Friday, February 10, 2012

Frisk This

Of the many controversies swirling around the NYPD, the biggest one that will probably be an issue in the 2013 mayoral race is the policy of Stop and Frisk.

This is basically where cops stop people and search them for drugs, guns, knives or anything else that would prove they are menaces to society. Many who are caught with something are either arrested or issues summonses. Those who are not found with anything are just annoyed and inconvenienced. 

The NYPD and the mayor -- backed by most of the newspaper editorial boards and powers-that-be in this city -- support the practice and tout it as a key crime fighting tool. Those who are mostly the targets of frisky cops obviously don't like the practice and question its effectiveness. And, not surprisingly, blacks and Hispanics are overwhelming the people being stopped and frisked. 

This policy and its controversy is clearly one of those issues with huge potential to become a wedge issue in this city's politics. Wealthy people and white people will probably support the policy while poorer and minority people won't. It's one of those policies that just about everyone who isn't affected by it supports. But if anyone is affected by it, they hate it and want it stopped. 

It's too bad that in the second decade of the 21st century, issues like this still emerge to divide the city. 

A couple of articles in this week's Village Voice show the human side of stop and frisk, and how people react to it. If it's something that happens to other people, you don't care. If it happens to you, then you crusade to stop it. 

In 2013, Stop and Frisk will either stop -- or the cops will be more frisky than ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.