reviews, whether administrative issues or patrol and
detective operations, is evaluated by the results achieved. The performance
measurements of specific plans are discussed along with all other indicators
routinely tracked in commanding officers’ areas of responsibility. This process
enables commanders to share their successes and to strategize with executive
staff on potential areas of improvement. Weekly CompStat meetings are the
means by which agency leaders can analyze and evaluate the overall trends in
all key crime indicators and risk management issues. They provide the
opportunity for ongoing follow-up and assessment and, just as important, serve
to reaffirm responsibility and ownership of crime problems within a command’s
purview as well as those that cross jurisdictional boundaries.
Success through Leadership and
Organizational Support
Chiefs are the linchpins of the CompStat process. They serve as both
sponsor and champion of the philosophy. Only through chiefs’ leadership does
the process gain the voluntary cooperation and support of others in the
organization. If an agency’s chief does not believe in the process, neither will
command, support, or line personnel.
Because CompStat is merely an organized approach and a path to
successful problem solving, it is only part of the reason for success in any
agency that embraces it. Without leadership and the cooperation of the
employees who do the work, the process cannot demonstrate its value to the
organization and to the community it serves. It is the people within the agency
who support the process and apply their creativity to it who ultimately make the
difference. (Policechiefmagazine.org)
Notes:
1 Jon M. Shane, “CompStat Process,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 73, no. 4
38
(April
2004):
12,
http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/2004/april04leb.pdf
(accessed
June
15,
2009).
2Jack Maple and Chris Mitchell, The Crime Fighter: Putting the Bad Guys out of
Business
(New
York:
Doubleday,
1999),
33.
3Ibid., 186.
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 8, August 2009. Copyright held by the
International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 8, August 2009. Copyright held by the
International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.
This is what Compstat, initially introduced to NYPD in 1992, looks
like when it is fully developed and operational – in LAPD. This is the model
which, in all likelihood, Police Commissioner Bratton will re – introduce to
NYPD. This is a well – ordered and properly functioning Compstat
process. This needs to replace that which currently exists in the NYPD,
which had never been Compstat’s original intention, i.e. a numbers – driven
tool of intimidation. This is why I cite it at length. I feel it is important to
examine Stop & Frisk in both a historical and demographic context. What
initially worked in New York City, subsequently worked in Los Angeles, will
now, I argue, work even better once again in New York City.
William Bratton, recently re – appointed as NYPD Police
Commissioner, stated that Stop & Frisk must not be abandoned, but must
be used effectively, intelligently, and almost surgically. In an obvious
reference to former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Commissioner
Bratton stated that Stop & Frisk should not be used as if it were a blunt
weapon, analogous to a troop surge in Iraq. I concur, and will expand upon
this idea.
In Los Angeles, LAPD Police Chief Bratton expanded Stop & Frisk
between the years 2002 – 2009. In 2002, 587,200 Stop & Frisks were
conducted. In 2008, 875,204 Stop & Frisks were conducted. This
represents an increase of 49%. In Los Angeles in 2002, 15% of Stop &
39
Frisks led to an arrest. In Los Angeles in 2008, 30% of Stop & Frisks led to
an arrest. In 2008, 23 % of Stop & Frisks were of Black citizens, who
represented 9% of Los Angeles’ population. 15% of Stop & Frisks were of
non – Hispanic white citizens, who represented 30% of Los Angeles’
population and 48% of Stop & Frisks were of Hispanic citizens, who
represented 48% of Los Angeles’ population at the time.
Obviously, under Police Chief Bratton’s leadership, LAPD Officers
conducted legal and fruitful Stop & Frisk encounters far more frequently
than did NYPD Officers. I am NOT faulting NYPD Patrol Officers, who are
both national and international models of excellence in policing, but I do
reference the high percentage of arrests that flowed from these Stop &
Frisk street encounters in Los Angeles. NYPD can, and I believe will,
follow this model, subsequent to a change of leadership within the NYPD,
effective January 1, 2014.
An examination of the use of Stop &Friskin New York reveals that
between 2002 – 2012, only 6% of Stop & Frisks led to an arrest. This is a
startling and very significant difference. This highlights that the Stop &
Frisk policy, as written, needs some improvement, but, far more
significantly, the citywide application of Stop & Frisk as a crime fighting
mechanism needs to be implemented much more sparingly & with much
more attention being paid to citizens’ constitutional rights, particularly
prohibitions against illegal search & seizure. (Harvard’s Kennedy School of
Public Policy)
NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s goals are: 1. to keep crime rates low;
2. Enhanced cooperation, specifically intelligence sharing, with other
agencies, at the local, state & federal levels to combat terrorism, 3. create
& enhance a ‘mutual respect & trust’ between the NYPD and all New
Yorkers.
A study out today from the ACLU of New Jersey finds that only a
quarter of police stops in Newark end in either an arrest or a summons. In
other words, three-quarters of the people who are stopped and perhaps
frisked have done nothing wrong. The study will no doubt renew the debate
over stop-and-frisk in Newark, New Jersey.
That debate is also raging, as I’ve explained, in New York City,
where the new Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to reduce the use of the
40
practice. His new Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, will be on the front
lines of that effort. Bratton has a long history leading major police forces in
this country. He was the commissioner of the LAPD from 2002 to 2009. He
ran the Boston Police Department for years before that. And he had a short
stint as commissioner of the NYPD under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As seen
by sociological evidence, both direct & anecdotal, from both Newark, New
Jersey & Los Angeles, California, a majority of Stop & Frisk encounters do
NOT lead to either an arrest or issuance of a summonses. That is I argue
for implementation of my proposed changes. I really believe we can and
must do better.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW:
I’d like to preface my analysis of crime patterns from this era by
quoting (Retired) Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman, who was gracious
enough to consent to my telephone interview. My intent was to speak of
both Compstat & Stop & Frisk protocols. Chief Chapman stated, in sum &
substance, that Stop & Frisk needs to be mended, and not ended. He
defended both Stop & Frisk and the Compstat process. He said it was
crucial to always remember the three ‘C’s of Policing, i.e. Cops, Community
& Compstat. He stressed to me that Stop & Frisk must still be utilized, but
much more judiciously. He felt that Patrol Sergeants, who are the first –
line uniformed Supervisors on Patrol, should, when available, respond to as
many Stop & Frisk encounters as possible. This, he asserted, would
present an opportunity for supervisory oversight, and would reinforce the
concept of the NYPD functioning as a cohesive team. I completely concur
& thank Chief Chapman for consenting to my interview. Although brief, it
confirmed my instincts regarding Stop & Frisk, i.e. that adjustments are
needed, but that it would be unwise to eliminate the entire program. I
placed this telephone interview here, as opposed to my other three
interviews not to denigrate it in the slightest, but because its’ placement
here is most appropriate.
(W. Chapman, personal communication,
February, 2014)
41
Crime statistics & trends, from the 1980s, to recently reveal the
following:
Number of Violent Crimes Reported by New York City by Year and Total
Murder/
Total
Aggravated
Year PopulationManRape Robbery
Violent
Assault
slaughter
Crime
20058,115,690 539
1,41224,722 27,950
54,623
20048,101,321 570
1,42824,373 29,317
55,688
20038,098,066 597
1,60925,989 31,253
59,448
New
York
20028,084,693 588
1,68927,229 34,334
63,840
Counties
20018,023,018 661
1,53028,202 37,812
68,205
20008,008,278 673
1,63032,558 40,831
75,692
19957,319,546 1,180
2,37459,280 52,322
115,156
19907,322,564 2,251
3,126100,280 68,891
174,548
19857,183,984 1,386
3,88079,532 50,356
135,154
19807,035,348 1,818
3,711100,550 43,476
149,555
Below I present a brief overview of underlying theories of
criminology, in an attempt to place both the ‘Compstat’ process and Stop &
Frisk in a legal and methodological framework.
In 1930, the FBI assumed responsibility for managing the Uniform
Crime Reporting (UCR) program, collecting data from 400 cities. By 2006,
over 15,000 law enforcement agencies submitted crime reports to the FBI,
but since not all jurisdictions provide reports there is a possibility that you
won't find complete data on some agency crime report pages.
(www.fbi.gov)
I specifically selected the crimes of Murder / Manslaughter,
Robbery, Rape & Aggravated Assault because they are violent street
crimes, and just as importantly, are most likely to engender a Police –
Citizen Stop & Frisk encounter. As indicated, New York City’s population
has grown from 7,035,348 in 1980 to 8,115,690 in 2005. This is a
statistically significant increase of 13.4 %. In the same time period, violent
crime dropped from 149,555 incidents in 1980 to 54,623 in 2005. This is
an equally statistically significant decrease of 63.5 % in violent crime - from
1980 to 2005. Stop & Frisk, without question, played a significant role in
this impressive drop in violent crime. It is extremely noteworthy that this
42
impressive drop in violent crime occurred during a period of time when New
York City’s population actually increased, mainly due to immigration, both
legal and illegal. Without Stop & Frisk, this decrease in violent crime, at a
time when New York City’s population was growing, almost certainly would
have been significantly less impressive.
Stop & Frisk must be mended, and not ended. Stop & Frisk was
responsible, in large part, for this tremendous reduction in violent street
crime. Stop & Frisk flowed directly from the ‘broken windows’ theory and
Compstat. This assertion is not meant to imply that Stop & Frisk resulted
from these policing philosophies, because Stop & Frisk predated them
both, but that Stop & Frisk was used masterfully, pursuant to these
philosophies, to reduce violent street crimes.
NYPD Police Executives must stop measuring aggregate numbers of
Stop & Frisk Reports, via Compstat. We must continue to use Compstat as
an invaluable crime fighting tool, but must stop using it as a blunt
instrument, which tramples over Police Commander’ dignity and, more
importantly, over citizens’ collective rights.
Peter B. Ainsworth is a highly respected author, who has established
four approaches to offender profiling. The first is the clinical approach
utilizes an application of clinical psychology to determine whether the
offender suffers from mental health issues or any other psychological
problems.
The second is the typological approach evaluates the
characteristics of crime scenes to characterize a criminal. The typological
approach initially identifies & subsequently classifies two main types of
criminals, i.e. planned / premeditated and sudden / spontaneous criminals.
The third is the investigative psychology approach, in which psychological
theories of analysis are employed to highlight characteristics, based upon
the criminal’s behavior and the type of offense committed. The fourth &
final is the geographical approach, which analyzes geographic patterns to
determine where the criminal lives, works, engages in leisure activity, and
the type of places s/he may have an interest in. ‘Compstat’ utilizes all four
approaches to some extent, but is most similar to the geographical
approach. It simply uses complicated computer models to facilitate this.
All four approaches serve one purpose, i.e. to create a criminal profile.
Profiling normally has one ultimate goal, i.e. to deal with & to apprehend
specific offenders. (Ainsworth, 2001)
43
The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in
the world today. As of 2009, the incarceration rate was 743 per 100,000 of
national population (0.743%). In comparison, Russia had the second
highest, at 577 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world at 117 per
100,000, and China had 120 per 100,000. These are sobering statistics. I
don’t assert that the U.S.A. is comparable to Russia; however, the Criminal
Justice infrastructure is tremendous. We must apply Stop & Frisk
intelligently, prudently, and ever mindful of citizens’ constitutional rights, as
newly appointed NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has proposed. We
must guard against ever allowing the Criminal Justice infrastructure to
become an end, in and of itself. I do see this as a real danger, against
which we must be ever vigilant. We must not lose the forest for the trees,
i.e. public safety must remain paramount, when correctly balanced with
individual liberties.
44
V.
Review of Stop & Frisk, panoramically, and
both via the NYPD Patrol Guide &
Applicable NYS law.
The ability to conduct stops under the Stop & Frisk procedure, as
enumerated in NYPD’s Patrol Guide, is specifically listed in New York
State’s Criminal Procedure Law, Section 240.50. Any Police Officer in New
York State, may stop, question & possible frisk, any person s/he
reasonably believes has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a
Felony or a Misdemeanor, as defined in the New York State Penal Law.
The law is rather clear cut, but does not go deep into any expanded or
detailed explanation. Both NYS law & the NYPD Patrol Guide are
somewhat vague, and this vagueness has led a minority of Police Officers
to believe they could ignore & abuse citizens’ constitutional rights.
The difficulty of identifying and preventing criminality predates the
US Constitution. Long before America declared independence, New York
City was patrolled from dusk to dawn by the “night watch”, which was a
public safety patrol comprised property owing, white men, whose duty it
was to “secure in the most prudent way those perceived to be disturbing
the peace or lurking about. At the turn of the Nineteenth Century, a small
force of marshals, appointed by the Mayor, were entrusted to secure New
York City’s street – level security. In 1841, the grizzly murder of a young
woman ignited a frenzy of demagoguery in the press, which galvanized the
public for the creation of a more professional and permanent police force,
which could actually prevent crime, as opposed to simply pursuing
criminals after the fact. Thus, New York City had been authorized to
establish what would later be called the NYPD.
There are disconcerting parallels in the pre – constitutional approach
to preemptive policing and the collective stories of the plaintiffs in the Floyd
class action lawsuit. Mr. L. Downs, a Black social worker, alleges that he
was slammed against a fence, upon which he’d been leaning, and
searched for drugs, while finishing a cell phone conversation outside his
Staten Island home. If nothing more, the parallels between preemptive and
pre – constitutional policing underscore the tension between the former and
the
Fourth
Amendment.
(Margeson,
2014)
45
Terry v. Ohio, (1968), was a landmark decision by the United States
Supreme Court, which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on
unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer
stops a suspect on the street and frisks him or her without probable cause
to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person
has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a
reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently
dangerous."
On a fateful day in 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio, 30 – year veteran
detective Martin McFadden watched two men walk back & forth in front of a
store window. They took turns looking / peeking into the shop, and
subsequently walking away. After multiple passes, the two men huddled at
the end of the street, looking over their shoulders, as they spoke to a third
man. Concerned that the men were ‘casing’ the business and planning to
burglarize the store, Detective McFadden approached the men and patted
down one of them, finding a concealed, loaded handgun. All three men
were subsequently arrested. Thus, a burglary was averted. Detective
McFadden’s initial observations & subsequent actions became the basis for
the US Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, 1968.
For their own protection, police may perform a quick surface search
of the person’s outer clothing for weapons, if they have reasonable
suspicion that the person stopped is armed. This reasonable suspicion
must be based on "specific and articulable facts" and not merely upon an
officer's hunch. This permitted police action has subsequently been
referred to in short as a "stop and frisk," or simply a "Terry frisk". The Terry
standard was later extended to temporary detentions of persons in
vehicles, known as traffic stops; see Terry stop for a summary of
subsequent jurisprudence.
Pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, stopping a person on the street for
suspicious behavior without a warrant has been both legal and
incorporated in virtually all police jurisdictions nationwide since 1968.
The rationale behind the Supreme Court decision revolves around
the understanding that, as the opinion notes, "the exclusionary rule has its
limitations." The meaning of the rule is to protect persons who’ve been
46
detained from unreasonable searches and seizures aimed at gathering
evidence, not searches and seizures for other purposes (like prevention of
crime or personal protection of Police Officers). (law.cornell.edu)
Terry remains the touchstone for evaluating the constitutionality of
Stop & Frisks today. Stop & Frisk procedures upheld in Terry allow Police
to stop an individual, who’s suspected of criminal activity and to frisk the
individual for weapons, provided the stopping Police Officer has reasonable
suspicion that the individual may be armed & dangerous.
However, subjectivity can infiltrate the decision to utilize Stop & Frisk
techniques. One could that the legal standard of reasonable suspicion
could potentially contribute to a racial & socioeconomic skew in the
implementation of Stop & frisk protocols. Sub conscious bias can corrupt
the stopping Police Officer’s mind, in the moments leading up to a Stop &
Frisk.
(Margeson,
2014)
I believe that it must be highlighted that the legal standard of
Reasonable Suspicion, which is required in order to conduct a legal Stop &
Frisk, is lower than the legal standard of Probable Cause, which is required
to affect an arrest an arrest. This is very significant, and was provided as a
tool to be used, and never to be abused, by Patrol Police Officers – in order
to ensure their safety! This can’t be overstated.
I present both the current & my revised NYPD Patrol Guide
procedure regarding Stop & Frisk later in my submission.
I reproduced some facts about Stop & Frisk, which are not disputed
by either New York City or the NYPD, below:
 In 2011, 684,330 Stop & Frisks were recorded, thereby
representing an all – time high.
 In 2012, 533,042 stops were recorded.
 Most of these stop & frisk encounters (87%) involved either
Black or Hispanic males.
 Only 10 % of Stop & Frisk encounters led to either an arrest
or issuance of a summonses;
 90 % of Stop & Frisk encounters led to absolutely no
enforcement action being affected. (nyc.gov)
47
These statistics, although accurate & undisputed by all concerned
parties, portray only a partial picture of the impact Stop & Frisk policies
have had upon New York City. I will attempt to fairly, without bias, examine
both sides to an increasingly controversial and, regrettably, polarizing
issue.
NYPD’s current Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, consistent
with the opinions of prior Police Commissioners, has repeatedly argued
that the underlying analysis of Stop & Frisk is flawed because it completely
omits the crime prevention aspects of Stop & Frisk. He argues that Stop &
Frisk is an invaluable tool for stemming the spread of crime, particularly
violent street crimes, such as Criminal Possession of a Weapon (Firearm or
Knife); Robbery and Felony Assault. I agree with him to a certain limited
extent, but feel that he has ordered the excessive use of Stop & Frisk in
certain, high crime, mostly minority communities, in an ongoing effort to
reduce violent street crime. Objectively, this seems appropriate, but,
operationally, it puts tremendous, and inappropriate, pressure upon Police
Commanders to produce high numbers of Stop & Frisk reports. This
pressure, in turn, trickles down to Lieutenants, Sergeants, Detectives, and
Patrol Police Officers. This leads to a certain number of legal abuses,
which I’ll address shortly.
The New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and
Reverend Al Sharpton, among other civil rights leaders, have argued that
Stop & Frisk tactics unfairly & illegally target young minority men, who
overwhelmingly reside in economically deprived areas of New York City.
They consider Stop & Frisk as a subterfuge or what, in reality, is illegal
search & seizure of these young men& their belongings. They argue that
the Police – Community trust & bond is being damaged, perhaps
irrevocably.
No research has ever proven the effectiveness of New York City’s
Stop-and-Frisk regime, and the small number of arrests, summonses, and
guns recovered demonstrates that the practice is ineffective. Crime data
also do not support the claim that New York City is safer because of the
practice. While violent crimes fell 29 percent in New York City from 2001 to
2010, other large cities experienced larger violent crime declines without
relying on stop and frisk abuses: 59 percent in Los Angeles, 56 percent in
New Orleans, 49 percent in Dallas, and 37 percent in Baltimore.
48
Stop-and-Frisk abuses can corrode trust between the police and
communities, which makes everyone less safe. NYPD Commissioner Ray
Kelly in 2000: “A large reservoir of good will was under construction when I
left the Police Department in 1994. It was called community policing. But it
was quickly abandoned for tough-sounding rhetoric and dubious Stop-andFrisk tactics that sowed new seeds of community mistrust.” This statement
was a criticism of Commissioner Bratton, during his first term as Police
Commissioner. (nyclu.org)
“Over the past 10 years, there were 5,430 murders in New York
City, compared with 11,058 in the decade before Mayor Bloomberg took
office. That’s a remarkable achievement — 5,628 lives saved —
attributable to proactive policing strategies that included stops.” – NYPD
Spokesperson Paul Browne. Partially true; However, the murder drop
happened before Bloomberg took office and before the explosion in Stopand-Frisk. The year before the mayor took office there were 649 murders in
New York City. In 2011, there were 526 murders. This 19 percent drop is
impressive & significant, but to suggest that murders were cut in half
because of Stop-and-Frisk is simply making a tremendous leap of faith.
(nyclu.org)
Further, stop-and-frisk has not reduced the number of people who fall
victim to shootings. In 2002, there were 1,892 victims of gunfire and 97,296
stops. In 2011, there were still 1,821 victims of gunfire but a record 685,724
stops. This statistic is compelling.
“There’s no denying that stops take guns off the street and save
lives.” –Ray Kelly. Well, only slightly accurate. Guns are found in less than
0.2 percent of stops. That is an unbelievably poor yield rate for such an
intrusive, wasteful and humiliating police action. Yet, Stop-and-Frisk has
increased more than 600 percent under Mayor Bloomberg and
Commissioner Kelly. And the rate of finding guns is worsening, as the
NYPD stops more innocent people each year. (nyclu.org)
“ Blacks made up 53 percent of the stop subjects and were 66
percent of the violent crime suspects in 2011... For Hispanics, 34 percent
were stop subjects and 26 percent were violent crime suspects.” – NYPD
Spokesperson Paul Browne. Comparing police stops to violent crime
suspects may be bad math. Mr. Browne’s statement is accurate, but
somewhat misleading. Only 11 percent of stops in 2011 were based on
a description of a violent crime suspect. On the other hand, from 2002
to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people
49
stopped, and about 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of
innocent New Yorkers, who were neither arrested nor even issued a
summons. Even in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, black and
Latino New Yorkers face the disproportionate brunt of Stop & Frisks. For
example, in 2011, Black and Latino New Yorkers made up 24 percent of
the population in Park Slope, but 79 percent of stops. This, on its face,
appears to be discriminatory. I must make this assertion, yet continue to
argue for the continuation of a better, legally applied Stop & Frisk,
concurring with Judge Schiendlin. (nyclu.org) (FBI Uniformed Crime
Report)
I believe that both opinions / sides of the difficult issue of Stop &
Frisk have merit, and that we can amend the Stop & Frisk policy in such a
way as to use it in a more limited, but equally effective manner. I present
my proposed revisions below.
