If you've been following me on Twitter, you've probably already seen that I was tweeting about this over the weekend. At some point this weekend, I was randomly perusing the News, and I came across an editorial on the local Fox 5 Affiliate. It was intriguing and I got excited because it finally seemed as if someone in the media had gotten it right.
Even if you're not in the NYC area, I'm sure you've heard about the "Stop and Frisk" policy employed by the NYPD. It's controversial, as some people feel that it is racist. Opponents argue that it targets men of color disproportionately. What it does, and what it's meant to do, is target bad guys of any persuasion and keep illegal handguns off the streets of NYC.
The truth is that this policy---commonly referred to as "Stop and Frisk" is actually titled: Stop, Question, and Possibly Frisk. What's the big deal, you might ask? Who really cares? Why are we toiling in semantics? Well, as the wife of an NYPD Officer I can tell you that I care. I care because the way the Media paints this will often cause a righteous fervor in the minds of Politicians and the general population. A great number of people do not understand the reasons behind using this reliable tactic, and therefore make themselves look foolish when commenting upon it.
I actually saw one such fool comment on Twitter one day: something about why doesn't the NYPD Stop and Frisk down on Wall Street, as that's where all the cocaine is...?
This tactic may or may not result in a drug arrest, but that is not why it is deployed on a regular basis. It is deployed so that the cute little four-year-old black girl does not get caught in the crossfire and shot as she and her Mom walk across the street to buy some juice from the local bodega.
Tell me: is that a racist move on behalf of the NYPD?
Keep in mind that all stops don't always end up in a frisk and that the primary reason is to question---not frisk.
If you'd like to check out a clip of the editorial I saw this weekend, it's right here: