In August, after the New York Times published a story accusing the New York Police Department of overtly racist policing, the NYPD responded by noting that: “During the first 10 years of the Bloomberg Administration there were 5,430 murders compared to 11,058 in the 10 years prior, a reduction of 51% or 5,628 lives saved. If history is a guide, the vast majority of those lives saved were young men of color.”
That continued a trend that began during the previous decade, when Rudy Giuliani was mayor. The drop in crime resulted in, for example, a 90-percent reduction in murders in one of Manhattan’s largely Hispanic neighborhoods. Minority communities in New York have been the beneficiaries of a policing revolution that put the city back on its feet in dramatic fashion. But to liberal activists and their judicial allies, the dignity of life is undercut by the supposed indignities inflicted upon the neighborhoods where police use the effective “stop and frisk” tactic.
They have sued to stop the practice, arguing police make their stops based on race. Judge Shira Scheindlin gave the case a boost when she ruled that the plaintiffs have standing to not just sue the city but to challenge the use of the police tactic at all. Though the decision to allow the case to proceed to trial was a blow against efforts to protect minorities, the trial itself has at least had the benefit of weakening the case against the NYPD–as well as Scheindlin’s own decision to approve the plaintiffs’ standing.