50
Recent events and the pros & cons of
‘Stop & Frisk’.
Amadou Bailo Diallo (September 2, 1975 – February 4, 1999) was a
23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, who was shot and killed in New York
City on February 4, 1999 by four NYPD plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll,
Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a
combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment
at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The four
were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were
acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.
Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and a firestorm of
controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the
shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues
such as police brutality, racial profiling, Stop & Frisk, and contagious
shooting were central to the ensuing controversy.
One of four children of Saikou and Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou's
family is part of an old Fulbe trading family in Guinea. He was born in Sinoe
County, Liberia, while his father was working there, and grew up following
his family to Togo, Bangkok, and Singapore, attending schools in Thailand,
and later in Guinea, and London, including Microsoft’s Asian Institute. In
September 1996, he came to New York City where other family members
had immigrated. He and a cousin started a business. He had reportedly
come to New York City to study but had not enrolled in any school. He
sought to remain in the United States by filing an application for political
asylum under false pretenses. He sold videotapes, gloves and socks from
the sidewalk along 14th Street during the day and studied in the evenings.
Events surrounding death
In the early morning of February 4, 1999, Diallo was standing near
his building after returning from a meal. Police officers Edward McMellon,
Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy passed by in a Ford
Taurus. Observing that Diallo matched the description of a since-captured
well-armed serial rapist involved in the rape or attempted rape of 51
victims, they approached him. The officers were in plain clothes.
51
The officers claimed they loudly identified themselves as NYPD
officers and that Diallo ran up the outside steps toward his apartment
house doorway at their approach, ignoring their orders to stop and "show
his hands". The porch light bulb was out and Diallo was backlit by the
inside vestibule light, showing only a silhouette. Diallo then reached into his
jacket and withdrew his wallet. Seeing the suspect holding a small square
object, Carroll yelled "Gun!" to alert his colleagues. Mistakenly believing
Diallo had aimed a gun at them at close range, the officers opened fire on
Diallo. During the shooting, lead officer McMellon tripped backward off the
front stairs, causing the other officers to believe he had been shot. The four
officers fired 41 shots, more than half of which went astray as Diallo was hit
19 times.
The post-shooting investigation found no weapons on Diallo's body;
the item he had pulled out of his jacket was not a gun, but a rectangular
black wallet. The internal NYPD investigation ruled the officers had acted
within policy, based on what a reasonable police officer would have done in
the same circumstances with the information they had. The Diallo shooting
led to a review of police training policy and the use of full metal jacket
bullets. On March 25, 1999 a Bronx Grand Jury indicted the four officers on
charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. On
December 16, an appellate court ordered a change of venue to Albany,
New York, stating that pretrial publicity had made a fair trial in New York
City impossible. On February 25, 2000, after two days of deliberation, a
mixed-race jury in Albany acquitted the officers of all charges. Officer
Kenneth Boss had been previously involved in an incident where an
unarmed man was shot, but remained working as a police officer. A 22year-old man, Patrick Bailey, died after Boss shot him on October 31, 1997.
As of 2012 Boss is the only remaining officer working for the NYPD,
performing duties such as making repairs at Floyd Bennett Field and
participating in police drills and exercises. In October 2012, Commissioner
Raymond W. Kelly restored Boss' ability to carry a firearm against the
protests of Diallo's family.
Aftermath
Diallo's death, the change of venue, and the verdict each sparked
massive demonstrations against police brutality and racial profiling,
resulting in more than 1,700 arrests over the course of many weeks. Those
arrested in the daily protests at the entrance of One Police Plaza included
52
former NYPD officers, former mayor David Dinkins, Congressmen Charlie
Rangel and Gregory Meeks, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, New
York State Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr., activist actress Susan Sarandon,
more than a dozen rabbis and other clergy, and numerous federal, state,
and local politicians. Charges against the protesters were later dropped.
In 2001, the Justice department announced it would not charge the
officers with a violation of Diallo's civil rights. In the vestibule where Diallo
died, neighbors created a shrine of letters, teddy bears, and other items.
Within several weeks, there was a severe rain period and the landlord of
the building put all the items in the garbage. A neighbor, Jimmy Spice
Curry, rescued the items, storing them until he was able to contact Eugene
Adams of Bronx Community College, who was given the items to donate to
Diallo's mother.
On April 18, 2000, Diallo's mother, Kadiatou, and his stepfather,
Sankarella Diallo, filed a US $61,000,000 ($20m plus $1m for each shot
fired) lawsuit against the City of New York and the officers, charging gross
negligence, wrongful death, racial profiling, and other violations of Diallo's
civil rights. In March 2004, they accepted a US $3,000,000 settlement. The
much lower final settlement was still reportedly one of the largest in the City
of New York for a single man with no dependents under New York State's
"wrongful death law", which limits damages to pecuniary loss by the
decedent's next of kin.
Anthony H. Gair, lead counsel for the Diallo family, argued that
Federal common law should apply, pursuant to Section 1983 of the civil
rights act. In April 2002, as a result of the killing of Diallo and other
controversial actions, the Street Crime Unit was disbanded. In 2003,
Diallo's mother, Kadiatou Diallo, published a memoir, My Heart Will Cross
This Ocean: My Story, My Son, Amadou (ISBN 0-345-45600-9), with the
help of author Craig Wolff. Diallo's death became an issue in the 2005
mayoral election in New York City. Bronx borough president, and mayoral
candidate, Fernando Ferrer, who had protested the circumstances of the
killing at the time, later told a meeting of police sergeants that although the
shooting had certainly been a tragedy, there was subsequently a move to
"over-indict" the officers involved, which led to criticism of Ferrer by the
Diallo family and many others following the case.
53
The event spurred subsequent social psychology research. A
number of experiments have conducted with both undergraduate
volunteers and police officers playing a computer game where they must
choose whether to shoot or not to shoot a target who may be white or
black, on the basis of whether or not they are armed. Such studies find that
participants made slower and less accurate decisions on whether to shoot
an unarmed black target than an unarmed white target, and were quicker
and more likely to correctly decide to shoot an armed black target than an
armed white target. Both black and white participants respond in this
manner. No correlations have been found between participant's indicated
levels of racial bias, and their performance in the games.
Amadou Diallo is buried in the village of Hollande Bourou in the
Fouta Djallon region of Guinea, West Africa, where his extended family
resides.
Cultural references to Diallo
The Diallo shooting has been referenced in the music of 88 Keys,
Bruce Springsteen’s song "American Skin (41 Shots)", the Ziggy Marley
song "I Know You Don't Care About Me", the Trivium song "Contempt
Breeds Contamination", The Spooks song "Things I've seen", the song
"What Would You do?" by Paris, the Blitz the Ambassador song "Uhuru",
the song "Diallo" by Wyclef Jean, and the song "Lament For The Late AD"
by Terry Callier. Electro pop band Le Tigre, formed by Kathleen Hanna
(formerly of Bikini Kill), lamented the Diallo shooting in their song "Bang!
Bang!", which ends with a vocal chorus counting numbers that ends with
41, the number of shots fired. In his song "The other white meat", which
deals with police brutality and racism, the New York rapper Immortal
Technique tells the Police "I got 41 reasons to tell you to suck ..." and
"Guns don't look like wallets". Clearly referencing the shooting and counting
every bullet fired as a reason. It was also referenced in the song, "So You
Wanna Be a Cop" by the Crack Rocksteady 7, in the lyric: "and after 41
shots, you're grinning in the donut shop". (en.Wikipedia.org)
This shooting placed NYPD’s policies, specifically highlighting Stop &
Frisk protocols, under strict legal scrutiny. The basis for the initial street
encounter was reasonable suspicion, as promulgated via Stop, Question &
Frisk. This was a tragic over reaction; a terrible mistake, and an example
of contagious shooting – not a murder. Having stated this, I feel that, in the
54
aftermath of this terrible incident, many citizens felt that Police behavior
was suspect and that both police training and policy needed improvement.
A new Stop & Frisk mindset, policy and training helps to diminish the
chances that something like this ever occurs again. To be effective, Police
Commissioner Bratton, effective January 1, 2014, must use Compstat as a
brainstorming activity, which is designed to assist Commanding Officers in
their ongoing effort to continually adjust current police deployments so as to
most effectively reduce violent street crime, and not as an instrument of
humiliation & intimidation, which puts tremendous, and inappropriate,
pressure upon Police Commanders to produce ever lower crime statistics –
via generation of increased arrests, summonses & Stop & Frisk reports.
Despite departmental denials, the pressure is initially exerted on
Commanding Officers, but soon trickles down to Lieutenants, Sergeants,
and Patrol Officers.
The pressure to simply produce numbers is
staggering, and both directly & indirectly leads to an increased number of
street encounters, specifically Stop & Frisk encounters, a significant
number of which may well be unjustified, pursuant to both existing law and
Departmental procedures. They are performed in order to generate an
enforcement number, which will enhance the Commanding Officer’s
performance at future Compstat meetings. Commanding Officers will be
seen as proactively combating violent street crimes, due to the generation
of a large number of Stop & Frisk reports, especially if these Stop & Frisks
are conducted at high – crime areas, and during high – crime time periods.
The reality, however, is that, Compstat has devolved simply into a
numbers game, yielding no real benefit to public safety, i.e. no real
decrease in violent street crime shall be gleaned simply due to the sheer
volume of numerous Stop & Frisk actions, particularly if many of them are
lacking the required prerequisite legal and administrative foundations
needed for a lawful Stop & Frisk. Just as undue & inappropriate pressure
from the top has trickled down, resulting in severe pressure on Patrol
Officers to demonstrate ever – increasing enforcement action, appropriate
& balanced support from the top will trickle down, resulting in a smarter,
more balanced application of the law, specifically Stop & Frisk. This is key.
Patrol Officers must know that public safety is our collective goal, and that
simply focusing relentlessly on ever – increasing, and unrealistic at best,
enforcement activity is not of primary concern. Real crime trends, or
spikes, particularly involving violent street crimes must be addressed, but
never at the expense of civil liberties or erosion of the Police – community
55
relationship. We can strike a balance between low crime rates and good
Police – community relations. When combined with a different mindset at
the top of NYPD leadership and the attendant trickle – down to Patrol
Officers, my revisions / additions to the current NYPD Patrol Guide Stop &
Frisk procedure will help to heal the current, deeply troubled Police –
community bond. We can then move forward in a positive way; fighting
crime in unison with the community.
I feel compelled, as both a veteran of the NYPD and as a proud
New Yorker, to comment a bit more about the human toll that police abuse
of Stop & Frisk can have upon citizens, especially the young. A recent
news article caught my attention, and I’d like to share it. An anonymous,
retiring NYPD Police Officer commented that the appointment of a federal
monitor is a direct backlash to the NYPD having “gone too far” regarding
Stop & Frisk abuses. He opined that the numerous Stop & Frisk – related
lawsuits had been filed because the NYPD had devolved into “numbers –
focused policing”, about which I commented previously. He added that
good kids, who happen to live “in the projects” learn to hate cops, not
necessarily because of what they’re taught at home, but due to the fact that
they’d been subjected to numerous, illegal & inappropriate Stop & Frisks.
(Hamill, 2014)
One can conclude that numbers – driven policing puts Police
commanders under tremendous stress to simply generate enforcement
numbers, thereby indirectly encouraging unlawful Stop & frisk street
encounters and, more significantly, creates an entire generation of
adolescents, who view the Police with great suspicion, if not far worse.
This destructive trend must cease.
What is really needed is a change at the top of the NYPD, which
occurred on January 1, 2014. However, in all candor, I must concede that
a change of police Commissioner is, standing alone, not enough. The
entire Police culture must change. I’d like to first present, and then address
an article, which was recently published by the New York Village Voice.
This article gained national, and even international, attention.
56
UPDATE: April 16, 2014
VI.
Surveillance of the Muslim Community
NYPD drops surveillance of mosques
Thomas Lifson, American Thinker Blog
Candidate, currently Mayor, Bill de Blasio was “deeply troubled” by
NYPD surveillance of mosques, and now Police Commissioner Bratton is
dropping the program. Matt Apuzzo and Joseph Goldstein report in the
New York Times. Is Mayor De Blasio making a wager with the lives of New
Yorkers, betting on the peaceful intentions of Muslims, or is he disbanding
a unit, whose very existence was predicated upon racist foundations? I’ll
examine this from both perspectives.
The New York City Police Department has abandoned a secretive
program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods
to eavesdrop on conversations, and had built detailed files on where people
ate, prayed and shopped, the department said. Moving forward, all future
such surveillance must be predicated upon Probable Cause, the legal
standard of proof required to effect an arrest, and not upon Reasonable
Suspicion, the legal standard of proof required to stop an individual via
Stop & Frisk, or any lesser legal standard of proof.
The decision, effective April, 2014, by the nation’s largest police
force to shutter the controversial surveillance program represents the first
sign that William J. Bratton, the Department’s new Commissioner, is
backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence - gathering practices
of his predecessor. The Police Department’s tactics, which are the subject
of two federal lawsuits, drew criticism from civil rights groups and a senior
official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who said they significantly
harmed national security by sowing mistrust for law enforcement in Muslim
communities.]
Several arrests and subsequent prosecutions resulted from
intelligence, which had been gleaned by surveillance conducted by this
unit. However; we must acknowledge this reality as a positive, yet we must
compare it to the potential alienation of an entire community for decades to
come. Muslims are seven million strong within the United States. I clearly
see both sides, but must argue for the latter.
57
To many Muslims, the squad, known innocuously as the
‘Demographics Unit’, which was comprised of 11 NYPD personnel, was a
sign that the police viewed their every action with suspicion. The police
mapped communities inside AND outside New York City, logging where
customers in traditional Islamic clothes ate meals and, allegedly,
documenting their lunch-counter conversations.
“The Demographics Unit created psychological warfare in our
community,” said Linda Sarsour, of the Arab American Association of New
York. “Those documents, they showed where we live. That’s the cafe
where I eat. That’s where I pray. That’s where I buy my groceries. They
were able to see their entire lives on those maps. And it completely messed
with the psyche of the community.” (AmericanThinker.com)
Opponents of this action argue that thousands of New Yorkers were
killed in the name of Allah by devout Muslims, who’d been inspired by what
they heard at mosques, and that millions of Muslims worldwide believe that
they can gain access to paradise by slaughtering infidels.
Terror bombings and constant threats of violence are clearly
psychological warfare, also. Additionally, declarations that America is a
Great Satan are certainly not helpful to ensuring peaceful coexistence
amongst people and nations. We must ponder whether these are the acts
of a few extremists, or consider whether these views are widely held and
accepted in mosques and media throughout the Muslim world.
Thousands of New Yorkers were killed in the name of Allah by
devout Muslims, who’d been inspired by what they heard at mosques, but
we must never stereotype an entire group of people based upon the
actions of a few individuals, no matter how horrific.
Well, when the majority of devout members of your community
proclaim that your religion requires them to slaughter New Yorkers,
Americans, Jews, infidels, and even Muslims who don’t meet their
standards of religious practice and devotion, then surveillance is
reasonable, it seems to me. However, one must err on the side of
constitutional safeguards for all New Yorkers.
Hopefully, more New Yorkers will not be endangered by Mayor De
Blasio’s political correctness, but one must ponder - is this political
correctness, or sound law enforcement policy?
58
Opponents fear devout members of the Muslim community, or any
particular community, proclaiming that their religion requires them to
slaughter New Yorkers, Americans, Jews, infidels, and even Muslims, who
don’t meet their standards of religious practice and devotion. Surveillance
then seems reasonable.
However, one could argue with equal fervor that this practice, which
may well be partially illegal, actually endangers New Yorkers - by alienating
a significant segment of our community; thereby stopping members of this
community from coming forward with criminal – related or terrorist – related
intelligence, which could actually thwart future terrorist attacks.
(AmericanThinker.com)
I see merit in both arguments, and I lost friends on 9-11-01, but I
must argue in favor of protecting Americans’ civil liberties. It should be
noted that Commissioner Bratton has stated that little to no criminal /
terrorist intelligence has been gleaned from this program. This is in stark
contrast with prior Commissioner Kelly, who had stated that valuable
criminal / terrorist had been gleaned from this operation. I tend to believe
Commissioner Bratton more readily, and, even if I didn’t, we must never
violate American’s civil liberties, regardless of any rationalization.
Some of these operations were being conducted outside NYPD’s
legal jurisdiction, and, more significantly & more troubling, all of these
operations were being conducted without a court order. Eavesdropping,
via a tape recorder, on two people’s private conversation, to which you are
not a party, absent a court order, is a felony. The benefits are marginal at
best, and clearly don’t seem worth violations of citizens’ constitutional
rights, in addition to infliction of permanent damage to the Police – (Muslin)
community bond.
59
Handschu Decision
Handschu v. Special Services Division was essentially a challenge to
various surveillance and investigative practices directed at political
organizations by the NYPD. Mayor Bloomberg had argued that NYPD’s
surveillance of Muslim communities in the greater New York City
metropolitan area never violated the famous Handshu decision, which
stems from a 1971 lawsuit by a variety of political activists who had been
subjected to NYPD surveillance. The case began as a challenge to various
police practices that involved the maintenance of dossiers on political
activists and the use of various undercover and surveillance techniques to
monitor the activities of political organizations and specific individuals. In
1985, a federal judge resolved the case by instituting a set of binding
guidelines, i.e. a consent decree, which stated that the police could only
conduct surveillance on political groups if it suspected unlawful activity vies
a vi “specific information” linking the group to a crime which had been
committed or was about to be committed. Even then, the NYPD had to get
a warrant from a special commission. This decree also established a
system of record keeping and procedures for approval of investigations by
a three – member body, called the Handschu Authority. This system was
designed to create a “paper trail” in order to ensure against Police abuse.
After the September 11 attacks, police sought and won significant
relaxation of the Handschu decree's restrictions, arguing that the existing
decree impeded the NYPD’s efforts to investigate potential terrorism. In
2003, the District Court approved a modification of the consent decree,
provided that the NYPD developed new guidelines that would be consistent
with those which had been developed by the Department of Justice for
investigations, which were being conducted by the FBI. NYPD’s modified
guidelines were accepted by the District Court in 2003.
Arthur Eisenberg, the legal director of the New York Civil Liberties
Union, says an important protection remains on the books: "The Handschu
decree does permit NYPD intelligence to go to public places the way any
member of the public can," Eisenberg told the Voice today, "but it prohibits
the retention of information collected at public places and the maintenance
of dossiers unless there is unlawful activity taking place." (Pinto, 2014)
I present this analysis of the cessation of surveillance of the Muslim
community because it’s closely correlated to the easing back of Stop &
Frisk policies by the NYPD under Commissioner Bratton. Both this
surveillance and Stop & Frisk policies specifically targeted minority
60
communities and people of color, and both had been justified essentially as
necessary, in order to ensure public safety from both terrorism and violent
street crimes, respectively
The common denominator between Stop & Frisk tactics and NYPD’s
political surveillance mechanisms is the actual and potential abuse of
authority. To be objective and fair, some criminal, terrorist intelligence has
most certainly been gleaned, but one must wonder aloud – at what cost?
Commissioner Bratton pointed out during my interview that crime,
particularly violent street crime, has continued to decline, concomitantly
with a steady & significant decrease in Stop & Frisk street enforcement
(although some violent street crimes have recently begun to ‘spike’, i.e. to
demonstrate slight, yet significant, increases). Apparently, we can achieve
both a safer New York City and preservation of the US Constitution, which
is very necessary for our democratic republic to thrive. The sky truly isn’t
falling, at least not yet!
61
The NYPD Tapes
NYPD Crime Stats Manipulation Widespread, Must Be Investigated,
Criminologists Say
By John A. Eternal and Eli B. Silverman
Two criminologists offer their take on a recent Village Voice
cover story regarding the secret NYPD investigation which confirmed
allegations by Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft of deliberate
downgrading of crime reports in the 81 st Precinct. ‘Police officers
pressured to conduct stop-and-frisks: Criminal justice professor’ was the
headline. Criminal Justice professor Eli Silverman opined that NYPD Police
Officers were pressured to conduct Stop & Frisks, and that this inappropriate
pressure significantly increased after NYPD embraced the ‘Compstat’ system
of fighting crime. As per his survey of 1,900 former NYPD officers, including
many supervisory officers in command assignments, the pressure to produce
numbers, which ostensibly demonstrated crime fighting, was both wrong and
intense. I concur, because as a Captain I faced such pressure. Police
executives at the highest levels of the NYPD were very wrong to allow this
number – driven pressure to be applied. However, the Police Officers who
62
responded to the pressure via illegal Stop & Frisks were also wrong. No
justification can exist for violating citizens’ collective constitutional rights.
Vindication! The newly exposed New York City Police Department's
(NYPD) Quality Assurance Division Report indicating nearly all of our
allegations are correct has been around since June 2010. Attacks against
our research went on well into 2011 and continue until this day. How in
good conscience NYPD could continue to attack P.O. Adrian Schoolcraft
and our research is beyond shame; it is revolting.
