One Year After Ending Stop-And-Frisk, NYC Murder Rates Hit 20-Year Low

| by Edward Arnold

The aggressive stop-and-frisk laws that were supposed to make citizens safer might not have been as effective as people thought.

For the past two years, the media have depicted the stop-and-frisk laws as necessary to save black and Hispanic lives.

Yet, this week, New York City's crime rate hit a 20-year low. Last week, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said there were 20 fewer murders this year compared to last. “Our rates are probably some of the best in the nation," Bratton said.

The man behind this new policy to stop unnecessary police stop-and-frisks is New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. His focus was ending the thousands of unconsitutional stops of people who weren't suspects, most of whom were black and Latino. Between 2004 and 2012, there were 4.43 million stops, 52 percent being black and 32 percent Latino.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional because cops were stopping people without reasonable suspicion, making the policy an example of indirect racial profiling.

Her comments sparked intense media debate that stop-and-frisk is essential to preserving life on the streets, especially by the right-wing media.

“Stats aside, it's a fact if you take stop-and-frisk away, more black Americans and more Hispanic Americans are going to die,” said Bill O'Reilly.

However, the call to action on this issue was not to take stop-and-frisk away; it was to address the unconstitutional searching of people who are not suspects and are not committing crimes.

Over the last two years, police stops have fallen significantly, down 75 percent from 2011. In 2013, the city recorded the fewest amount of murders in its history.

Cities across the country without aggressive stop-and-frisk policies have seen big drops in their murder rates as well.

“When the fear-mongers try to drive public policy to rationalize the disregard and violation of fundamental rights, no one wins,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told HuffPost. “The good news is that their dire predictions have not only proven to be irresponsible, but wrong, and the decline in stop-and-frisk policy that routinely subjected people of color to constitutional violations has been accompanied, as predicted, with a decline in crime rates to historic lows."

Source: Huffington Post, NY Times / Photo Credit: Associated Press