“Stop and frisk” is another example, if one were needed, of how the Left wins political battles by getting us to stumble into the trap of adopting their language. The phrase probably leads many people to believe it connotes a police officer stopping anyone at random and frisking them with no justification. It’s actually nothing of the sort. Police officers cannot simply detain anyone they see. They must first have legal justification. The person stopped must be doing something or behaving in some manner that gives a police officer “reasonable suspicion” that criminal activity may be afoot. Reasonalbe suspicion is something a bit less stringent than probable cause, which confers the right to arrest, handcuff, conduct a full search, take to jail and charge with a specific crime.
Rudy Giuliani explains in today’s Wall Street Journal:
One of the strategies that helped bring about an 85% reduction in crime in New York City between 1994 and 2013 was the careful and appropriate use of “stop and frisk.” This practice dramatically reduced the number of guns, knives and other dangerous weapons, as well as illicit drugs, in the city.
But according to candidate Hillary Clinton and moderator Lester Holt during Monday night’s presidential debate, stop and frisk is “unconstitutional.” They are wrong. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, it’s the usual misrepresenting she does when she does not know what she is talking about. As for Mr. Holt, if a moderator is going to interfere, he should do some homework and not pretend to know the law when he does not. Mr. Holt and NBC cannot overrule the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stop and frisk is based on an 8-1 decision of the Supreme Court, Terryv. Ohio. That ruling hasn’t been overturned or even modified by the court since it was handed down in 1968. Stop and frisk is constitutional and the law of the land. The majority opinion, written by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, approved the constitutionality of stopping a suspect if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, or was about to commit, a crime. If the officer also has a reasonable suspicion the person is armed, he can conduct a pat-down—that is, a frisk—of a person’s outer clothing.
Over a 20-year use of this policy, spanning the administration of two New York City mayors and four police commissioners, stop and frisk played a material part in reducing homicides in New York City. It helped to change New York City from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the country. In each of those 20 years, approximately six of 10 murder victims in New York City were African-Americans. In other words, stop and frisk saved many black lives.
When you run the numbers of how many murders annually were occurrng in New York City before Rudy Giuliani as mayor adopted Broken Windows Policing, of which stop and frisk is an integral part, over 7,000 people in the City are alive today that would probaby be dead if Giuliani had not been mayor. Since the majority of the deaths by murder are of black people, the majority of the lives saved by stop and frisk are black. Stop and frisk is much better at keeping black people alive than anything Black Lives Matter can ever do or would ever even want to do.
New York’s current mayor De Blasio has ended stop and frisk. He’ll have plenty of blood on his hands for doing so. Most of it will be the blood of black people. The grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan couldn’t do as much.