Without question Graham Ryman’s explosive exposé of the NYPD's
internal Quality Assurance Division Report on downgrading crime is a
rarity. It represents the city's investigative reporting at its best. Our book
The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation unveils the
mainstream media's sustained failure to pursue the NYPD's proclivity to
manipulate crime reports to make them appear favorable.
Mr. Ryman and a previous Voice reporter, Paul Moses, are two
critically important exceptions to the media's meekness in exploring the
NYPD's statistical legerdemain. Moses exposed a skyrocketing rise in lost
property complaints - a key indicator that fudging reports was taking place.
Other media outlets would profit from this type of superb investigative
reporting.
Without the Voice's exposé, the NYPD's internal report would likely
never have seen the light of day. The Quality Assurance Division's two year
investigation states the truth: The 81 precinct systematically fostered a
culture finely attuned to the downgrading of crime. One might expect that
based on this newly exposed report and mountains of other evidence that
the NYPD would now take seriously what we as social scientists have been
saying for years - this is a problem throughout the NYPD and must be
investigated in full. Unfortunately, given reaction to previous revelations, we
are not hopeful.
What mountains of evidence are we referencing? Let's start with the
NYPD's own officers and sergeants informing them for years that these
behaviors were occurring throughout the city. Both the PBA and the SBA
(the department's police officer's and sergeant's unions) have had press
63
conferences indicating this truth. Response by NYPD- --to denigrate these
accounts and those who reported them.
Our scientific study now published in the aforementioned book and in
two scientific peer reviewed journals used both quantitative and qualitative
data strongly buttressing the hypothesis that this is a citywide problem. Our
quantitative study is based on a survey of hundreds of retirees in the ranks
of captain and above. (Including the writer, Capt. James Dooley) Using
those who worked before the NYPD's performance management system
(Compstat) was in place as a baseline; we compared responses of
manager's perceptions about pressures from the upper echelon of the
NYPD before and after the Compstat system was put in place.
Professor Eli Silverman said the pressure grew significantly
after the NYPD began using the COMPSTAT system to fight crime,
according to his survey of more than 1,900 former cops.
A Criminal Justice professor testified Friday about a study he
conducted in 2012 in which retired cops said they felt pressured to conduct
stop-and-frisks when they were on the job. Eli Silverman said the pressure
grew significantly after the NYPD began using the COMPSTAT system to
fight crime, according to his survey of more than 1,900 former cops.
Silverman was testifying in a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan
Federal Court that claims the NYPD’s controversial policy targets minorities
for illegal stops.
“We were stunned by the responses we received. Based on their
personal experiences we found enormous pressures to decrease the
numbers of index crimes (those reported to the FBI) and to downgrade
index crimes into other non reported categories. Additionally, the
perception of the demand for integrity in the crime reports was much less in
the current era. Approximately 75 percent of our respondents who were
aware of crime report manipulation indicated that the manipulation they
experienced was unethical. We also collected qualitative data in the form of
in-depth interviews with over 30 retired and some active officers of all
ranks. They confirmed nearly every aspect of the previous results and then
some. Importantly, they indicated that these practices are taking place
64
citywide due to the pressures of Compstat. Current working personnel have
confirmed that these practices are alive and well in today's NYPD.
Beyond this, crime victims have come forward. One was a victim of
identity theft. When he went to the police to report the crime the victim was
merely given a letter and told to leave the precinct. The letter, on NYPD
stationary and reprinted in our book, states the NYPD "requires specific
documentation be submitted before a police report for identity theft or fraud
related crimes can be taken."
The letter informs the victim that such documentation includes a
letter from the company with their letterhead giving specific information
about you, who opened the account, and where merchandise was sent; a
company affidavit that is notarized indicating the complainant has no prior
knowledge or involvement among other items, copies of your credit report
from three separate reporting bureaus; and other assorted documentation.
Surely the police can do better than hand victims of crimes letters
ordering them to prove they are victims before taking reports. Such
behavior is unconscionable. Unfortunately, our research indicates that the
situation is even worse.
Attempted rape victim Debbie Nathan communicated with us soon
after our report went public. She too indicated her horrid experiences in
trying to report a sex crime to the NYPD. There are others as well. Graham
Ryman revealed a detective's experience with a rape perpetrator. The
detective apprehended a rapist who confessed to many other rapes. When
the detective examined the complaint file to close out the cases, he found
that all the previous rapes were listed as minor crimes, mostly criminal
trespass. After being sued, the NYPD tardily released data on criminal
trespasses. Low and behold, they are skyrocketing citywide.
There is much more. Hospital data is at complete variance with
NYPD reports. Importantly, for example, firearms assaults at emergency
rooms are dramatically increasing while the NYPD claims assaults are
down tremendously. The City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
shows drug use in the city increasing (as does hospital data) but NYPD
complaint data are all down for use of drugs. All this does not include the
data manipulation to which the NYPD has admitted.
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Four precinct commanders and others have been disciplined in the
past. All of this took place while the Compstat performance management
system has been in place. There are also well-documented cases of crime
report manipulation in other places that essentially copied the NYPD
performance management system.
Other cities in the United States such as New Orleans, Washington
D.C., and Philadelphia have admitted problems. Other countries including
the United Kingdom, Australia, and France have admitted problems as well.
Certainly, the track record of the NYPD system is problematic.
There are also the audiotapes in the 81 precinct in Brooklyn and the
41 in the Bronx. Now the allegations in the 81 precinct are confirmed by
this NYPD report. This report unearthed by Mr. Ryman and not shared with
the public is in stark contrast to the public images NYPD presents: constant
denials and attacks of those who question them. Why must investigative
reporters have to get these reports? The public is entitled to this.
The NYPD has a problem with its culture. The NYPD must be
investigated immediately. How much evidence is needed? How many
victims will go unheard? Do the words "transparency" and "community
partnerships" mean anything? Apparently, the NYPD and Mayor
Bloomberg are in complete denial. The NYPD needs a complete overhaul.
Investigating Muslims with no suspicion, going to other states and counties
with little or no permission, nearly 700,000 forcible Stop & Frisks of criminal
suspects last year while at the same time claiming crime is at an all time
low, summonses and arrest quotas, pressures on commanders for
numbers, and much more. The evidence of a problem with NYPD culture is
obvious to any person who looks at the mountains of evidence. A neutral
outside investigative body with subpoena power and the ability to grant
immunity is needed. Let's stop the charade and get it done.
Eternal is a professor at Molloy College. Silverman is professor
emeritus at John Jay College.
By Graham Ryman Wed., Mar. 7 2012 at 1:12 PM
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/03/nypd_crime_stat_1.php - Comments
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In the interests of academic fairness & transparency, I must admit
that I did participate, as one of hundreds of respondents, in Dr. Eternal’s
research, i.e. I completed a questionnaire asking me, in essence, if I
received pressure from supervisory officers to downgrade crime reports &
to generate enforcement activity, including Stop & Frisk activity. I did
assert inappropriate pressure from above to downgrade crimes and to
generate activity, including generation of Stop & Frisk reports. The
pressure was subtle &indirect, yet relentless.
The problem starts at the top, with the Police Commissioner, but is
systemic within the NYPD. We must stop focusing upon quantity, and
begin to focus upon quality – something Commissioner Bratton has sworn
to do. In addition to Commissioner Bratton, however, the mindset of a
legion of NYPD Chiefs must evolve. Many police executives pay lip service
to whatever the current Police Commissioner espouses, but continue,
probably due to inertia, as always – ever focused on lower crime numbers.
This trickles down to field commanders, who sometimes, mistakenly, exert
undue pressure upon Patrol Officers to generate enforcement activity
numbers, including Stop & Frisk street encounters. This, in turn, indirectly
causes Patrol Officers to violate citizens’ constitutional rights. Herein lays
the dilemma. Every layer must change; a change at the top of the NYPD
must trickle down to the seven Patrol Boroughs; otherwise, nothing will
change – ever.
The Village Voice’s report is accurate, but is one – sided. Crime is
much lower than in years past. This is an objective fact, and is occurring
throughout the United States, and the NYPD has established two units to
maintain accurate crime reporting statistics. One is the Quality Assurance
Division and the other is the Data Integrity Unit. As a Sergeant in the mid
1990s, I worked at the Data Integrity Unit. Our purpose was to select, both
targeted and at random, Complaint (Crime) reports for examination, in
order to ensure that Complaint Reports were actually being prepared
accurately & completely. This is key, because it ensures accurate reporting
to the FBI, which, in turn, determines the amount of federal funding which
the NYPD will receive, and, far more importantly, it determines when and
where limited NYPD resources will be deployed. New Yorkers’ safety are
predicated upon this deployment.
Both the Diallo case and the P.O. Schoolcraft incident highlight the
fact that Stop & Frisk had been beginning to spiral out of control.
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The NYPD was not effectively able to stem the problem or fix its
underlying organizational problems. These two cases are also most
significant because their common denominator is the reality that the NYPD
does in fact employ very heavy handed and illegal tactics at various times
and with varied justifications, as did sometimes occur during Stop & Frisk
enforcement. Lives are at risk!
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VII
Rulings by the NYC Council; a Federal
Judge, and the NYS Attorney General.
The Community Safety Act is a landmark police reform legislative
package aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real
accountability to the NYPD. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where
police officers treat all residents equally and respectfully, and are not above
the law. Four bills were introduced in the New York City Council in 2012,
and a hearing was held on the full package in October 2012. On June 27,
2013, two of the Community Safety Act bills were passed by the City
Council, with veto – proof majorities of34 – 17 (Intro. 1080) and 40 – 11
(Intro. 1079). On July 23, 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed both
bills. On August 22, 2013, in a historic precedent, the New York City
Council overrode the vetoes on Intros 1080 & 1079, to approve two
Community Safety Act bills, which are now Law. (changethenypd.org)
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NYC COUNSEL LEGISLATION: End Discriminatory Profiling Act Protecting New Yorkers against discriminatory profiling by the NYPD
(Intro. 1080):
●
The Intent of the law, as articulated by its sponsors, reads: “The
City Council finds that biased – based policing endangers New York
City’s long tradition of serving as a welcoming place for people of all
backgrounds. The Council further finds that the people of the City of
New York are in great debt to the hard work & dedication of Police
officers in their daily duties. The name and reputation of these officers
should not be tarnished by the actions of those who would commit
discriminatory practices. By passing this legislation, it is the intent of the
City Council to create a safer city for all New Yorkers.”




Establishes a strong and enforceable ban on profiling and
discrimination by the New York City Police Department.
Biased – based Profiling in this legislation as “an act of a member
of the force of the Police Department or other law enforcement officer
that relies on actual or perceived race, national origin, color, creed,
age, alienate or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation,
disability, or housing status as the determinative factor in initiating law
enforcement action against an individual, rather than an individual’s
behavior or other information or circumstances that links a person or
persons to suspected unlawful activity”.
This legislation therefore expands the categories of individuals
protected from discrimination. The current prohibition covers race,
ethnicity, religion, and national origin. The bill would expand this to
also include: age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual
orientation, immigration status, disability, and housing status, meaning
homeless persons.
To discourage biased –based profiling, the legislation added
language to allow a meaningful ”private right of action” (to sue) would
be created for individuals who believe they have been unjustly profiled
by the NYPD, based upon the above listed common descriptive
factors, against a Police officer in a court of law. The legislation also
included a presumption against the Police Officer that they acted with
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
bias intent that the Officer must disprove in the courtroom to avoid a
finding of guilt.
New Yorkers would be able to bring intentional discrimination
claims and / or disparate impact claims vs. New York City & the
NYPD, though not for monetary damages. The penalty imposed upon
an officer found in violation of this new law is injunction to refrain from
further like conduct, attorney fees and expert witness’ fees. The
legislation’s sponsors claimed that this monetary penalty would be
minimal and would not hurt individual Officers’ careers in the future.
(changethenypd.org)
Similar laws currently exist in Illinois, West Virginia & Arkansas. This
bill is also similar to the federal ‘End Racial Profiling Act’.
Any such penalty and presumption of guilt on Police Officers will not
only destroy Police Officers’ morale, but would pressure them to refrain
from taking basic law enforcement action, when dealing with crime victims,
who require descriptions of perpetrators to be transmitted over police radio.
Additionally, this law seems to undermine the presumption of innocence,
which underlies all American jurisprudence. All five New York City police
unions, in a most unusual move, have stood together to oppose this
legislation.
Roy Richter, President of the Captains Endowment
Association, was photographed in full uniform, while wearing a blindfold,
symbolizing the devastating consequences that the enactment of this law
would have.
NYPD Oversight Act - Establishing independent oversight of the
NYPD (Intro. 1079)


Assigns responsibility for NYPD oversight to the Commissioner of
the Department of Investigation. (In NYC, the DOI currently oversees
about 300 city agencies - including the Fire Department, Department
of Education and Human Resources Administration – but not the
NYPD.)
Oversight would include reviewing NYPD operations, policies,
programs and practices.
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
Reports would be made public and revisited annually to see if
recommendations have been followed, i.e. meaningful oversight
combined with follow – up protocols.
There is independent monitoring of the FBI, CIA, LAPD and every
major New York City agency except for the NYPD. Historically, the NYPD
has been exempt from monitoring, i.e. from the oversight by an Inspector
General, because NYPD has an Internal Affairs Division, currently headed
by Chief Ruther.
UPDATE:
NYPD got its first Inspector General on 3/27/14— Washingtonian Philip Euro
— as some cops react warily. He will be policing the police.
New York City has appointed its first-ever inspector general for the
NYPD — Philip Euro, currently head of the District of Columbia Office of
Police Complaints. In Washington, Euro has taken on so-called 'contempt
of cop' arrests in which police arrest civilians on disorderly conduct
charges, after what was basically a disagreement / verbal dispute between
a citizen and a Police Officer. The New York City Council created his new
post despite pushback from police unions claiming redundancy with the
department’s Internal Affairs Unit.
Euro, whose job will be to oversee the nation’s biggest police force,
says he’s up for the challenge. “Leading the first Inspector General office
of the NYPD is an incredible opportunity to work with the premier police
department [that] is globally recognized in one of the greatest cities in the
world,” said Euro, 52, who starts May 27.
Euro, currently head of the District of Columbia Office of Police
Complaints, insisted his office would not duplicate the work of the NYPD’s
Internal Affairs Unit or the Civilian Complaint Review Board, as some critics
have claimed.
“The NYPDIG will not be redundant,” he said. “It will, however, fill a
void.” Police Commissioner William Bratton, who met Euro earlier, said,
"I'm sure we'll have a collegial and collaborative relationship."
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Euro will be “looking into the existing policies and procedures of the
Department,” said Bratton. “So it's a pretty broad-based set of
responsibilities.” Bratton said he has experience working with oversight —
when he was Los Angeles’ Police Chief, he answered to a federal monitor.
“You don't fight with them, you work with them, you agree to disagree, you
make your best case,” he said. “It worked out quite well in Los Angeles.”
Euro got a wary welcome from Michael Palladio, head of the
Detectives' Endowment Association. “This is definitely a new frontier for
the NYPD and how we all will coexist is going to be interesting,” he said.
“But at the end of the day it is about working together for the safety of our
city.”
Palladio said he had not met Euro, but expected “him to reach out
quickly to have some open dialogue with the unions.”
Councilman Humane Williams and Brad Lander, both Brooklyn
Democrats who were big critics of the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk tactics, were
sponsors of the law that created the civilian post. They praised Eire’s
appointment — and the decision to increase his staff from 30 to 50. “These
reforms will help reverse the damage done over the last 12 years and reestablish ties to communities long ignored,” they said in a statement.
Euro was the choice of Mayor de Blasio and New York City
Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters, who was tasked
with finding a candidate for the post under a new law passed by the City
Council last year. Then-Mayor Bloomberg and the police unions vigorously
opposed the new position, saying the NYPD already had the IAB to monitor
cops. Bloomberg vetoed the bill, but the Council overrode his veto.
Euro may be a blank slate to the 35,000-strong New York Police
Department, but he has headed the agency that oversees the much smaller
4,000-member Washington Police Department, since 2001. Before that,
Euro was an assistant federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of
Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Euro make his mark cracking down on socalled “contempt of cop” cases — civilians illegally arrested after making
disparaging comments to cops.
The police unions collectively called Eire’s new post a waste of
taxpayer money and redundant to the department’s Internal Affairs Unit.
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Euro contends that aggressive civilian oversight is crucial to
eliminating abuse by police, which he says undermines their credibility in
the communities they serve. In a 2010 paper, Euro noted that police abuse
of such laws “can have far-reaching consequences ranging from
undermining the public’s confidence in the police to the inefficient allocation
of law enforcement resources.” (Parascandola et al., 2014)
Two other Community Safety Act bills that are not expected to be
voted on this summer entailed: 1. Protecting New Yorkers against unlawful
searches (Intro. 799); similar laws exist in Colorado & West Virginia and 2.
Requiring officers to identify and explain themselves to the public (Intro.
801); Similar laws exist in Arkansas, Minnesota and Colorado.
(changethenypd.org)
Despite the fact that these two bills did not have enough votes to
override a mayoral veto, I included them in an attempt to fully describe New
York City legislators’ collective mindset; a mindset which is shared by many
citizens throughout New York City.
To summarize, on the morning of June 27, at 2:35 a.m., the New
York City Council passed Intro. No. 1080 by a vote of 34 to 17. As
described, this legislation creates a revised definition of “bias-based
profiling” and grants a private right of action to any person stopped by
police on the basis of description.
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FEDERAL JUDGE’SRULING:
Judge Shira A. Sheindlin of the US District Court, Southern District,
ruled against the NYPD in the case of Floyd v. City of New York. In sum
and substance, she concluded that the NYPD resorted to a “policy of
indirect racial profiling”, as it increased the number of stops in minority
communities. This policy has led to Officers’ routinely stopping “blacks &
Hispanics, who would not have been stopped, if they were white”. The
Judge noted NYPD’s repeated disregard for the Fourth Amendment
(prohibiting illegal search & seizure) and for the Fourteenth Amendment
(requiring equal treatment for everyone, under the law).
Judge Scheindlin recently ruled that the “stop and frisk” procedure
commonly practiced by NYPD is unconstitutional and referred to it as
“indirect racial profiling.” Scheindlin wrote in her opinion that the policy
targeted racially defined groups, resulting in the disproportionate stopping
of tens of thousands of Blacks and Hispanics. New York’s Mayor Michael
Bloomberg still stands behind the policy, despite the judge’s ruling. He says
the procedure has made New York the “poster child” for safe U.S. cities
because of the drastic crime reduction.
Four men stopped in 2004 sued the NYPD – claiming that they had
been targeted due to their (minority) status. Judge Scheindlin noted that
the NYPD conducted five million stops over the last decade and 4.4 million
stops were conducted between 01/04 – 06/12; over 80% of those persons
stopped were Black or Latino. She further noted that the aggregate
number of stop & frisk encounters increased dramatically from 314,000
(2004) – 686,000 (2011), despite a decline in crime in this same period. No
weapon was discovered in a stunning 98.5 % of 2.3 million stops, which
had been specifically examined. 52 %of these stops specifically involved a
frisk for a weapon, yet yielded no weapon. Finally, Judge Scheindlin noted
that in 2012, 533,042 stops had been conducted; 87% upon Black or
Latino citizens, culminating in only 10 – 12 % of persons stopped via
this policy being either arrested or summonsed. 10 % of Stop & Frisks
targeted whites. This equates to less than one stop per officer per week.
Specific examination of stop & frisk data revealed that 52% of those
stopped were Black & 31% were Hispanic. During the relevant time frame,
New York City’s population surged; demographically, the population
equated to 23 % Black, 29 %Hispanic, and 33 percent white in 2010.
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Stating the reality differently, a Black male was over five times more likely
to have been stopped than was a White individual, during the preceding
decade within New York City. The Judge was greatly troubled by these
facts.
The US Supreme Court previously noted that a disparate racial
impact is not enough to trigger judicial intervention, unless it’s evident that
the state acted intentionally. In affirming the use of Stop & Frisk in 1968,
the US Supreme Court emphasized that the procedure is “a serious
intrusion upon the sanctity of the person, which may inflict great indignity
and arouse strong resentment, and it is not to be taken lightly”. “Due
process has long been recognized as fundamental to securing the dignity &
well – being of all persons. “Unconstitutionally seizing and punishing
scores of young Black & Hispanic men is antithetic to the dignity and well –
being of all persons.” “Such punishment also deprives those affected of the
opportunity to participate meaningfully in the life of the community by
perpetuating poverty, rescinding the right to vote, impairing employability,
and making it more difficult to obtain affordable housing, or a college
degree.”
I concur; serious legal, socioeconomic, and human psychological issues
are involved, and serious ramifications can result if this policy continues to
be abused. My proposed amendments help make Stop & Frisk both more
effective in protecting New Yorkers from crime, specifically violent street
crime and weapons possession, and to conform to our Constitution.
(Margeson, 2014)
Although 6 percent of Stop & Frisks resulted in an arrest and 6
percent resulted in a summons being issued, the validity of this ‘hit rate’ is
questionable. Certain violations for which summons are issued do NOT
create reasonable suspicion for the initial stop; a substantial percentage of
the summonses issued were subsequently dismissed, and the offense for
which the summons had been issued was not evident prior to the initial
stop.
“High Crime Area” and “Fits Description” are admittedly very subjective, i.e.
a lifelong resident of Harlem would be far less likely to view Harlem as a
high crime area, compared to a Police Officer, who didn’t grow up in
Harlem.
Many Stop & Frisk reports are “vague & subjective”.
Additionally, numerous Police Officers never fill out a Stop & Frisk Report,
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i.e. a UF 250. Therefore, the data may well underestimate the real scope
of unconstitutional stops in New York City.
(Margeson, 2014)
It is true that under Mayor Bloomberg, the annual number of Stop & Frisks
exploded, as mentioned above. Between 2004 and 2012, the grounds for
making these increasingly frequent Stop & Frisks became increasingly
tenuous, i.e. between 2004 and 2009, the percentage of stops where the
stopping Police Officer failed to state a specific suspected crime rose from
1 percent to 30 percent. Officers simultaneously became increasingly
reliant upon “inherently subjective & vague” catchwords to articulate their
suspicion. By 2009, nearly 60 percent of stops were predicated in part
upon suspicion arising from “furtive movements”. Officers very broadly
interpreted this factor to signify a ‘multitude of enabling meanings’.
(Margeson, 2014)
In 2011, the NYPD received 11.2 million calls for Police service.
These subsequently resulted in over 4.8 million radio runs. This should be
compared to 4.5 million radio runs in 2001. Over 105,000 reports of major
felony crime incidents were recorded by the NYPD in 2011. Over 535,000
quality – of – life summonses were issued. In 2013, NYPD confiscated 780
guns off the streets, compared to 604 in 2003.
Many, if not all, of the neighborhoods where Police Officers are
doing their work are the same neighborhoods where violent crime is
concentrated. According to a Reuters analysis, there were 572 Stop & frisk
per 1,000 residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn, yet just 35 stops per 1,000
residents in (whiter) Park Slope. At a prime facie glance, this may seem
outrageous. However, one must consider that the rate of violent crime in
the former Precinct is three times greater than it is in the latter Precinct. I
must also add that the Stop & Frisks, which have been conducted over the
last several years, have been done by a NYPD that is smaller; by 6,000
uniformed Police Officers than it was a decade ago.
I understand the Judge’s conclusions, and I agree with her
conclusions only to a certain, limited point. However, according to the
RAND Corporation’s “Analysis of Racial Disparities in the NYPD’s Stop &
Frisk Practices”, the most widely used, but least reliable, benchmark is the
residential census. Census benchmarks do not account for differential
rates of crime participation by race or for differential rates of exposure to
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the Police. Comparisons to the residential census may not be the best
benchmark for assessing racial bias.
The Reasonable Suspicion Stops report provides the percentage
and number of known Persons Stopped, Census Population, Suspects for
all Crimes, and Suspects for Violent Crimes broken down by four races –
Asian, Black, Hispanic & White for all 76 Police Precincts in New York City.
It is significant to note that, in each of the 76 Police Precincts, the race of
those stopped highly correlates to the suspect’s description in that precinct,
regardless of the population demography for that precinct. For example, in
the 68th. Precinct in Brooklyn, 53.4% of the violent crime suspects were
white, and whites constituted 61% of the persons stopped. Similarly, in the
75th Precinct, also in Brooklyn, 78% of the violent suspects were black, and
75% of those stopped were black. I believe that crime – suspect
descriptions provide a good measure of participation in certain types of
crime by race. This may well be a more accurate measure than the census
population, without any additional defining mechanisms. Finally, I would
add that the Stop & Frisk reports illustrate other activity occurring within a
given precinct, which can further put the aggregate number of Stop & Frisk
reports into perspective.
In major rulings in two class-action lawsuits, Judge Scheindlin today
ordered the NYPD to take a series of steps to ensure that its officers
conduct stop-and-frisk encounters in a manner that will protect New
Yorkers’ civil rights and civil liberties, as consistent with both the Fourth
(prohibitions against illegal search & seizures) and Fourteenth (equal
protection under the law) Amendments. More oversight includes both better
procedures and better management, i.e. oversight of these procedures.
The judge also ordered the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the
implementation of these reforms. In addition to the monitoring mandate by
the NYC Council, the NYPD will be subject to oversight for five years, from
the date of the Judge’s ruling.
The NYCLU hailed the decision by Judge Scheindlin a major victory
for New Yorkers and for fair, just and effective policing by the nation’s
largest police force, which additionally serves as a model for many
departments throughout the United States.
“We welcome the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the
much-needed reform of NYPD stop-and-frisk practices and we look forward
78
the broad process of community engagement that the court has ordered to
formulate fundamental reforms of stop-and-frisk,” NYCLU Executive
Director Donna Lieberman said. “With this step, the victims of this illegal
and biased program have become central players in cleaning up the
program.”
“Today’s decision ordering changes not only to the general stop-andfrisk program, but also to the separate program of trespass stops at private
residential buildings shows that every aspect of stop-and-frisk must be
reformed,” NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn said. “This
marks the beginning of a top-to-bottom revamping of stop-and-frisk.”
Today’s opinions by U.S. District Judge Shira Schiendlin cover two
cases: Floyd v. City of New York, the class action lawsuit brought by the
Center for Constitutional Rights challenging constitutional abuses in the
NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program and Ligon v. City of New York, a class
action lawsuit filed by the NYCLU in March 2012 with The Bronx
Defenders, Latino Justice PRLDEF and Shearman & Sterling, challenging
the NYPD’s enforcement of Operation Clean Halls – a citywide program
within the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk regime that allows police
officers to patrol in and around certain private apartment buildings.
In a January 8, 2013, ruling in the Ligon case, Judge Scheindlin
granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction ordering the NYPD to
immediately cease its practice of unlawful trespass stops outside ‘Clean
Halls’ buildings in the Bronx, most of which were public housing units.
In one ruling issued today in the Floyd case, Judge Scheindlin
declared that the NYPD’s general stop-and-frisk practices have violated the
civil liberties and constitutional rights of all New Yorkers, citing the Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendments, which protect individuals against unlawful
searches and seizures and guarantee equal protection under the law. In a
second ruling, she ordered remedies covering both the Floyd and Ligon
cases, including the appointment of a monitor to implement broad reforms.
As mentioned above, Judge Scheindlin ruled, in a 195 – page
decision, that NYPD has historically engaged in a pattern of “indirect
racial profiling”, as it increased the number of stops in minority
communities, as it attempted to combat crime, particularly violent street
crimes, such as Robbery. Judge Scheindlin also commented that NYPD
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top executives intentionally ignored racial profiling, in an attempt to provide
the illusion that the Stop & Frisk program was both warranted & effective.
Judge Scheindlin ruled that a federal monitor must be appointed to
oversee “broad reforms, including the use of body – worn cameras for
some patrol officers in at least five patrol precincts throughout New York
City, in order to record stop & frisk encounters with citizens. Judge
Scheindlin also ordered a series of community meetings, similar to town
hall meetings, though she did NOT order an end to the practice of Stop &
Frisk in New York City.
Historically, federally appointed monitors have imposed dramatic
work rule changes, without regard to collective bargaining agreements, and
accepted past practices between the NYPD and the respective Police
unions. The direction to have Officers of all ranks wear recording devices
is of special concern because it invades Officers’ expectation of privacy in
most, if not all, parts of the normal workday. (Margeson, 2014)
Subsequent to this ruling and in a very unusual decision, a three –
judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Judge
Scheindlin’s ruling, and ordered a review by another, impartial judge.
Judge Scheindlin was criticized for maintaining an overt bias against New
York City, the NYPD and stop & frisk in general, and of having
inappropriately having maneuvered to be able to hear this case in the first
instance. They did not rule on Stop & Frisk per se, but sharply criticized
Judge Scheindlin for inappropriate maneuvering to position herself as the
Judge in this case and for presenting the appearance of judicial bias due to
media interviews she gave concerning the issue of Stop & Frisk.
Despite this recent injunctive, which I view as a positive
development, the NYPD policy regarding Stop & Frisk must be amended,
but not abandoned. We can achieve a better balance; in fact, this is my
clear objective. This recent correction / admonition is important in and of
itself, but also highlights the volatility of the entire process. The cities of
Los Angeles, Philadelphia & Boston all utilize stop & frisk protocols, without
tremendous negative feedback.
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg directed New York
City’s Corporation Counsel, i.e. New York City’s civil attorneys, to appeal
Judge Scheindlin’s ruling.
New York City Mayor William DeBlasio, who was sworn into office on
January 1, 2014, overturned Mayor Bloomberg’s previous decision to
appeal the federal judge’s ruling – thereby accepting it, and, in fact,
concurring with it!
Additionally, Mayor DeBlasio, fulfilling a significant campaign
promise, agreed to, and actually embraced, a federal monitor – for a period
of three years. Mayor DeBlasio added, however, that an extension of this
time frame may be warranted, should sufficient evidence of continued
NYPD misconduct be uncovered regarding the abuse of Stop & Frisk.
Newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Bratton has indicated that this
policy, i.e. of using less but more targeted Stop & Frisk street encounters
will be his focus. Additionally Commissioner Bratton added that he seeks
high quality arrests, i.e. specifically those which enhance public safety, as
opposed to simply high numbers of aggregate arrests, which include many
that do little to enhance the safety of communities throughout New York
City.
On January 7, 2014, a group of NYPD police unions filed
court papers seeking to block Mayor de Blasio Stop & Frisk decision
because, they argued, it would essentially leave in place “findings that
unfairly besmirch the reputations of the men & women of the NYPD”. The
police unions are directly challenging Judge Scheindlin’s rulings, which
Mayor de Blasio vowed to enact. The unions request review by the federal
Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The unions alleged that Judge Scheindlin
found “constitutional violations where there were none”.
NOTE & UPDATE: Under the tentative deal Mayor de Blasio struck
with the plaintiffs in the case, Scheindlin’s recommendations, including both
the use by Police Officers of body cameras and the appointment of a
federal monitor for the NYPD would remain in place, despite the fact that
the Second Circuit took the case away from Scheindlin late in 2013.
(Farriella, 2014)
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Pursuant to this ruling, NYPD, in August, 2014, began a pilot program
of having 50 volunteer Police Officers, stationed in various, high crime
precincts throughout New York City, wear body cameras & microphones all
throughout their tour of duty, i.e. on Patrol.
Technology is key to combating both crime and potential terrorism.
London’s ‘Ring of Steel’, which shields the city from ‘NBC’ terrorist threats
and Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’, which shields the country from missile attacks, are
defensive in nature and do NOT infringe upon individual citizens’
constitutional rights. We can achieve such a balance in New York City.
The ‘Domain Awareness System’ recently deployed 400, real – time feed
cameras citywide. This was done at selected locations to combat both
street crime and augment counter terrorism efforts. It may just take a little
time and effort.
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NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY
GENERAL’S STUDY
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, in November, 2013, released a
report analyzing the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk program
by studying and tracking the arrests that result from stops — the first such
analysis of what happens to individuals and institutions following these
arrests. While the constitutionality of the stop and frisk program has been
the subject of litigation and significant debate, its efficacy has been less
closely scrutinized; the Attorney General’s new report helps to fill that gap.
In analyzing close to 150,000 arrests that resulted from approximately
2.4 million stops between 2009 and 2012, the report concludes that roughly
half of those arrests, or just three percent of stops, led to guilty pleas or
convictions at trial. In addition, just 0.3 percent of stops led to jail sentences
of more than 30 days, and 0.1 percent led to convictions for a violent crime.
The report also finds widespread consequences for arrestees and criminal
justice institutions, including litigation costs incurred by the city, and various
harms even to individuals arrested for misdemeanors.
This report is the second to be released by the Office of the Attorney
General — the first, released in 1999, found that blacks and Hispanics
were stopped and frisked at a disproportionate rate, even when controlling
for demographics and crime rates.
A synopsis of the Attorney General’s analysis of Stop & Frisk was
very similar to Judge Scheindlin’s analysis & subsequent conclusions. A
first of its kind, New York State Attorney General’s study examined 150,000
Stop & Frisk arrests, out of a total of 2.4 million stops, between 2009 –
2012. An analysis of Stop & Frisk revealed the following:
 Approximately half of all Stop & Frisk arrests do not lead to
criminal convictions – because arrestees were never
prosecuted, their cases were dismissed, or they had received
an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which is a
dismissal of a charge if the defendant does not commit
another crime within six months or a year ;
 Only 10 % of Stop & Frisk encounters led to either an arrest
or issuance of a summonses;
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 90 % of Stop & Frisk encounters led to absolutely no
enforcement action being affected;
 Only 2% of Stop & Frisk encounters led to the discovery of a
weapon;
 Only 1 in 16 stop & frisk arrests, or 0.3 % of all stops, led to a
jail or prison sentence in excess of 30 days;
 Only 1 in 50 stop & frisk arrests, or 0.1% of all stops, led to a
conviction for a violent crime;
 Only 1 in 50 stop & frisk arrests, or 0.1% of all (total) stops,
led to a conviction for possession of a weapon;
 Almost one quarter (24.7%) of Stop & Frisk arrests were
dismissed before arraignment or resulted in levying of a non –
criminal charge;
 Close to half of all stop and frisk arrests resulted in no
convictions because the arrestees were never prosecuted,
their cases were dismissed, or they received an adjournment
in contemplation of dismissal (a dismissal of a charge if the
defendant does not commit another crime within six months
or a year);
 In 2011, 684,330 Stop & Frisks were recorded, thereby
representing an all – time high;
 Most of these stop & frisk encounters involved either Black or
Hispanic males
NYS Attorney General Schneiderman stated that his intent is to
advance the discussion of how to combat crime, particularly violent crime,
without overwhelming our institutions or violating core American principles,
such as equal justice under the law, for all citizens. The report also
highlights the collateral consequences that arrests have for all individuals
subject to stop and frisk, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case,
and the burdens that various aspects of the stop and frisk program place
on institutional actors within the criminal justice system. For example:


Threats of a possible loss of employment, housing, student loans,
and immigration status, even for those charged with misdemeanors,
and added incentive to plead guilty;
A sharp uptick in litigation costs for New York City for lawsuits
alleging constitutional violations by the NYPD. In 2009, for the first
time in 30 years, the NYPD had the largest legal settlements of any
city agency.
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
Significant costs on defendants and district attorneys’ offices for
arrests that did not lead to arraignments—also known as undocketed
arrests. (ag.ny.gov)
“The numbers stand as stark evidence that this stop & frisk program
is not about keeping our streets safe; it’s certainly about putting people –
people of color primarily – into the criminal justice system” said Donna
Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that “I’m a
little bit surprised that it’s as ineffective in getting convictions as one might
have thought.
NYPD spokesman, Deputy Commissioner John McCarthy responded
to both the NYC Council legislation and the federal judge’s ruling in general
and to the NYS Attorney General’s findings specifically by stating that the
underlying analysis of Stop & Frisk is flawed because it completely omits
the crime prevention aspects of Stop & Frisk. He felt that we must ask
ourselves how many crimes had been averted via Stop & Frisk, something
that is impossible to quantify.
Deputy Commissioner McCarthy added that “there’s no
predetermined or correct number of stops. Ultimately Police Officers make
their decisions based upon real – time observations from the field and
those stops are based upon Reasonable Suspicion”. (Long, 2013)
A study of the most recent (2013) quarter’s crime statistics,
compared to the corresponding period in 2012, revealed that the aggregate
number of street Stop & Frisk encounters is down 80 %. For this quarter in
2013, slightly more than 21,000 Stop & Frisks were recorded during the
months of July, August & September, 2013, compared to 106,000 for the
same time period in 2012. In 2013, during this quarter, 99 firearms & 463
knives were recovered, compared with 198 firearms & 1,016 knives, during
the same quarter of 2012. (nyc.gov)
After Judge Scheindlin’s ruling that NYPD’s current policy regarding
Stop & Frisk unfairly targets minorities, the New York Civil Liberties Union
issued a statement stating that the aggregate decrease in the number of
Stop & Frisks is, objectively, a good development, and that, because the
murder rate in New York City is at an all time low (334 homicides within
New York City in 2013 is, in fact, the lowest number in recorded New York
City’s history), the recent decrease in the number of Stop & Frisks
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obviously did not have a negative impact upon homicides / violent crime in
New York City. (Dahl, 2013)
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As previously mentioned, Mayor DeBlasio has clearly indicated
that Stop & Frisk must be curtailed and carefully monitored. Mayor
DeBlasio took office on January 1, 2014.
UPDATE:
Preliminary examination of crime spikes, or increases in violent street
crime, must be viewed cautiously, because we can’t extrapolate too broadly
due to examination of only one month’s results. Examining January, 2014,
several trends appear to be emerging, albeit within a dramatically limited
period of examination.
January, 2014 witnessed:
● a 33% increase in the number of reported murders citywide (28 in
January, 2014 vs. 21 in January, 2013);
● A decrease of 31.1 % in the number of guns recovered from
perpetrators in the streets (208 guns in January, 2014 vs. 302 guns in
January, 2013);
● A 5% increase in the number of reported Rapes (100 in January,
2014 vs. 95 in January, 2013);
● A 12.1 % increase in the number of reported felony Assaults (1263
in January, 2014 vs. 1240 in January, 2013);
● Robberies declined by 15.1 %; Burglaries declined by 4.6 % &
Grand Larcenies declined by 5.3 %.
● Shootings in January, 2014, vs. January, 2013, declined from 80 to
66.
● As of May, 2014, shootings increased 7 % vs. one year ago. NYC
Counsel Black, Latino & Asian Caucus recognized this fact. In
response, they proposed hiring 1,000new police Officers.
● Shooting during the first half of 2014 have spiked – but have NOT
been citywide; rather they have been limited to public housing
developments. This, however, is still a dangerous trend.
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 During a single weekend in June, 2014, at least 21 people were hit
by gunfire within New York City.
 Shootings have spiked recently, but have been mostly limited to
public housing projects. Although very troubling, long – term
extrapolations should be avoided. Troubling still!
 Commissioner Bratton opined that over the last two years, Stop &
Frisks have dramatically declined, as have both shootings &
murders citywide, i.e. a drop in Stop & Frisk enforcement does not
equate to a rise in violent street crime. I only partially agree with
his sentiment. (All Things Considered, 2014)
We must exercise due caution in drawing any definitive conclusions due to the brief (several months) time period under examination and
somewhat mixed results. However, it is of extreme significance that the
aggregate number of guns recovered from Stop & Frisk street encounters
decreased so dramatically (31.1 %) and that both felony assaults and
murders, both of which typically involve a weapon, rose significantly. It is
quite premature, but not outrageous, to preliminarily conclude that a
significant decrease in Stop & Frisk street encounters leads, both directly &
indirectly, to statistically significant decreases in recovered firearms,
accompanied by statistically significant increases in both reported Rapes &
reported felony Assaults. Neighborhoods may be paying the price for
allowing Police Officers to be sued. (Schram, 2014)
Despite the absolute divisiveness of this issue, criminologists
continue to disagree about, and have difficulty discerning, whether Stop &
Frisk enforcement actually lowers crime, particularly violent street crime.
Commissioner Bratton argues forcefully that New York City can remain
safe, even without aggressive Stop & Frisk enforcement.
As I’ve argued, Stop & Frisk policies must be mended, and not
ended. We can do both, i.e. protect the citizens of New York City and stop
alienating fine young men, such as Alvin, who might otherwise joined the
ranks of New York’s Finest! We can continue to both legally and with due
legal safeguards use Stop & Frisk for its intended purpose, i.e. to keep New
Yorkers safe!
NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton also assumed office on
January 1, 2014. In my opinion, this is great news for both the NYPD & the
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citizens of New York City. Commissioner Bratton has already (in his first
months in service as Police Commissioner, for the second time) enacted
several important revisions to the less than successful policies of former
Commissioner Kelly. Commissioner Bratton has directed new graduates of
the Police Academy to be initially assigned to low & medium crime areas of
New York City, as opposed to high crime areas. His reasoning is to simply
provide new officers with a slower paced acclimation to their new jobs. I
concur with this position. I believe that a slower, easier transition to NYPD
policing will allow these new officers time & afford them the ability to learn
their new profession at a steady pace. This will in turn help them to apply
their trade in a lawful even – handed manner. One of the significant
benefits of this indoctrination will hopefully be a higher degree of officers’
respect for citizens’ collective constitutional rights - specifically regarding
Stop & Frisk encounters. This will prove of tremendous benefit to both the
NYPD & the citizens of New York City. Rather than put these officers into
higher crime ‘war zones’ with a vague mission to simply reduce crime, new
officers will now be afforded the opportunity to ease into their jobs with a
heightened respect for all the citizens of New York city & their attendant
rights under the law.
Correlation between Stop & Frisk & reported
violent street crimes.
The American Civil Liberties Union reported, as noted
above, that the incidents of Stop & Frisk have recently & dramatically
decreased from 694,000 in 2011, to 532,911 in 2012, to 194,000 in 2013.
Commissioner Bratton called 2011 the peak year for Stop & Frisk, overall.
As noted, Commissioner Bratton defended Stop & Frisk as an essential
policing tool, but said that it had been over applied for an extended period
of time, under Commissioner Kelly’s tenure. (aclu.org)
Additionally, the clear, specific & emphatic prohibitions, which
I’ve added to my revised procedure against (illegal) searches, which have,
sadly, sometimes been conducted pursuant to this procedure, and against
either searching or frisking for drugs - under any circumstances, should
diminish many instances of illegal frisks / searches. Citizens aren’t all
attorneys, but most do realize that it’s illegal for individual Police Officers to
exceed their legal boundaries. I believe correction of this abuse of
authority will help to heal the broken Police – community bond. When used
less frequently, but legally and more effectively, Stop & Frisk can be used
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to surgically strike at violent street crimes, which continues to be our clear
objective. Initial & follow up training can reduce the aggregate number of
Stop & Frisk street encounters, and will serve to foster a more positive
Police – community relationship. In an era of both terrorism and increasing
collective uncertainty about our common future, any positive in roads that
can be built are invaluable.
I believe that it must be highlighted that the legal standard of
Reasonable Suspicion, which is required in order to conduct a legal Stop
& Frisk, is lower than the legal standard of Probable Cause, which is
required to affect an arrest an arrest. This is very significant, and was
provided as a tool to be used, and never to be abused, by Patrol Police
Officers – in order to ensure their safety! This can’t be overstated.
Measurement of aggregate numbers of Stop & Frisk:
Measuring Stop & Frisk street encounters and attendant generation of
UF 250s, i.e. Stop & Frisk Reports, primarily due to Compstat – related
pressure, should be replaced by fewer, higher quality Stop & Frisk Reports,
driven by better, more specific and legally accurate training. Stop & Frisk
Reports must NOT be used as a measure of productivity.
As I wrote, New York City is not Iraq. Enhanced training, both initially
for Police Recruits at the Police Academy and ongoing for Police Officers
via in – service training, is key to both teaching a revised procedure initially,
and for following up upon initial training to ensure proper implementation
thereof, on an ongoing basis. Police Commissioner Bratton can order this
training, if he sees fit to do so. Additionally, and more importantly,
Commissioner Bratton can reduce the aggregate use of Stop& Frisk street
encounters in such a way as to use Stop & Frisk more intelligently, more
selectively & legally. This will reduce crime, particularly violent street
crime, and will rebuild the Police – community bond, which is currently in
shambles. Stop & Frisk must not be viewed as either a mechanism of
oppression or as a vehicle to simply produce meaningless ‘enforcement
numbers’, in an attempt to appease select, affluent sections of New York
City.
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My suggestion is that Stop & Frisk street encounters be directly
linked to crime statistics, i.e. where violent street crimes, Robbery in
particular, are occurring, via a direct link to the FBI’s Seven Major Crimes
Index (as continually updated by NYPD’s Compstat Unit and transmitted
daily by NYPD’s ‘Real Time Crime Center’). This has not been the case
under former Police Commissioner Kelly, but it appears to be somewhat
changing under Commissioner Bratton.
Police Commissioner William Bratton assumed leadership of the NYPD
on January 1, 2014. Under Police Chief Bratton’s most recent leadership,
LAPD Officers conducted legal and fruitful Stop & Frisk encounters far
more frequently than did NYPD Officers. I am NOT faulting NYPD Patrol
Officers, who are both national and international models of excellence in
policing, but I do reference the high percentage of arrests that flowed from
these Stop & Frisk street encounters in Los Angeles, in comparison to New
York, i.e. 30% vs. 6%. NYPD can, and I believe will, follow this model, with
the return of Police Commissioner Bratton to NYPD. We’re heading in the
right direction. Welcome back!
UPDATE:
Commissioner Bratton had said on January 15, 2014, that he’s
“more or less solved Stop & Frisk issues”. Commissioner Bratton
defended the practice, but added that “Stop & Frisk has been stopped in
some neighborhoods altogether” and highlighted that “it has been over applied for an extended period of time”, under (previous) Commissioner
Kelly’s tenure. Commissioner Bratton indicated that some minority
communities that used to witness several Stop & Frisk incidents per day
now see none. He also noted a dramatic drop in this controversial
practice, which occurred in the waning days of Commissioner Kelly’s
tenure. He reiterated all of this in his interview with me.
Shooting during the first six months / half of 2014 have spiked –
but:
 As of July, 2014, these shootings have NOT been citywide; rather
they have been limited to public housing developments. This 8 %
spike in shootings is limited in scope, however, but is still a very
dangerous trend.
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 Summer, 2014, has seen shootings skyrocket –primarily in public
housing developments. This is a statistically significant spike in
shootings! I do believe that at least an indirect correlation exists
between this troubling spike in shootings and a dramatic, precipitous
drop in the aggregate number of Stop & Frisk street encounters being
conducted citywide.
 Stating matters plainly, perpetrators are more willing to carry illegal
firearms, in addition to other weapons, because they fully realize
NYPD Police Officers are far less inclined to conduct Stop & Frisks.
 A majority of Patrol Police Officers are currently very hesitant to Stop
& Frisk suspected perpetrators because of, among other reasons,
possible civil liability – due to recent legislation, which was passed by
the New York City Counsel. This legislation makes Police Officers
civically liable for monetary damages, imposed pursuant to a Stop &
Frisk street encounters. Put succinctly, police Officers are not
stopping or frisking suspects because they’re afraid of being sued,
and a general feeling that the Mayor and current NYC administration
won’t support them.
 This trend, if not reversed, may very well lead to spikes in violent
street crimes throughout New York City.
 “Summer All Out, 2014” is an effort by Commissioner Bratton to
transfer Police Officers from administrative, i.e. desk, assignments to
Patrol enforcement assignments for a period of 90 days during the
hot summer months. 400 Police Officers have thus been reassigned
to Patrol, as of this writing.
 Commissioner Bratton is attempting to truncate shootings, which
have recently spiked 8%, compared to the first six months of 2013.
 The first half of 2014 witnessed a 89% decrease is Stop & Frisk.
 The first half of 2014 also witnessed a 10% increase, in shootings,
most of which occurred in Public Housing developments. Although,
year to date homicides are down, this crime trend is especially
troubling.
 The first quarter of2014 saw a decrease of 93% in Stop & Frisk street
encounters, as compared with the two previous years.
Assaults upon Police Officers increased by 4% this year, as
compared to the first half of last year. 366 assaults upon Police
Officers, during the first half of 2014 vs. 352 assaults upon Police
Officers, during the first half of 2013. (Pogones, S. & Buiso, G. (2014)
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 In 2010, NYPD recorded 24 police – involved shootings
involving NYPD officers & perpetrators, which resulted in8 dead
perpetrators; 16 wounded perpetrators, and no Police Officer
fatalities.
 By comparison, in 1971, NYPD recorded 314 police - involved
shootings involving NYPD officers & perpetrators, which
resulted in 93 dead perpetrators; 221 wounded perpetrators,
and 15 Police Officer fatalities.
On Saturday, 8-16-14 & Sunday, 8-17-14, NYPD reported 23 people
having been shot, and 2 people having died – in one weekend! Homicides
may be slightly down, year to date, but shootings are statistically
significantly, spiking.
(NYPD, Operations Unit, personal communication, August, 2014.)
My point is that we definitely don’t want to return to the bad old days.
Current spikes in shootings are disturbing; not definitive, but certainly
disturbing none the less.
We must be somewhat cautious NOT to extrapolate too far or to draw
any definitive conclusions; as the crime trends are continually evolving, but
there does appear to exist a dangerous correlation between the significant
drop in Stop & Frisk street encounters and a dramatic spike in shootings,
particularly within New York City’s public housing developments. This is
both statistically significant and deeply troubling. We must not abandon
Stop & Frisk, but must amend our tactics to a reasonable degree. We can
limit the overall number of Stop & Frisk street encounters, and simply use
fewer, more accurately targeted Stop & Frisk encounters to achieve a
reduction in shootings. Linking directly to the Real Time Crime Center on a
daily basis is one of a number of steps in targeting, with laser – like
precision, areas where Stop & Frisk can be employed with intelligence and
within the law – to achieve a safer New York City.
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VIII
Proposed changes to NYPD Regulations
re. Stop & Frisk, as delineated in the
NYPD’s Patrol Guide and on the actual
‘Stop & Frisk’ (UF250) Report.
I’d first like to include a copy of the current 2 – page NYPD Patrol
Guide procedure regarding Stop & Frisk. I’d then like to present my
(revised) procedure, presenting the significant differences in italics &
larger type font, accompanied with a full explanation thereof.
NYPD PATROL GUIDE PROCEDURE
Procedure No: 212-11
03
STOP AND FRISK
Date Effective: 07-25-
PURPOSE
To conduct criminal investigations and protect uniformed members of
the service from injury while conducting investigations involving stop and
question situations.
DEFINITIONS
STOP – To temporarily detain a person for questioning.
FRISK – A running of the hands over the clothing, feeling for a
weapon.
SEARCH- To place hands inside pocket or other interior parts of
clothing
to determine if object felt is a weapon.
PROCEDURE
When a uniformed member of the service reasonably suspects a
person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a felony or a
Penal Law misdemeanor.
UNIFORMED MEMBER OF THE SERVICE
1. Stop person and request identification and explanation of conduct.
a. If not in uniform, identify yourself as a police officer.
2. Frisk, if you reasonably suspect you or others are in danger of
physical
injury.
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3. Search, if frisk reveals object which may be a weapon.
NOTE Only that portion of the suspect’s clothing where object was felt
may be searched.
4. Detain suspect while conducting investigation to determine whether
there is probable cause to make an arrest.
a. Suspect may be detained for a period of time reasonably related to
the facts, which initially justified the stop or are discovered during
the stop.
b. Complete investigation as expeditiously as possible.
Interim Order 20s 09
5. Release suspect immediately after completing the investigation if
probable cause to arrest does not exist and provide suspect with an
explanation for the stop, question and/or frisk encounter, absent
exigent circumstances.
6. Prepare STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET
(PD 344-151A) for EACH person stopped.
NOTE If person stopped refuses to identify him/herself (and there is no
reason to take summary action) check off “REFUSED” in the appropriate
space of STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET.
Allow suspect to depart only after completing investigation and only if
investigation does not establish Probable Cause to arrest the suspect.
Request Patrol Supervisor to respond and confirm refusal, review
STOP< QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET, and action
taken. Do not detain suspect while awaiting arrival of Patrol Supervisor,
if investigation is completed and no Probable Cause to arrest suspect.
UNIFORMED MEMBER OF THE SERVICE
7. Enter details in ACTIVITY LOG (PD 112-145)
8. Inform Desk Officer, Precinct of occurrence, of facts.
9. Submit STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET to
desk officer, precinct of occurrence.
Section: Command Operations
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DESK OFFICER
10.
Review each STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT
WORKSHEET
Submitted and:
a. Instruct Member preparing WORKSHEET, if necessary.
b. Enter precinct serial number and sign WORKSHEET(S).
NOTE A separate precinct serial number will be assigned for EACH
WORKSHEET.
11.
Bring
STOP,
QUESTION
AND
FRISK
REPORT
WORKSHEET(S) to
the attention of the Commanding Officer.
12.
Photocopy STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT
WORKSHEET(S)
and forward as follows:
a. ORIGINAL – Criminal Records Section.
b. Photocopy –Precinct binder.
c. Photocopy – Detective Squad.
13.
Make appropriate entries on STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK
INDEX COVERSHEET (PD 344-152).
COMMANDING OFFICER
14.
Maintain a STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK WORKSHEET
binder at the desk for use by other uniformed members of the service.
ADDITIONAL DATA
A suspect should not be moved or transported from the location where
s/he is stopped for questioning unless s/he voluntarily consents or there
is an exigency, e.g. hostile crowd gathers and officer must move suspect
from the area for safety purposes, victim / witness is injured and cannot
be brought to location where suspect is being detained, so officer
transports suspect to injured party.
Some factors which contribute to “reasonable suspicion”:
a. The demeanor of the suspect.
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b. The gait and manner of the suspect.
c. Any knowledge the officer may have of the suspect’s background
and character.
d. Whether the suspect is carrying anything and what he is carrying.
e. Manner of dress of suspect including bulges in clothing.
f. Time of day or night.
g. Any overheard conversation of the suspect.
h. The particular streets and areas involved.
i. Any information received from third parties.
j. Proximity to scene of crime.
Desk officers or designated supervisors in other than patrol
precinct commands (i.e. PSAs, Transit Districts, OCCB, borough Task
Force or Anti – Crime units, etc.) who receive completed WORKSHEETS
will be responsible for obtaining the next precinct serial number from the
Desk Officer of the Precinct concerned. This number ONLY will be entered
into the box captioned “PCT. SER. NO.” on the STOP, QUESTION AND
FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET.
The Desk Officers or designated
supervisors in other than the Patrol Precinct commands will then review,
sign, and photocopy the WORKSHEET. A copy will be immediately faxed
to the precinct concerned, and the completed original WORKSHEETS
delivered back to the precinct concerned within twenty four (24) hours.
(ksapublications.info)
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I’d like to propose a REVISED Patrol Guide procedure, with my
changes in italics & larger type font. I feel it’s important to point out
that my new procedure is consistent with existing statutory law, the
recent NYC Council legislation, the recent federal court ruling, NYPD
policies, and safety- of both the general public and Police Officers on
Patrol.
MY REVISED (NYPD PATROL GUIDE) PROCEDURE
Procedure No: 212-11
03
STOP AND FRISK
Date Effective: 07-25-
PURPOSE
To conduct criminal investigations and protect uniformed members of
the service from injury while conducting criminal investigations
involving stop, question, and possible frisk situations.
DEFINITIONS
STOP – To temporarily detain a person for questioning.
FRISK – A running of the hands over the clothing, feeling for a
weapon.
SEARCH- To place hands inside pocket or other interior parts of
clothing to determine if object felt is a weapon. Normally used in
conjunction with Probable Cause & an Arrest.
Handcuffs may be utilized only in emergency conditions
and then only briefly.
PROCEDURE
When a uniformed member of the service reasonably suspects a
person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a felony or a
Penal Law misdemeanor.
UNIFORMED MEMBER OF THE SERVICE
15.
Stop person and
explanation of conduct.
respectfully
request identification and
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b. If not in uniform, identify yourself as a police officer.
16.
Frisk, if you reasonably suspect you or others are in danger of
physical injury. This reasonable suspicion must be based
upon objective, easily articulated, facts, and not
simply a vague ‘gut instinct’.
17.
Search, if frisk reveals object which may be a weapon, only
the suspected area.
NOTE Only that portion of the suspect’s clothing where object was felt
may be searched. Reasonable Suspicion is the legal standard of
proof, which is required for a lawful Stop & Frisk, and does
NOT generally permit a search. Any ‘search’ conducted
pursuant to a Stop & Frisk street encounter is subject to strict
legal scrutiny, and applicable ONLY to the very specific area,
where a possible weapon is felt. Operating under the legal
standard of Reasonable Suspicion, a general head to toe
search is never permitted, and searching of a suspect is strictly
prohibited via this procedure, absent either an arrest due to the
development of Probable Cause, or a (very) limited search of a
specific area on a suspect’s body for a weapon, pursuant to a
lawful frisk, due to the initial development of Reasonable
Suspicion of either a Felony or Penal Law Misdemeanor, i.e.
the reason(s) s/he had been initially stopped. Additionally,
searching or Frisking for illegally possessed drugs / narcotics is
NEVER permitted during a Stop & Frisk, which obviously has
the required, attendant legal standard of proof of Reasonable
Suspicion, without exception. Searching for any contraband,
including drugs / narcotics, is conducted pursuant to lawful
arrests, which obviously have the required, attendant legal
standard of proof of Probable Cause. Any searches for drugs /
narcotics are, in fact, illegal searches & seizures, which are
specifically prohibited by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. This legal boundary must be honored.
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18.
Briefly detain suspect while conducting investigation to
determine whether there is probable cause to make an arrest.
c. Suspect may be detained for a period of time reasonably related to
the facts, which initially justified the stop or are discovered during
the stop.
d. Complete investigation as expeditiously as possible; generally not
to exceed fifteen minutes.
Interim Order 20s 09
19.
Release suspect immediately after completing the investigation
if probable cause to arrest does not exist and provide suspect with an
explanation for the stop, question and/or frisk encounter, absent
exigent circumstances.
19a. When possible, i.e. police investigative protocols and the
ends of justice won’t be compromised, & consistent with
everyone’s safety, the Officer conducting the Stop & Frisk
should request Communications Division to repeat the
description of the wanted perpetrator, allowing the detained
individual(s) to hear this description for themselves, or at
minimum, fully & politely explain their actions to the person
stopped. It is understood that this practice would not apply
when the Reasonable Suspicion, which engendered the initial
Stop & Frisk, was based upon factors unrelated to a description
broadcast by the Communications Division, such as (but not
limited to) promulgation of a ‘Wanted Poster’, or information
regarding a perpetrator from either a victim / complainant or an
‘open’ UF 61, i.e. a previously prepared Complaint Report.
Note: If requesting Communications Division to re broadcast a
description of a wanted perpetrator may potentially jeopardize
an ongoing, fluid criminal investigation, Communications
Division should not be requested to re broadcast the
description of the wanted person(s).
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19b. In every case, absent exigent circumstances, such as the
presence of a hostile crowd or a medical emergency, the
Officer conducting the Stop & Frisk should hand the detained
individual(s)the form ’STOP & FRISK – a brief explanation’, if
the individual either questions the lawfulness of the stop or
objects thereto.
20.
Prepare STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT
WORKSHEET (PD 344-151A) for EACH person stopped.
NOTE If person stopped refuses to identify him/herself (and there is no
reason to take summary action) check off “REFUSED” in the appropriate
space of STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET.
Allow suspect to depart only after completing investigation and only if
investigation does not establish Probable Cause to arrest the suspect.
Request Patrol Supervisor to respond and confirm refusal, review
STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT WORKSHEET, and action
taken. Do not detain suspect while awaiting arrival of Patrol Supervisor,
if investigation is completed and no Probable Cause to arrest suspect.
UNIFORMED MEMBER OF THE SERVICE
21.
Enter details in ACTIVITY LOG (PD 112-145)
22.
Inform Desk Officer, Precinct of occurrence, of facts.
23.
Submit
STOP,
QUESTION
AND
FRISK
REPORT
WORKSHEET to desk officer, precinct of occurrence.
Section: Command Operations
DESK OFFICER
24.
Review each STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT
WORKSHEET
Submitted and:
a. Instruct Member preparing WORKSHEET, if necessary.
b. Enter precinct serial number and sign WORKSHEET(S).
NOTE A separate precinct serial number will be assigned for EACH
WORKSHEET.
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25.
Bring
STOP,
QUESTION
AND
FRISK
REPORT
WORKSHEET(S) to
the attention of the Commanding Officer.
26.
Photocopy STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK REPORT
WORKSHEET(S)
and forward as follows:
a. ORIGINAL – Criminal Records Section.
b. Photocopy –Precinct binder.
c. Photocopy – Detective Squad.
27.
Make appropriate entries on STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK
INDEX COVERSHEET (PD 344-152).
Executive Officer
28.
Review on a daily basis all Stop & Frisk Reports.
Special
attention should be paid to the overall legality of the Stop &
Frisk encounter; the factors that led to the initial stop, i.e.
whether there was a clear nexus between the crime suspected
and the person(s) who were stopped / detained; whether force
was used to affect the stop, the crime suspected, the time &
location of the stop, whether the suspect was frisked, and
whether h/she was ultimately arrested, subsequent to the Stop
& Frisk. Individual Police Officers who submit questionable
Stop & Frisk reports should be given special attention and
additional training via the Police Academy. When necessary,
i.e. whenever any criminality is suspected, the Internal Affairs
Bureau should be contacted and a Log number obtained.
Note: The respective Patrol Boroughs will obtain DAILY
summaries of Seven – Major crime locations, particularly
focusing upon violent street crimes, i.e. assaults, any crimes
involving a weapon, and Robberies from The Real Time Crime
Center, located at One Police Plaza.
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30 a. Review, on a daily basis, daily Borough – generated
reports of crime spikes, and deploy Patrol units accordingly,
giving special attention to enactment of Stop & Frisk.
30 b. In the absence of the Executive Officer, the Special
Operations Lieutenant will perform the above described duties.
COMMANDING OFFICER
29.
Maintain a STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK WORKSHEET
binder at the desk for use by other uniformed members of the service.
30.
Ensure that Patrol Officers request Communications
Division to repeat the description of the wanted perpetrator,
allowing the detained individual(s) to hear this description for
themselves, if possible & consistent with both safety & the
safeguarding of police intelligence & operations, or at
minimum to fully & politely explain their actions to the person
stopped, AND distribute the form ’STOP & FRISK – a brief
explanation to the person(s) stopped,
absent exigent
circumstance, when appropriate.
ADDITIONAL DATA
A suspect should not be moved or transported from the location where
s/he is stopped for questioning unless s/he voluntarily consents or there
is an exigency, e.g. hostile crowd gathers and officer must move suspect
from the area for safety purposes, victim / witness is injured and cannot
be brought to location where suspect is being detained, so officer
transports suspect to injured party.
Some factors which contribute to “reasonable suspicion”:
k. The demeanor of the suspect.
l. The gait and manner of the suspect.
m. Any knowledge the officer may have of the suspect’s background
and character.
n. Whether the suspect is carrying anything and what he is carrying.
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o.
p.
q.
r.
s.
t.
Manner of dress of suspect including bulges in clothing.
Time of day or night.
Any overheard conversation of the suspect.
The particular streets and areas involved.
Any information received from third parties.
Proximity to scene of crime.
Desk officers or designated supervisors in other than patrol precinct
commands (i.e. PSAs, Transit Districts, OCCB, borough Task Force or Anti
– Crime units, etc.) who receive completed WORKSHEETS will be
responsible for obtaining the next precinct serial number from the Desk
Officer of the Precinct concerned. This number ONLY will be entered into
the box captioned “PCT. SER. NO.” on the STOP, QUESTION AND FRISK
REPORT WORKSHEET. The Desk Officers or designated supervisors in
other than the Patrol Precinct commands will then review, sign, and
photocopy the WORKSHEET. A copy will be immediately faxed to the
precinct concerned, and the completed original WORKSHEETS delivered
back to the precinct concerned within twenty four (24) hours.
Commentary:
If it seems that I’ve made only a relatively few changes to this
procedure, it’s because I have! Good will by a few errant Police Officers
and a little more trust by the public would go a long way. However, trust
must be earned. The old cliché regarding a few bad apples ruining the
entire barrel happens to be true.
The problem is only partially solved via changes to the written
policy. A top – down operational change is necessary, as is a change in
NYPD culture, meaning the “it’s us vs. them” mentality must change! I
must stress repeatedly that only a minority of NYPD Police Officers
continue to conduct legally unjustified Stop & Frisk street encounters.
Police Officers do deserve the presumption of innocence and the benefit
of the doubt. Commissioner Bratton seems to be heading in a positive
direction in this regard. We need a change of NYPD leadership and the
current, unacceptable, mindset that Stop & Frisks can be used as a
blunt instrument to blanket a high – crime area in order to reduce violent
street crimes. What worked as a surge in Iraq does not work in New
York City! The goal of reducing violent street crime(s) is noble, but we
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can achieve it without inappropriately pressuring Police Officers on
Patrol to conduct legally questionable Stop & Frisk investigations. The
NYPD needs to stop fewer, but more criminally suspicious, individuals,
based upon the prerequisite standard of Reasonable Suspicion. A
change of mindset by top Police executives, most especially the Police
Commissioner, combined with perhaps fewer, but better – both legally &
operationally - Stop & Frisk investigations will fix the currently broken
Police – community bond and help ensure a better future for all New
Yorkers.
By pure coincidence and great luck, NYPD Police
Commissioner Bratton has returned to the NYPD, effective January 1,
2014. The Patrol Guide Stop & Frisk policy requires amendment, and
I’ve presented my proposed amended policy. Far more importantly, the
focus of the NYPD leadership must shift away from an endless, and
seemingly self – perpetuating, drive for greater enforcement numbers to
smarter, less intrusive, and legally acceptable Stop & Frisk enforcement
activity throughout New York City.
I have argued that several things need to be changed for Stop &
Frisk to become more effective as a crime fighting strategy, both legally
& operationally: 1. A change of leadership within the NYPD, i.e. less
focused simply upon generation of numbers, such as aggregate number
of Stop & Frisk reports; 2. a revised Stop & Frisk Patrol Guide
procedure, which I’ve presented (including the possibility of the stopping
Police Officer requesting a Communications Division re – broadcast of
the description of the wanted perpetrator), 3. a revised Stop & Frisk
worksheet (which is carried by Patrol Police Officers), which I’ve
presented, 4. (a.) a new simple form to be handed out, which I’ve
presented, 4. (b) creation of a new sub –unit within the Internal Affairs
Bureau to investigate Stop& Frisk complaints, 5. enhanced training at
the Police Academy – both initially as Recruit Officers & via in service
(ongoing) training, focusing specifically upon better, smarter, and more
effective Stop & Frisk encounters, as described in my new Patrol Guide
procedure, and 6. Establishment of a direct correlation between the
FBI’s UCR (as continually updated by the NYPD’s Compstat Unit) &
Stop & Frisk street enforcement. My proposed change #1 is the most
important revision, by a wide margin, in addition to inclusion of yearly
sensitivity training towards members of ethnic and minority groups.
Pressure for ever higher enforcement numbers must cease. They may
portray numerous NYPD Commanders in a favorable light and
tremendously boost their careers, but at what cost? Crime appears
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lower than it actually is, i.e. the precipitous drop is artificial and, even
more troubling, and numerous American citizens’ civil rights are being
either completely ignored, or at least severely compromised. Either
situation is totally unacceptable.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes an annual ‘Unified
Crime Report’, which breaks down crime within the United States
geographically and demographically. It tracks in detail the ‘Seven Major’
crimes, i.e. Murder, Rape, Robbery, Felonious Assault, Burglary, Grand
Larceny& Grand Larceny, Automobile. Among many other statistical
breakdowns of crime trends, the UCR lists American cities as least to
most dangerous, and explains what crime trends make them so
classified. (fbi.gov)
I propose directly linking the UCR, and NYPD’s Compstat
statistics, with NYPD enactment of Stop & Frisk street enforcement,
specifically, although not exclusively, focusing upon street Robberies &
any crime involving a weapon. This must be done on a daily basis and it
must be mandatory. The NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center would be
ideal to utilize on a daily basis. This would clearly allow for complete
transparency and would dispel critics’ claims that Stop & Frisk is being
used as a mechanism to suppress minority communities, and / or to
placate more affluent communities. NYPD already conducts Stop &
Frisk street encounters in high crime areas, but far too bluntly & heavy
handedly. Commissioner Bratton seems agreeable to, and I will suggest
that, Stop & Frisk street enforcement be selectively employed most often
at specific times & in specific areas – as dictated exclusively by the
UCR, and updated by NYPD’s Compstat Unit, and not by local political
pressure to simply generate numbers, which give the appearance of
lowering violent street crime, but are both illegal & serve to alienate
thousands of New Yorkers from the NYPD. This is key, and thankfully
we appear to be heading in the right direction.
I feel that Stop & Frisk, as I’ve explained, should be mended – not
ended. The Federal Judge; the New York State Attorney General, and
the New York City Council all cite a glaring need for change of the
current Stop & Frisk policies, but none have called for a cessation of this
invaluable tool for combating violent street crime(s). It should not be
used as a blunt instrument, ignoring in many instances citizens’
constitutional rights, but should be used much more selectively &
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effectively throughout New York City. A change of NYPD leadership
occurred on January 1, 2014 – this is a positive step, since Police
Commissioner Bratton agrees with my position on this issue. Enhanced
training, both initially for Police Recruits at the Police Academy and
ongoing for Police Officers via in – service training, is key to both
teaching a revised procedure initially, and for following up upon initial
training to ensure proper implementation thereof, on an ongoing basis.
Police Commissioner Bratton can order this training, if he sees fit to do
so. Measurement of aggregate numbers of Stop & Frisk street
encounters and attendant generation of UF 250s, i.e. Stop & Frisk
Reports, primarily due to Compstat – related pressure, should be
replaced by fewer, higher quality Stop & Frisk Reports, driven by better,
more specific and legally accurate training. Training is key, both initially
at the NYPD Police Academy and via ongoing, in – service, training, but
training can only compliment & support directives & pressure from the
top, i.e. from the Police Commissioner, once again William Bratton.
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PROPOSED STOP & FRISK HANDOUT
“STOP & FRISK – a brief explanation”
“The New York City Police Department is prohibited by law from
discriminating against anyone, in any circumstance. Additionally the
NYPD may NEVER discriminate against any person(s) on the basis of
actual (or perceived): race, religion, color, creed, age, national origin,
immigration status, ethnicity, alienage, citizenship status, gender,
gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, housing
status / un domiciled, perceived mental state, sexual orientation, or
perception of any of the above attributes as the determinative factor in
initiating any law enforcement action against any person.
An individual’s behavior, or other information or circumstances,
such as a description of a wanted criminal over the Police Radio, or a
NYPD wanted poster, or Police Complaint Report, or other concrete
information, which the Police Officer may share with you in very general
terms, so long as doing so does not compromise any ongoing police
investigations, that links a person or persons to suspected unlawful
activity, is the basis for a brief Stop & Question scenario.
The NYPD’s primary concern is public safety and the suppression
of violent street crimes. While we apologize for any brief delay you may
have experienced, we appreciate & thank you for your cooperation &
understanding of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of all New
Yorkers.
Should you have any further concerns, please feel free to request
further information in person at any police facility throughout New York
City, or, should you have complaints regarding Police misconduct, you
may call the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau at 1 – 800 –PRIDE PD. All
inquiries will be kept confidential. Falsely reporting an Incident is a
crime & will be prosecuted.
Precinct of Stop:
Location of Stop:
Date of Stop:
Time of Stop:
Officer’s Name:
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Officer’s Command:
Officer’s Shield Number:”
I feel this form goes a long way to ameliorate public mistrust of
Police behavior. It explains some of the legal foundations of Stop &
Frisk encounters in understandable terminology. Hopefully, it also
dispels some citizens’ anti police biases and pre existing distrust of
Police Officers. Additionally, I do feel that it will cause Police Officers to
perhaps think prior to conducting a lawful stop, and to put pressure upon
them to act responsibly. I believe that this form acknowledges the reality
that the vast majority of Stop & Frisk encounters over the years have
been conducted both professionally & lawfully, but that it also recognizes
and addresses those relatively few Stop & Frisks, which were not
conducted within the parameters of the law & NYPD guidelines. It will
put the minority of Officers who act recklessly on notice; illegal behavior
will not be permitted. Finally, it will place citizens on notice that false
reporting will be prosecuted. This brief form contains numerous checks
& balances! I feel it could make a world of difference.
I don’t propose that this form be distributed in every Stop & Frisk
encounter, but only when the person(s) stopped objected either to the
Police Officers’ specific conduct or to the legitimacy of the stop itself.
I also propose that NYPD’s special monitoring program specifically
following civilian complaints against Police Officers and their conduct
during Stop & Frisk encounters be expanded to encompass commands
throughout New York City. I propose the creation of a small, but well
trained & highly efficient unit within the Internal Affairs Bureau be
established to deal EXCLUSIVELY with Stop& Frisk – related citizen
complaints. Seasoned investigators must be selected and must be able
to apply common sense when evaluating the complaints against Police
Officers, originating from Stop & Frisk street encounters. They must be
fair and balanced in the conduct of their investigations. Police officers
must be afforded the presumption of innocence, i.e. the positive
presumption that they were acting in the interest of the common good.
Experienced investigators with both extensive patrol experience
&extensive investigatory experience should be selected for this
assignment. A small number of qualified investigators could fulfill this
mission, with no extra cost to the NYPD.
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My proposed hand out would facilitate review by the newly
appointed Inspector General, The Internal Affairs Division, and Precinct
Executive Officers, who I propose should take the responsibility to
oversee Stop & Frisk reports handed in by patrol Police Officers.
Additionally, the clear, specific & emphatic prohibitions, which I’ve
added to my revised procedure against (illegal) searches, which have,
sadly, sometimes been conducted pursuant to this procedure, and
against either searching or frisking for drugs - under any circumstances,
should diminish many instances of illegal frisks / searches. Citizens
aren’t all attorneys, but most do realize that it’s illegal for individual
Police Officers to exceed their legal boundaries. I believe correction of
this abuse of authority, noting that abuses are the exception and not the
norm, will help to heal the broken Police – community bond. When used
less frequently, but legally and more effectively, Stop & Frisk can be
used to surgically strike at violent street crimes, which continues to be
our clear objective. Initial and In – Service (Police) training must stress
the new prohibitions against both routinely searching under Reasonable
Suspicion & Searching / Frisking for drugs, under any circumstances.
The law and Department policy have always been clear, but my revised
procedure reminds the small, but significant, number of Police Officers
who’ve apparently forgotten both that only lawful & professional Stop &
Frisk encounters will be tolerated, moving forward in an effort to rebuild
the broken Police – community relationship.
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If NYPD does directly link the FBI’s UCR, as continually /
perpetually updated by Compstat & the Real Time Crime Center, with
NYPD enactment of Stop & Frisk, this would facilitate transparency and
would dispel critics’ claims that Stop & Frisk is being used as a
mechanism to suppress minority communities and to appease more
affluent communities. NYPD continuously conducts Stop & Frisk
investigations in high crime areas, specifically, although not exclusively,
focusing upon street Robberies & any crime involving a weapon, but far
too bluntly & heavy handedly, often with little regard for citizens’ rights.
Commissioner Bratton seems agreeable to, and I will suggest that, Stop
& Frisk street enforcement be selectively employed most often at
specific times & in specific areas – as dictated exclusively by the UCR,
and updated by NYPD’s Compstat Unit, and NOT by local political
pressure to simply generate numbers, which give only the appearance
of taking proactive law enforcement action & thereby lowering violent
street crime. Many current Stop & Frisk investigations are both illegal &
serve to alienate thousands of New Yorkers from the NYPD. This
development is key, and thankfully we appear to be in agreement and
heading in the right direction.
Proposed ‘Compstat’ correlation between Uniformed Crime
Report’s ‘Seven Major’ crimes and enactment of Stop & Frisk street
encounters is crucial. My proposed Patrol Guide revision details exactly
this. The initial analysis and subsequent linking of ‘Compstat’ crime
demographics, i.e. crime – prone individuals and locations, with Stop &
Frisk street enactment, i.e. enforcement of Stop & Frisk, is crucial to
placing enforcement teams where Stop & Frisk street encounters will
produce the greatest yield. In other words, they correct people will be
stopped and frisked at the correct places & times.
The NYPD’s ‘Real Time Crime Center’ is a sub unit of the
Detective Bureau, and is located at One Police Plaza, i.e. Police
Headquarters. This center is totally automated & computerized. Its’
purpose is to track current crime trends & crime ‘spikes’ in different
communities throughout New York City. It performs this function via
analysis of crime reports, called Complaint Reports (UF 61s) and
Complaint Follow Up Reports (DD5s). This recent addition to the NYPD
is a tremendous step in the correct direction. However, it doesn’t go far
enough.
Commanding Officers and Executive Officers must be
mandated to partner with this center and receive criminal intelligence on
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a daily basis. What god does this center serve, if the criminal
intelligence is NOT widely accessed and utilized?
Additionally, proposed changes to both Police Academy &
In – Service training need to be developed, implemented and maintained.
Commissioner Bratton said this was being accomplished at yearly firearms
training sessions. This is a terrific beginning, but more intense, greater
focused training and attendant evaluation may well be needed.
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IX
A Media Interview with Commissioner Bratton:
On how he plans to improve the relationship between residents and
police
“We’re going about it in several ways. One of the most significant
directions we’re going is to reduce the number of ‘stop, question and frisk’
stops by the members of the department. This is a campaign commitment
by the newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio. And his selection of me as his
police commissioner was that we both believed that there were too many
stops in years past and that the city would be better off with fewer stops.”
On the need for ‘stop, question and frisk’
“Stop, question and frisk is a basic tool of policing — not only
American policing, around the world. But in United States, it’s defined by
the Terry vs. Ohio Supreme Court decision back in the 1960s, which
articulated when police can stop and for what purpose. So every police
department in America every day does it.”
“The way it was practiced here for the last number of years is that it
was overused. And it’s the overuse that then created the negative reaction
to the basic policy itself. And the confusion about whether you can police
with or without it. You cannot police without it, I’m sorry. It’s — if you did not
have it, then you’d have anarchy, being quite frank with you.”
On what went wrong with ‘stop, question and frisk’ in New York City
“A system was devised where twice a year when we graduate our
recruit classes, which number in excess of 1,000 officers, that those
officers would be surged or assigned into the 10 or 12 highest crime
neighborhoods, effectively to make up for the fact that those precincts had
lost a lot of full-time officers that normally would have been assigned there
when the department had almost 41,000. The problem with that is that
those officers, while the most recently trained, were the least experienced.
And they were put into neighborhoods where they were, from my
perspective, inadequately supervised — there’d be one sergeant covering
10 to 12 of these officers, who were assigned in pairs. And so if they were
making stops — and they were encouraged to be very active in making
stops — if they were doing it incorrectly, if they were not doing it according
to the law, if they were not doing it according to policies and procedures,
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very often there would be nobody there to correct that inappropriate or
incorrect behavior. And so the habits of a 20-year career form very quickly
in that first year. So I think that policy, while it’s a sound policy, in its
implementation was where the flaws occurred.” I concur and believe this to
be key. Even the most legal, sound policy can become quite problematic in
its implementation, if it’s done improperly.
On translating New York City’s success in lowering crime to other
major U.S. cities
“There is no one-size-fits-all. It’s a combination of things. Much the
same as a doctor looking at patients, each patient is different — how much
medicine you use for what illness. So that’s where good mayors and good
police chiefs come in to play, in terms of what is the appropriate level of the
size of the police force, what is the appropriate activities they engage in.
Essential in all instances is to get community cooperation, support and
trust. So that’s one of the reasons why in New York there’s so much
attention being focused on reducing the Stop, Question and Frisk activities,
because particularly in the minority neighborhoods of the city — and
unfortunately those areas of the city that have the highest crime rates are
some of our minority neighborhoods — that you need the trust, cooperation
and collaboration of community residents to really have an impact on crime.
Police can’t do it alone. You can’t arrest your way out of the problem.”
Commissioner Bratton said that Police Officers were not
ordered to end Stop & Frisk, but he insisted, and assured the public, that
NYPD Police Officers would practice “constitutional & respectful policing”.
He mentioned the need to “break down some of the silos”, which have
been, regrettably, created in the war against crime. Commissioner Bratton,
reflecting on the over use of Stop & Frisk, stated that the use / abuse of
Stop & Frisk has NOT been directly correlated to safer streets. He added
that “even though stops are down considerably this year (2014), overall
crime is also down. (hereandnow.wbur.org)
Commissioner Bratton has directed the Deputy Commissioner
of Training to review, from top to bottom, the academic pedagogy of exactly
how Stop & Frisk is initially taught at the NYPD Police Academy. This is
precisely one of my initial proposals. As a former Law Instructor – who also
taught Stop & Frisk to Recruit Officers - at the NYPD Police Academy, I am
most pleased by this development.
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Essential in all instances is to get community cooperation, support
and trust. And so that's one of the reasons why in New York there's so
much attention being focused on reducing the stop, question and frisk
activities because particularly in the minority neighborhoods of the city, and
unfortunately those areas of the city that have the highest crime rates are
some of our minority neighborhoods, that you need the trust, cooperation
and collaboration of community residents to really have an impact on crime.
Police can't do it alone. You can't arrest your way out of the problem.
We have clearly come to understand that community policing, with its
emphasis on partnership between police and community, its focus on the
problems that are creating fear and disorder. And lastly, it's a strong
embrace of the idea that the goal of police should be to prevent crime, not
the measure of success on how they respond to it. All those things come
into play.
HOBSON: What do you think is the matter with Chicago, then, which
had 415 homicides last year, which was well more than New York City,
which has a population three times the size?
BRATTON: Well, you take a look at Chicago this year, their crime
rates are going down dramatically. The gang violence in Chicago, like Los
Angeles, has strongly entrenched gangs that are very violent. But if you
look beyond the aberration of that year or two where they were in the front
page of most American papers, I think you'll find that Garry McCarthy, the
superintendent out there, is doing a great job of turning that around.
The media reporting of that hasn't caught up to the media reporting
of the increase they had the previous year, but even the previous year
increase seemed more dramatic because in the previous years to that, the
crime had been down dramatically in Chicago. So you really need to take it
in the totality of context. You can't just take one year at a time. You need to
look at the trending, and you need to look at the broader picture, if you will,
rather than the snapshot.
HOBSON: What are your thoughts on the debate that's going on
right now over surveillance versus safety? And you're obviously in a city
that is probably the primary terrorist attack target in this country. Where do
you see that balance between surveillance and privacy?
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BRATTON: Well, in public space that you have no expectation of
privacy, according to the Supreme Court, and in cities like New York, you're
going to see more and more camera systems put in place both by the
public sector, as well as the private sector. Those systems are
phenomenally helpful in solving crime and in preventing it.
The issues of what police can survey, as they relate to terrorism,
increasingly we're seeing more court guidance on those issues, the idea
being that even in that area, there is a need to have some degree of
surveillance, but you need to do it in a way that it is always operating within
the law and never outside the law.
HOBSON: Commissioner, if we talk to you in a year, what would
you like to say you've accomplished in New York?
BRATTON: One, that the city has remained free of a terrorist attack
and that the low crime rates that the city has now experienced for 20 years
are continuing. And my expectation is that's what we will be able to report.
HOBSON: You miss anything about L.A.?
BRATTON: L.A. in the sense of miss the department, certainly,
great organization, miss a lot of the friends and relatives and miss my son
and his wife and the two grandkids, who are still living out there.
HOBSON: I thought you would say the weather, but apparently not.
BRATTON: Oh no, I like the four seasons. As long as I don't have to
shovel it, I'm very happy back here in the East Coast.
HOBSON: Bill Bratton, the new police commissioner for New York
City. Thank you so much for joining us.
BRATTON: Thank you, pleasure being with you.
HOBSON: So, I guess that means that the commissioner of the
NYPD gets somebody to shovel the snow for him. (hereandnow.wbur.org)
Commissioner Bratton, while in charge of the LAPD, created a Civil
Lawsuit Monitoring Program. Commissioner Kelly recently did so too, I
believe in reaction to Commissioner Bratton’s lead. Under Commissioner
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Kelly, NYPD & New York City paid out over $ One Billion, USC, in civil
penalties; much of this related to Stop & Frisk abuses. This is not
acceptable.
Economics drives both New York City and the United States.
Commissioner Bratton stressed that it is crucial for New York City’s image;
business & economic future to have New York City viewed as both safe &
operating within the law. Such an environment is necessary for businesses
to flourish. He stated that “if New York City is seen as a city going into
decline; if it’s seen as a city that’s increasingly becoming unsafe, New York
City can’t move forward economically.” (Tracy, 2014)
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TELEPHONE INTERVIEW with Detective Frank
Serpico:
I was quite fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct a telephone
interview with Frank Serpico, Det. NYPD (Ret). Det. Serpico’s testimony
engendered the famous Knapp Commission, formed to combat entrenched,
institutional corruption within the NYPD. I’ll detail my telephone interview
presently, but would like to make several observations regarding the
famous Knapp Commission.
I intentionally placed this telephone interview last. I wished to place
my paper and proposed revisions to Stop & Frisk protocols in a historical
context. Detective Serpico is an important part of the NYPD’s history. His
opinion, although dated, is worthy of inclusion.
While the Knapp Commission began its investigation of corruption in
the police department in June 1970, public hearings didn't start until
October 18, 1971. In addition to the testimony of 'lamplighters', aka
whistleblowers, Frank Serpico and David Durk, testimony from dozens of
other witnesses, including former Police Commissioner Howard Leary,
corrupt patrolmen and the victims of police shakedowns, were heard.
As an immediate result of the testimony of the witnesses, criminal
indictments against corrupt police officials were handed down.
Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy was appointed by Mayor Lindsay shortly
after the commission was formed to clean up the department, implement
proactive integrity checks, massive transfers of senior personnel, job
rotation in key fields, ensuring sufficient funds to pay informants, and
cracking down on citizen attempts at bribery.
Judge Whitman Knapp
On June 15, 1972, Whitman Knapp, Chairman of the Knapp
Commission, was nominated as a Federal Judge for the Southern District
of New York by President Richard M. Nixon.
Recommendations:
The commission issued its preliminary report on August 15, 1972, and
issued its final report on December 27, 1972. In its final report, the
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commission found widespread corruption in the New York City Police
Department, and made the following recommendations:






Commanders should be held accountable for their subordinates'
actions.
Commanders should file periodic reports on key aspects that would
breed corruption.
Field offices of the Internal Affairs division should be created at all
precincts.
Undercover informants should be placed in all precincts.
Improve screening and selection methods and standards.
A change in police attitudes.
I would like to highlight the fact that, technologically, there’s been a
sea change within the NYPD since the early 1970s. However, the need for
administrative, supervisory oversight has not changed that dramatically in
forty years. If it had changed significantly, I would not have to recommend
the creation of specific, concrete mechanisms to first alter & secondly
monitor Police abuses regarding Stop & Frisk.
I had the honor of speaking to Detective Frank Serpico, who stated
that, in his era, Stop & Frisk did not exist. Wow! However, Detective
Serpico did share some thoughts, which I find invaluable, both then and
now. They are, apparently, timeless. Detective Serpico told me that he
never stopped anyone without the required, prerequisite standard of (legal)
proof, i.e. Probable Cause – that a crime had been committed & that the
stopped individuals were very possibly involved. More significantly,
Detective Serpico told me that the NYPD will ‘circle the wagons’ in order to
protect the organization – regardless of who is currently in charge.
Detective Serpico does not believe, as I do, that Commissioner Bratton’s
return signifies a positive change in direction for the future of the NYPD. I
believe that Detective Serpico’s insight is of tremendous value, but we can’t
allow our own bitterness to blind us to even the potential for positive
change. I do assert that change, although painful, will occur. Detective
Serpico, who was shot in his face & properly received NYPD’s
Departmental of Honor, and I agree that institution – wide change must
occur at every level of the NYPD, or all hope of repairing the Police –
community bond may be jeopardized.
(F. Serpico, personal
communication, 2014)
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INTERVIEW WITH NYPD COMMISSIONER WILLIAM J. BRATTON:
The permanent changes which Commissioner Bratton has
implemented to significantly amend Stop & Frisk protocols & regulations,
in order to ensure compliance with both US law & NYPD policy, both
specifically & operationally, was the focus of my interview with
Commissioner Bratton.
My interview occurred on Monday, April 14,
2014. I initially intended to inquire specifically about two things: 1. What
exactly is your plan to implement a narrower Stop & Frisk protocol & 2.
How do you intend to strike an equitable balance between Combating
both crime & terrorism and respecting citizens’ collective constitutional
rights.
UPDATE:
On Monday, April 14, 2014, I personally met with NYPD
Commissioner Bratton. I must admit that I was nervous, prior to this
interview. We met at his office, which is located on the fourteenth floor
at NYPD Police Headquarters in Manhattan. In over 23 years of service
with the NYPD, I had never been in this office before.
Commissioner Bratton was very cordial, explaining that he had
limited time between appointments, but he was happy to accommodate
my request to discuss Stop & Frisk, for academic reasons. I did explain
that I was not seeking any confidential information, and was not seeking
to blame previous Police Commissioners for a problem, which everyone
admits needed fixing.
My first question to Commissioner Bratton, who’d previously led
the LAPD from 2002 – 09, involved his first impression of the NYPD in
2014, as opposed to the NYPD you’d known in the mid 1990s.
Commissioner Bratton said that he’d inherited a Department with
serious morale problems due, in large part, to heavy – handed over use of
Stop & Frisk, in an inappropriate quest for greater enforcement numbers,
which clearly did not reflect quality enforcement, in many cases.
Commissioner Bratton said that “The measure of a cop’s success was the
absence of crime & disorder”, quoting Nineteenth century British statesman
Sir Robert Peel.
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My second question to Commissioner Bratton was: “Have you
promulgated a new Patrol Guide procedure regarding Stop & Frisk?”
His actual answer surprised me quite a bit! He responded that his
administration has not made any affirmative changes to policy – because
the declination in stops has continued steadily since the prior
administration, extending into his current tenure as Police Commissioner.
He felt that no new Patrol Guide procedure was necessary because the
trend was moving in the proper direction and there already existed
numerous and ample Department directives regarding Stop & Frisk. In
sum and substance, he related that no new procedures were necessary;
we simply had to do a better job of supervising Police Officers on Patrol,
when they conduct Stop & Frisk street encounters and we need to target
them to areas where there is a significant spike in violent street crimes,
such as Robbery, weapons possession, and violent assaults.
Commissioner Bratton stated that the incidents of Stop &
Frisk have recently & dramatically decreased from: 694,000 in 2011, to
532,911 in 2012, and finally to 194,000 in 2013. Commissioner Bratton
called 2011 the peak year for Stop & Frisk, overall. As I previously noted,
Commissioner Bratton defended Stop & Frisk as an essential policing tool,
but said that it had been over applied for an extended period of time, under
Commissioner Kelly’s tenure. He believed that the dramatic and steady
decrease of Stop & Frisk street encounters over these thee crucial years
was both necessary, and a positive development.
Commissioner Bratton did not hold a positive view of his
predecessor, Commissioner Kelly. He said Kelly would be remembered for
NYPD’s first Inspector General, for imposition of a Federal Monitor, and for
an expanded Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). Commissioner
Bratton told me that he echoed PBA President Patrick Lynch’s feelings that
both Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly had totally ignored the
concerns of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association about imposition of
quotas for enforcement activity, including Stop & Frisk aggregate
enforcement numbers.
In objective fairness to Commissioner Kelly, under his tenure, crime
did in fact steadily decrease for 12 years, even with 6,000 fewer Police
personnel. I still assert that Commissioner Kelly used Stop & Frisk far too
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broadly and with some question as to its legality and conformance to both
the US Constitution and the NYPD’s Patrol Guide.
Commissioner Bratton said that NYPD has achieved the best results
in the modern era, and that he is attempting to reassure both the NYC
Council and the public that recent high profile shootings, notably in NYC
public housing areas, do not equate to or signify the beginning of a broader
trend – and are thankfully not citywide occurrences. He mentioned that
year to date homicides were recorded at 300, vs. 335 for the corresponding
period in 2013.
Commissioner Bratton repeatedly stressed the importance of
rebuilding the Police – community bond and Police morale. He’s employing
re – engineering and “predictive policing”, i.e. guessing where future crimes
may occur based upon past Complaint (crime) reports. He said he’s
collaborating both within and without the NYPD to affect positive changes.
Commissioner Bratton said that Patrol Police officers are again
aggressively pursuing graffiti artists and subway panhandlers, i.e. quality of
life enforcement, consistent with the ‘Broken Windows’ theory, which I
explore in this presentation. He stressed that we must strike a very
delicate balance between keeping violent crime low, while not dealing too
heavy handedly with community members, particularly people who reside
in high crime neighborhoods.
Commissioner Bratton also stressed that he was in the process of re
engineering the NYPD. Concomitant with his re engineering strategy, He
intended to add 1,000 additional Police Officers to Patrol via transferring of
officers from administrative positions to patrol enforcement positions.
To continue to safeguard New York City from future terrorist attacks,
Commissioner Bratton said that the Counter Terrorism Bureau would
receive 1,000 additional Police Officers.
Additionally, sophisticated
techniques currently in place to detect and combat nuclear, biological &
chemical assaults against New York City would be generally continued,
and in certain cases augmented.
Commissioner Bratton said that he intended to continue, and in the
case of community outreach, augment significant steps, which had been
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taken under the (former Police Commissioner) Kelly administration - to
increase public confidence in SQF procedures, such as:
o
Early 2012 – republished Department order specifically
prohibiting racial profiling was published (again);
Note: It is both tremendously important and legally appropriate to
note the significant difference between criminal profiling, which
is perfectly legal, and racial profiling, which is both illegal and
prohibited by Department policy. Criminal profiling, including
terrorist profiling, is based upon the prerequisite legal standard
of ‘Reasonable Suspicion’, which is established by objective
legal criteria, such as a detailed description of a wanted
criminal or the statement of a witness. Racial profiling, in sharp
contrast, is based upon no legitimate, objective legal standard
of proof, but merely upon stereotypical, racially biased opinions
of the Police Officer in question. An example, which could then
be used to justify a Stop & Frisk, would be the opinion that
‘most young black males carry weapons’.
o Published Interim Order that enacted new procedure that made
the Precinct XO personally responsible for conducting audits of
SQF activity;
o Memorandum Of Understanding with New York City’s Civilian
Complaint review Board (CCRB); giving that agency the
responsibility for prosecutions of substantiated CCRBs with
Charges and Specs recommended;
o Training was reviewed by Deputy Commissioner of Training
Established a new course at the Outdoor Range to reinforce
Stop & Frisk guidelines during annual firearms requalification;
5 part series of training videos produced by NYPD and
delivered at Precinct level unit training;
o Expansion of community outreach
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basic computer skills, which will help better prepare them
for college;
Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids- fosters positive
interaction between the police and youth;
Brownsville Violence Reduction Project, which focuses on
positive alternatives to violence and highlights available
community resources, and the benefits of sports &
education;
West Side Story Project- utilizing theatre arts to reduce
youth conflicts;
Commissioner Bratton said that Stop & Frisk numbers were
dramatically lower in the last quarter of 2013. 12,495 stops were
conducted between October, 2013 – December, 2013. This represents
a decrease of 86%, from 89,620 Stop & Frisk encounters from October,
2012 – December, 2012. Additionally, 16% of the Stop & Frisks led to
an arrest, as opposed to 6% of the Stop & Frisks having led to an arrest
in the last quarter of 2012. Commissioner Bratton smiled when he
stated this fact. I got the impression that he was very proud of this
statistic, and that he’d quoted it many times before!
I subtly argued for & added that a constantly updated
mechanism regarding current crime statistics, which could be
transmitted from Police Headquarters to all eight Patrol Boroughs & then
to respective commands, which I suggest in my paper, would not permit
any lag between reported crimes and Police deployment, especially
Stop & Frisk. My idea was to better utilize a perpetually – updating
Compstat model, which would be transmitted daily to all commands
throughout New York City. Stop & Frisk could then be used far more
selectively, yet appropriately. Regarding the nexus between Compstat –
reported crime and locations & times where Stop & Frisk street
encounters are conducted, Commissioner Bratton said that this is
already being done via deployment of Patrol Police Officers to areas
which have consistently high street level violent crimes, as determined
by examination of Police Complaint (Crime) Reports at a precinct level.
My idea is similar, but also includes deployment of Stop & Frisk
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enforcement teams surgically & selectively, based on daily Compstat –
generated reports. We do arrive in the same location regarding proper
deployment of Stop & Frisk enforcement teams including Patrol units,
but Commissioner Bratton chooses, I got the sense, to get there by
existing methods. He did acknowledge the utility of my proposal, and
he nodded slowly, but I got the sense that this particular suggestion
would end then and there.
A very positive reaction was engendered, however, when I
mentioned my suggestion that the Communications Division repeat, over
Police radio & for all involved to hear, the description of the wanted
perpetrator, when consistent with everyone’s safety and the ends of
justice – with the intended purpose of reaching out to & explaining to the
individual stopped under the auspices of Stop & Frisk why they had
been detained, i.e. because they fit the description of a wanted
perpetrator. I explained that I’d actually done this on Patrol and the
reaction was both positive and one of understanding. He felt that a large
part of the problem was the perception, and unfortunately sometimes the
reality that Patrol Police Officers spoke to the public in a rude,
condescending manner. He liked the idea of repeating the perpetrators’
description to the person stopped and promised that he’d think about
this concrete addition!
My interview lasted approximately a slightly over a half hour,
and I thanked Commissioner Bratton for his graciousness and his time,
which I recognize is very limited. I did hand him my proposed, revised
Patrol Guide procedure regarding Stop & Frisk, and I promised to deliver
my completed paper to him at a later date. He promised to look at both
what I handed him and my completed paper. (W. Bratton, personal
communication, April, 2014)
PBA President Lynch has publicly stated, on more than one
occasion, that morale is poor due to the heavy – handed manner in
which management in which management dealt with Police Officers,
especially regarding minor discipline – related issues. President Lynch
stated that reduced staffing put public safety at risk, and that Police
Officers were always blamed for politically – motivated, failed Stop &
Frisk policies, which had emanated from the highest levels of New York
City government. He felt that police Officers had been forced to
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implement a (Stop & Frisk) policy, with which they substantially
disagreed, and that this led to demoralization within the ranks.
Note: In August, 2013, Judge Shira Scheindlin appointed a
federal monitor & blasted NYPD’s overuse of Stop & Frisk as indicative
of ‘indirect racial profiling’.
I wanted a deeper understanding of the Brownsville Violence
Reduction Project. I researched this project via a phone call to its
coordinator, Erica Mateo, who directed me to the web site for the
Brownsville Community Justice Center.
Apparently, community
outreach is an important component of Commissioner Bratton’s plan.
I researched this community outreach program in order to better
understand its mission and to give me some idea as to where
Commissioner Bratton may be coming from, in his ongoing attempts to
ameliorate past Stop & Frisk abuses.
In recent years, the local police precinct has ranked as one of the
most violent in New York City; a recent New York Times headline about
Brownsville told the story succinctly: “Where Optimism Feels Out of
Reach.” The Brownsville Anti-Violence Project seeks to improve public
safety in Brownsville and enhance local perceptions of justice. The
project is the product of a unique public-private partnership involving:
—
New
York
City
Police
Department
—
Kings
County
District
Attorney’s
Office
— U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York
—
Center
for
Court
Innovation
—
Brownsville
Partnership
—
Pitkin
Avenue
Business
Improvement
District
— New York State Department of Corrections and Community
Supervision
— New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Adapting a model that has been documented to reduce crime in
Chicago, the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project convenes monthly “callin”
forums where parolees returning to the neighborhood meet with
representatives of law enforcement, social service providers, and exoffenders who have gotten their lives back on track. Participants in the
meetings receive a targeted, three-pronged message: that future violent
126
behavior will be rigorously prosecuted at both the state and federal
levels; that many ex-offenders have successfully re-entered the
community; and that individuals seeking help will be supported by the
community
and
its
service
providers.
In addition to the call-in meetings, the Brownsville Anti-Violence
Project includes a public education campaign promoting nonviolence
and a range of community engagement and mobilization projects,
including visible community service projects and youth programming.
Funding to support the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project has been
provided by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Measuring results the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project will be a
closely-watched experiment. To measure the project’s impact,
researchers from the Center for Court Innovation will conduct the
following:
— Neighborhood Crime Analysis, documenting the program’s impact on
rates
of
violent
crime
in
Brownsville.
— Recidivism Analysis, documenting the effect of the program on reoffending
by
participants
in
the
call-in
meetings.
— Community Surveys, measuring the extent to which the program’s
anti-violence
message
takes
hold
in
the
community.
It appears, based upon a review of the above – described project
and other ongoing efforts by Commissioner Bratton, listed above, that he
is using a multi - pronged approach to repair the damage, which has
been caused by past Stop & Frisk abuses. He’s deploying Patrol
enforcement (of Stop & Frisk) where violent street crimes are occurring;
however, he’s doing so intelligently & surgically. He’s not using a blunt
instrument, as occurred in the past, by hammering an entire
neighborhood with heavy – handed Stop & Frisk tactics and attendant
illegal searches. He’s quietly limiting the use of Stop & Frisk to areas
experiencing dramatic crime ‘spikes’, yet he’s publicly defending a more
limited use of Stop & Frisk as being necessary to combat crime. He’s
also attempting to re build bridges with the community.
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Additionally, he’s NOT promulgating a new Patrol Guide
procedure, and my sense was that he has no intention of so doing. He
believes that enough formal, written protocols already exist. Increased
monitoring, extending from his office to the new Inspector General, to
the Internal Affairs Bureau, to the federal monitor, to CCRB, to various,
respective Patrol Boroughs, all the way down to Precinct Executive
Officers (Captains assigned as second in command) is sufficient to fix
past Stop & Frisk abuses, in Commissioner Bratton’s opinion. Thus far,
he appears to be completely correct.
He also briefly stated to me that he would prefer only quality Stop
& Frisk Reports be generated. Numbers do NOT appear to be his focus.
This is great and, as I’ve repeatedly argued throughout this paper, I
totally concur. The challenge will be to persevere, and to ensure that his
vision is initially embraced and subsequently enacted by every level of
the NYPD. We must keep an eye on Stop & Frisk street practices; if we
don’t, the problem will resurface, with a vengeance. I say this because,
frankly, the community has had enough of heavy – handed policing, and
I don’t blame them for this. They will NOT tolerate further abuses of this
valuable policing tool. I strongly sensed Commissioner Bratton was
keenly aware of this.
He’s apparently not losing the forest for the trees, so to say. Upon
reflection, I must opine that I concur. As a former Police Academy Law
Instructor, I tend to sometimes get lost in technical, legal definitions and
varied nuances. I had to think about it, but a multi – faceted approach is
best. A deep rooted problem is never fixed quickly, nor easily.
Numerous, community based projects which foster positive growth and
tangible, positive alternatives are good ideas, and worthy of combination
with any attempt to fix Stop & Frisk internally, within the NYPD. Stop &
Frisk past abuses did not occur in a vacuum, but in New York City’s
varied ethnic, especially minority, communities; therefore, it’s quite
reasonable to conclude that fixing these past abuses, and thereby
mending the Police – Community partnership, must not occur in a
vacuum, but on the streets, playgrounds, housing developments and
public areas in which we live & work.
Note: Surveillance of the Muslim community (Handschu decision)
and Stop & Frisk (Terry v. Ohio) policies targeted minority communities
& people of color, and both had been justified essentially as necessary,
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in order to ensure public safety from terrorism and violent street crimes,
respectively. Commissioner Bratton pointed out during my interview that
crime, particularly violent street crime, has continued to decline,
concomitantly with a steady & significant decrease in Stop & Frisk street
enforcement. Commissioner Bratton is delighted with the drop in crime,
and with the reconstruction of bridges with minority communities
throughout New York City. He feels that we’re heading in the right
direction.
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INTERVIEW WITH CONGRESSMAN PETE KING
On Monday, May 5, 2014, I had the honor of meeting
Congressman Peter King regarding NYPD’s Stop & Frisk policy.
Congressman King currently serves as Chairman of the House of
Representatives Sub Committee on Counter Terrorism and Intelligence.
He was formerly Chairman of Homeland Security. Congressman King,
who also expressed a limited amount of time for an interview, felt that
Stop & Frisk was a positive law enforcement mechanism, and should be
continued. In sum & substance, he’s proactive regarding the use of
Stop & Frisk, because it has proven effective over the past several
decades. He added, however, that, like any law enforcement program, it
required ongoing, proper administrative oversight – in order to prevent
potential abuses. He felt that restraint must be used.
Congressman King believed that Commissioner Bratton was on
the correct path, and that Stop & Frisk needed to be modified,
concomitant with a ongoing partnership between the NYPD and
respectable, honest community leaders. He seemed to feel, although he
didn’t explicitly say so, that there existed a number of demagogues,
enriching themselves and posing as legitimate community leaders. He
felt strongly that the voices of legitimate community leaders needed to
be heard, and that their opinions needed to be seriously considered. I
couldn’t agree more.
Congressman King believes that Stop & Frisk and terrorism
have a certain amount of overlap, from both legal and operational
perspectives. He fully acknowledged the absolute need for maintenance
of constitutional safeguards of American citizens, specifically regarding
Search & Seizure. He believed that a sea change is needed, specifically
regarding the manner in which American intelligence agencies look at
foreign threats of terrorism. He felt that numerous, potential leads are
often not pursued, due to organizational inertia and mistakes that are
made specifically regarding the analysis of terror – related intelligence.
Congressman King stressed the need for ‘political knowledge’. He
supported the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim communities, now
discontinued, so long as it was reasonable and conducted within strict
constitutional parameters.
130
In summation, Congressman King enthusiastically supported
NYPD’s use of Stop & Frisk, in an ongoing effort to fight both terrorism
and violent street crimes. He actually supported it slightly more
vigorously than I did, while acknowledging the absolute need for
administrative oversight. He believes that Commissioner Bratton is
leading the NYPD in the correct direction, in regard to both terrorism and
violent street crime, which do overlap to a significant degree. It’s slightly
ironic that I desired slightly more of a check upon Stop &
Frisk that did Congressman King. I’d expected slightly different results.
This interview illustrates the necessity for an openness and receptivity to
others’ points of view, both individually and collectively. I must say that
I concur, and I thank Congressman King for his valuable input. (P. King,
personal communication, May, 2014)
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X. Circulation (35 outlets):
Presentation of new ‘Patrol Guide Procedure’ to:
1. William de Blasio, Mayor, City of New York;
2. NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton;
3. Congressman Peter King, my Congressman & Chairman of the House
of Representatives Sub Committee on Counter Terrorism and Intelligence
4. Eric Schneiderman, NYS Attorney General;
5. Melissa Mark – Viverito, Speaker, NYC Council;
6. Vanessa Gibson, Chair, NYC Council’s subcommittee on Public Safety;
7. William
Management
Andrews, Deputy Commissioner,
Analysis & Planning;
NYPD’s
Office
of
8. Phil Eure, NYPD Inspector General;
9. President Phil Lynch, NYPD PBA;
10. President Charles Caputo, NYS Fraternal Order of Police;
11. President, ACLU New York chapter;
12. President Jeremy Travis, John Jay College of Criminal Justice;
13. Suzi Huffington, Editor, American Cop Magazine;
14. Loraine Burger, Editor, Policeone.com;
15. David Griffith, Editor, Police Magazine.com;
16. Editor, St. John’s University ‘The Torch’ (Campus Newspaper);
17. Editor, The Village Voice;
18. [email protected];
132
19. Bill O’Rielly, Host of Fox New’s ‘The O’Rielly Factor’;
20. Sean Hannity, Host of Fox News’s ‘Hannity’;
21. Meghan Kelly, Host of Fox News’s ‘The Kelly Factor’;
22. Timothy Bolger, Managing Editor, Long Island Press;
23. Law Enforcement Only, Face Book Blog for Police / law enforcement;
24. LEO Affairs, The Voice of Law Enforcement Online;
25. [email protected];
26. [email protected];
27. [email protected];
28. [email protected];
29. [email protected];
30. [email protected];
31. [email protected];
32. [email protected];
33. Editor, Police Chief Magazine;
34. Brennan Center for Justice, N.Y.U. School of Law;
35. Cynthia Brown, Publisher, American Police Beat Magazine.
Ms. Brown indicated that my letter would be published in the November /
December issue of American Police Beat magazine.
133
Note: Below is a generic letter, which I used for publication. I slightly
modified this letter, depending upon the intended recipient. NYPD Police
Commissioner Bratton and NYPD Deputy Commissioner William Andrews
received both my letter and my new, proposed Patrol Guide procedure. I
deliberately selected a diverse audience - in political power; in the highest
ranks of NYPD’s executive corps, in powerful media outlets, in academia,
and in unofficial & rather unconventional outlets. I’m quite determined that
my ideas receive an audience!
Vanessa Gibson
Chair, Committee on Public Safety,
Council of the City of New York
250 Broadway, Suite 1770
New York, NY 10007
Dear Ms. Gibson:
I’m a retired NYPD Captain, who spent almost a decade on Patrol, at
four different ranks. I’m also a proud member of NYPD’s Honor Legion.
I’m troubled by what I see at this moment. Police – community relations in
New York City are at an all time low. The situation regarding the Stop &
Frisk debacle is in need of immediate redress and remedy. This situation is
far more important than a debate regarding police tactics or law, although
both of these elements are crucial.
This reality is troubling to me - at many levels, especially because
minority community members may be far less inclined to be the NYPD’s
‘eyes & ears’. One would be hard pressed to find a comparable era in New
York City history, save perhaps for the 1960s.
This troubles me
tremendously, because I honestly believe that a better, more positive
relationship is possible. Far too much trust, understanding, and empathy
has been lost, possibly forever. As a NYPD retiree who grew up in New
York City, I have a vested interest in helping to mend fences and augment
this very necessary bond. The public, particularly many members of the
minority communities throughout New York City, now view the NYPD in a
different, greatly diminished, light. We do share common ground regarding
134
our mutual desire for NYPD Police Officers to conduct proper, legal and
better – focused Stop & Frisks.
I taught Law at the NYPD Police Academy & I have significant patrol
experience. I believe that there are some simple, common sense, easily
attainable changes that the NYPD could, and arguably should, make to the
current Stop & Frisk policies. These changes will start the healing process
within
our
city.
The NYPD is long overdue for a change of mindset. For decades,
NYPD executives were focused simply upon generation of numbers, such
as aggregate number of Stop & Frisk reports. Prior Police Commissioners,
who did a great job in protecting New York City against terrorism, lost the
forest for the trees, by focusing only on numbers, i.e. what’s referred to as
the ‘Compstat’ process. Using computer mapping and technology to
analyze and fight crime is without a doubt the wave of the future, but it must
never replace common sense, astute crime fighting, good police work, and
respect for citizens’ constitutional rights. Simply pressuring officers to
generate a high volume of Stop & Frisk reports does NOT make New
Yorkers any safer. The Stop & Frisk reports must be not only conducted in
a legal manner, but must be done when & where street crimes, particularly
Robberies and any crime involving either a weapon or violence, are
occurring.
NYPD can take several proactive measures to ensure that Stop & Frisks
are conducted properly and at the right places & times. Aggregate numbers
of Stop & Frisks would probably decrease, but the overall quality of these
Stop
&
Frisks
would
be
better.
In addition to some of the finest Police Officers in the world, the NYPD
has tremendous, state of the art resources available to her; however, these
resources are not always properly utilized. The ‘Real Time Crime Center’
could provide a daily transmission of the locations of serious / violent street
crimes, especially Robbery, to various overhead, aka. Patrol Borough,
commands, which in turn could disseminate this data to the 77 precincts,
which cover the entire City of New York. This would allow Patrol
commanders to direct both uniformed & plain clothes Stop & Frisk
enforcement to be directed to exactly the appropriate places at exactly the
appropriate times, i.e. when & where the violent crimes are occurring. This
would allow timely & proper deployment of enforcement teams to
135
implement Stop & Frisk street encounters, where they are most needed.
An additional tactic I learned after almost a decade on Patrol may help to
diminish unnecessary Stop & Frisks. When on patrol, and when consistent
with personal safety & the ends of justice, I often requested Central
(Communications Division) to re – broadcast the description of the wanted
perpetrator, whom I was frisking, or patting down for a weapon. This allows
the person(s), whom I’d stopped to clearly see that I was NOT stopping
them indiscriminately, but had a legitimate & lawful reason for having
stopped them, i.e. they fit the description which had been broadcast via
NYPD radio. Simple tactics like this allow citizens to see that NYPD
officers
conduct
good,
legal,
proper
stops.
Additional internal, administrative oversight regarding complaints of
abuse of Stop & Frisk, conducted by veteran NYPD investigators, with vast
Patrol experience, could afford NYPD officers the deserved presumption of
innocence, and the public a cheap, impartial investigation. I also urge
enhanced training at the Police Academy – both initially as Recruit Officers
& via in service (ongoing) training, focusing specifically upon better,
smarter, and more effective Stop & Frisk encounters, in addition to
increased sensitivity training regarding ethnic & religious minorities. If we
know each other better, we’re less likely to see fellow citizens as
dangerous aliens, i.e. halt the ‘us vs. them’ mindset. Numerous members
of the public hold the erroneous notion that NYPD Police Officers are
indiscriminately stopping citizens, often without sufficient cause. Illegal Stop
& Frisks, statistically a small minority of all Stop & Frisks conducted, have
occurred & must diminish, while legitimate Stop & Frisks must be laser –
targeted, to help deliver illegal guns from the hands of perpetrators. The
vast majority of NYPD officers, who do a tremendous job day in and day
out, deserve and would benefit from an augmented public confidence in the
NYPD. It wouldn’t get better overnight, but, within a relatively short time,
the public would once again view NYPD cops as the Finest, a description
earned over many decades. Please consider my recommendations and
my letter for publication; the word needs to spread. We both desire a safer
City, but one in which every citizen receives legal due process. Best.
136
Sincerely,
Jim Dooley
Captain, NYPD (Ret.)
137
XI.
Conclusion – Where do we go from here?
Recently, Patrick Lynch, President of NYPD’S Patrolmen’s
Benevolent Association, said that NYPD Police Officers were afraid to take
any enforcement action on the streets of New York City. He cited the
ongoing furor over the tragic death of Eric Gardner, who died after having
resisted arrest, subsequent to being cited for the crime of selling untaxed
cigarettes. The arresting Police Officer allegedly employed a choke hold,
which is technically legal, but prohibited as per NYPD’s Patrol Guide, i.e.
Police Officers’ rules & regulations. Legally & departmentally, this case will
take years to settle and will even further undermine public trust in Police
Officers. This tragedy could not have occurred at a worse time for New
York City.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor Eugene O’Donnell
stated that an anti – Police climate now exists in New York City, and this
climate is at least partially responsible for the dramatic decrease in Stop &
Frisk street encounters. He added that the proliferation of lawsuits may
encourage perpetrators to be more aggressive in actively resisting arrests
by NYPD Police Officers.
Let’s mend Stop & Frisk protocols; not end the practice all
together! I have argued that several changes regarding Stop & Frisk must
be enacted to transform Stop & Frisk street encounters into a more
effective crime fighting strategy, both legally & operationally. A change of
leadership within the NYPD, i.e. less focused simply upon generation of
numbers, such as aggregate number of Stop & Frisk reports, needs to
occur. A revised Stop & Frisk Patrol Guide procedure (including the
possibility of the stopping Police Officer requesting a Communications
Division re – broadcast of the description of the wanted perpetrator), which
I’ve presented, will help tremendously, but needs relentless follow – up to
ensure compliance. A revised Stop & Frisk worksheet (which is carried by
Patrol Police Officers), which I’ve presented, will help push Patrol Police
Officers in the right direction, and a new simple form, which may be handed
out, will help to end numerous Police – community misunderstandings.
Finally, enhanced training at the Police Academy – both initially as Recruit
Officers & via in service (ongoing) training, focusing specifically upon
better, legal, smarter, and more effective Stop & Frisk encounters, as
described in my new Patrol Guide procedure will produce both better Police
– community relations and a reduction in violent street crime(s). Increased
138
sensitivity training, presented on a yearly basis, regarding ethnic & religious
minorities would also be of tremendous value. If we know each other
better, we’re less likely to see others as dangerous aliens.
Even if one of my suggestions, i.e. for Communications
Division to re broadcast a description of the wanted individual over the
Police radio so that he or she may hear it him / herself and thereby know
that they’re NOT being racially profiled, is implemented, I’ll feel like I
contributed, even incrementally, to healing the Police – Community bond.
Additionally, linking Stop & Frisk to daily transmissions from the Real Time
crime center is an intelligent & efficient use of NYPD resources. Let’s put
police resources exactly where they’re needed.
Commissioner Bratton recognized the reality that simply
blanketing an area with Stop & Frisk enforcement produces great
enforcement numbers, but at what cost? Commissioner Bratton also liked
very much my idea regarding a rebroadcast of a wanted perpetrator’s
description over the Police radio – to show the detained individual(s) that
they were stopped because they fit a description of someone wanted for a
crime.
Police Commanders’ careers are enhanced and enforcement
numbers are driven higher - artificially, but numerous citizens’ collective
constitutional rights are sacrificed, to a greater or lesser degree. This is not
acceptable. What worked as a surge in Iraq will not work in New York City.
I feel that Stop & Frisk, as I’ve explained, should be
somewhat, but not necessarily dramatically, mended – not ended.
It should no longer be used as a blunt instrument, ignoring in many
instances citizens’ constitutional rights, but should be used much more
selectively & effectively throughout New York City. A change of NYPD
leadership occurred on January 1, 2014 – this is a positive step, since
Police Commissioner Bratton agrees with my position on this issue, and
has already directed that recent graduated of the Police Academy be
assigned to low & medium crime areas of New York City. This will facilitate
their learning a more measured & balanced approach to law enforcement &
will engender a greater respect for citizens’ legal rights, regarding Stop&
Frisk street encounters.
139
As I’ve written, linking the FBI’s UCR (as continually updated
via NYPD’s Compstat Unit & transmitted daily by NYPD’s ‘Real Time Crime
Center’ to citywide precincts, via the respective Patrol Boroughs) with
NYPD enforcement of Stop & Frisk would facilitate transparency and would
dispel critics’ claims that Stop & Frisk is being used as a mechanism of
abuse of citizens, particularly of minority citizens. NYPD does a good job
of conducting Stop & Frisk street encounters in high crime areas, but far
too bluntly & heavy handedly. My suggestion is that Stop & Frisk street
encounters be directly linked to crime statistics, i.e. where violent street
crimes, Robbery in particular, are occurring, via a direct link to the FBI’s
Seven Major Crimes Index (as continually updated by NYPD’s Compstat
Unit). This has not been the case under former Police Commissioner Kelly,
but it appears to be so to a larger extent under Commissioner Bratton.
Commissioner Bratton seems to believe that quality is far
more important than quantity. I couldn’t agree more. A top – down sea
change is required. My only fear is that affecting a change in mindset is
significantly easier than maintaining this mindset for many years to come.
Greater supervision of Patrol Police Officers by front – line supervisors is a
sine qua non; as is improved initial, Police Academy Recruit training, and in
– service training. Simply providing a refresher training class at semi annual range (firearm) training is a good beginning, but, I believe, not
sufficient for long term change.
When Stop & Frisk street enforcement is selectively employed
most often at specific, high - crime times & in specific, high -crime areas –
as dictated exclusively by the UCR & Compstat, we can really focus upon
intelligent crime fighting. Local political pressure to simply generate
numbers in an attempt to appease often affluent residents gives the
appearance of lowering violent street crime, but this is both illusionary and
dangerous. NYPD must never alienate thousands of New Yorkers from the
NYPD.
Simply blanketing an area with Stop & Frisk enforcement
produces great enforcement numbers, but at what cost?
Police
Commanders’ careers are enhanced and enforcement numbers are driven
higher - artificially, but numerous citizens’ collective constitutional rights are
sacrificed, to a greater or lesser degree. This is not acceptable. What
worked as a surge in Iraq will not work in New York City. As written in my
first, and most important, proposed change, emphasis must be placed upon
140
quality and constitutionally permissible enforcement activity, as opposed to
simply hammering a high – crime area, in a never – ending effort to
produce high enforcement street contacts. A large segment of our city is
beginning to distrust the NYPD. This trend must be reversed, before the
damage is irreversible.
As I’ve asserted, New York City is not Iraq. Enhanced training,
both initially for Police Recruits at the Police Academy and ongoing for
Police Officers via in – service training, is key to both teaching a revised
procedure initially, and for following up upon initial training to ensure proper
implementation thereof, on an ongoing basis. Police Commissioner Bratton
can order this training, if he sees fit to do so. Additionally, and more
importantly, Commissioner Bratton can reduce the aggregate use of Stop&
Frisk street encounters in such a way as to use Stop & Frisk more
intelligently, more selectively & legally. Focusing Stop & Frisk exclusively
on the precise areas & times when violent street crimes are occurring will
reduce the total number of Stop & Frisk street encounters, but will generate
more fruitful enforcement activity & will reduce violent crime. Daily
transmissions by the Real Time Crime Center in regards may be one viable
approach. This will reduce crime, particularly violent street crime, and this
will enhance public safety & confidence in the NYPD. Additionally, re –
broadcasting the wanted suspect’s description, when feasible, will allow
transparency and will begin to rebuild the Police – community bond, which
is currently in shambles.
Measurement of aggregate numbers of Stop & Frisk street
encounters and attendant generation of UF 250s, i.e. Stop & Frisk Reports,
primarily due to Compstat – related pressure, should be replaced by fewer,
higher quality Stop & Frisk Reports, driven by better, more specific and
legally accurate training. Newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Bratton
has indicated that this policy, i.e. of using less but more targeted Stop &
Frisk street encounters will be his main focus. Additionally Commissioner
Bratton added that he seeks high quality arrests, i.e. specifically those
which enhance public safety, as opposed to simply high numbers of
aggregate arrests, which include many that do little to enhance the safety
of communities throughout New York City. Quality now seems to be
replacing quantity, and that’s both terrific & long overdue.
The problem starts at the top, with the Police Commissioner:
141
It is systemic within the NYPD. We must stop focusing upon quantity,
and begin to focus upon quality – something Commissioner Bratton has
sworn to do. In addition to Commissioner Bratton, however, the mindset of
a legion of NYPD Chiefs must evolve. Police executives very often pay lip
service to whatever the current Police Commissioner espouses, but
continue, probably due to inertia, as always – ever focused on lower crime
numbers. This trickles down to field commanders, who sometimes,
mistakenly, exert undue pressure upon Patrol Officers to generate
enforcement activity numbers, including Stop & Frisk street encounters.
This, in turn, indirectly causes Patrol Officers to violate citizens’
constitutional rights. Herein lays the dilemma. Every layer must change; a
change at the top of the NYPD must trickle down to the seven Patrol
Boroughs; otherwise, nothing will change – ever. As evident from the
included video, we must do a better job at bridging the Police – community
gap. We must appear to the entire community, if we ever hope to work
together to promote a peaceful, harmonious community, whose respective
members are willing, and even eager, to share criminal / terrorist
intelligence with the NYPD, and law enforcement departments through the
United States of America.
We must, however, also empower and defend decent, hard –
working Police Officers, when they act reasonably to stem the increasing
tide of shootings and other violent street crimes. It’s a delicate balance, but
one we can achieve. Doing so will guarantee better Police – community
relations in the years to come. This is key because we’re now combating
both crime & the threat of terrorism.
Citizens often provide invaluable intelligence in this arena. We need
the support of the community. The small, but significant, number of illegal
Stop & Frisks conducted by NYPD Police Officers must cease and the
majority of legal & proper Stop & Frisks by NYPD Police Officers must be
lauded as the good police work that it represents. Deficiencies need
correction and good work needs recognition. We’re all in this together!
142
XII.
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Additional internet sources, which I used as general, backround information
& source material:
http://www.nyujlpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Harris-Across-theHudson-16nyujlpp853.pdf
http://hs1.farmingdale.edu:2134/ic/ovic/home?u=sunyfarm_main&p=OVIC
(Opposing
viewpoints main page)
http://hs1.farmingdale.edu:2134/ic/ovic/searchResults1/actionWin?failOver
Type=&resetBreadCrumb=true&query=OQE+Stop+%26Frisk&prodId=OVI
C&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&displayquery=OQE+Stop+%26Frisk&mode=view&limiter=&u=sunyfarm_main&tota
lSearchResultCount=995&displayGroups=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&acti
vityType=BasicSearch&scanId=CSH
http://hs1.farmingdale.edu:2134/ic/ovic/AcademicJournalsDetailsPage/Aca
demicJournalsDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&wind
owstate=normal&contentModules=&displayquery=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Journals&limiter=&u=sunyfarm_
main&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&sou
rce=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&sc
anId=&documentId=GALE%7CA375696912
http://hs1.farmingdale.edu:2134/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/Viewpoints
DetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&windowstate=norma
l&contentModules=&displayquery=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&limiter=&u=sunyfarm
_main&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&so
urce=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&s
canId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010572237
http://hs1.farmingdale.edu:2134/ic/ovic/AcademicJournalsDetailsPage/Aca
demicJournalsDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&wind
owstate=normal&contentModules=&display147
query=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Journals&limiter=&u=sunyfarm_
main&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&sou
rce=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&sc
anId=&documentId=GALE%7CA319811995
file:///C:/Users/Dylan/Downloads/SSRN-id2485375.pdf
148
Data Reveals That Just 3 Percent Of Stop & Frisks Led To
Convictions, And Just 0.1 Percent Led To Convictions For A
Violent Crime
Posted by BrooklyNews.com on Nov 14, 2013 in Local News | 0 comments
149
JEFFERSON SIEGEL/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Students from the
CUNY School of Law demonstrate outside Manhattan Federal Court
on Friday, April 5, 2013. The trial on NYPD Stop & Frisk tactics is
ongoing inside.
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cops-pressured-frisk-professor-article-1.1309239 - #
150
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