Fuck You, Mayor Bloomberg


Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has rarely met an authoritarian policy he didn’t heartily endorse. Speaking against a bill that would appoint an inspector general to oversee the NYPD and give innocent victims of its stop and frisk program some legal recourse, he said:

I loathe that illegal guns threaten our communities every day, especially black and Latino communities, because politicians don’t have the courage to stand up for the measures that can save lives. In Washington, some elected officials don’t have the courage to stand up to the special interests on the right and pass common sense gun laws. And in New York City, some don’t have the courage to stand up to special interests on the left and support common sense policing tactics like stop and frisk. We don’t need extremists on the left or the right running our police department, whether it’s the NRA or the NYCLU.

Really? Bloomberg, of all people, is going to claim that he’s just looking out for the well-being of the black and Latino communities while advocating for a stop and frisk program that targets black and Latino men 87% of the time and white people only 10% of the time? Seriously, Bloomberg, fuck you. The 4th Amendment is not a suggestion and it certainly does not make one a “left wing extremist” to demand that you comply with it.

Comments

  1. baal says

    I’m generally on the gun-control side but deeply suspicious of why Bloomberg is as well (given his authoritarian leanings).

  2. gshelley says

    While those figures are suggestive of racism, they certainly don’t prove it.
    In an ideal world, we would know what percentage of people in the general population were carrying and then compare it to the percentage of people who are stopped and searched. If they were the same, if they were the same, it suggests that searches are either random, or they are based on some behavior or attribute that actually has no correlation to criminality.

    Without that figure, it is much harder to be sure, but we may be justified in concluding racist policies if the percentage of people stopped who are carrying is wildly different, for example if 90% of whites who are stopped are actually guilty, but only 10% of non whites, this would imply that whites are being selected based on some useful feature, and non whites are not.

    It gets harder if the figures are closer – say 10% of both whites and non whites. Given crime statistics it seems likely that whites are less likely to be carrying (though it would depend on the crime), so in this case, it could still suggest racism (ie if 1% of whites are doing something illegal, and 10% of those stopped are, then even as low as 10%, there is clearly some selection. If 10% of non whites are doing something illegal, and 10% of those stopped are as well, that would again suggest the searches are essentially random).

  3. timpayne says

    Actually, in his comical outrage, Ed’s conveniently ignoring the fact that 96% of shooting victims, and 97% of shooting arrestees in NYC, are black or hispanic. So the cops should spend more time frisking American Indians and Asians? Bloomberg obviously has more than a potato between his ears.

  4. says

    Racism or no racism, we can look at the fact that only about ONE PERCENT of the people searched actually were found to be armed, and conclude that any claims that this policy actually reduces crimes are to be viewed with suspicion.

  5. says

    timpayne, no, the cops should not be frisking anyone at all without reasonable cause. Or maybe you missed the mention of the Fourth Amendment in Ed’s “comical outrage.” Or maybe you just don’t grasp the point of the outrage because you don’t grasp the Fourth Amendment.

    In which case, fuck you too.

  6. Chiroptera says

    Bloomberg: Hey, Black People, your being stopped and frisked all the time is for your own good! Stop complaining, you ingrates!

  7. dogmeat says

    While those figures are suggestive of racism, they certainly don’t prove it.

    Actually, given the demographics of the city, the policy is quite obviously racist. The “white” population makes up 44.6% of the population yet only makes up 10% of those who are stopped and frisked. Given the utter failure of the program (as pointed out by Raging Bee @5) the criteria used in the program has no rational basis so defending it (or even suggesting that there be other potential criteria) isn’t well supported.

  8. mas528 says

    @gshelly,

    The figures only suggest racism only because statistics can *only* suggest a probability of anything. Unless it is 100%.
    I would have to look at methodology and data collection even then, since nothing is 100% except for eventual death, and even that is induction for what is alive today.

    Statistics can not prove a thing.

  9. gshelley says

    Actually, given the demographics of the city, the policy is quite obviously racist. The “white” population makes up 44.6% of the population yet only makes up 10% of those who are stopped and frisked.

    It might seem obviously racist, but that doesn’t make it so. Just from those figures it is entirely possible that the white population is frisked less because they police have a pretty good method of detecting people who are carrying guns and the white population is far less likely to be carrying. If we include additional data, such as only 1% of people stopped, then it does become more likely the policy is racist, or at least that if there is a behaviour being used, it is next to worthless.

  10. says

    …it is entirely possible that the white population is frisked less because they police have a pretty good method…

    You mean like racial profiling? Go spew your crap to Sam Harris or some other racist who cares, because in addition to being racist racial profiling doesn’t really, y’know, work.

  11. lochaber says

    Even if it’s not racist (which I think shouldn’t even have to be argued, but apparently that’s not the case…), there are 2 major problems.

    1) Blatant violation of the 4th amendment (why is this one so frequently violated?)

    2) as Raging Bee pointed out, only 1% are found to be armed, which makes whatever detection method they are using a colossal failure.

    And this is pure speculation, but given that they are specifically targeting minorities, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of that ‘armed’ 1% were trumped up charges for otherwise legal items.

  12. says

    To be fair, the seizure rates are probably so so-called “out of whack” because the police only find stuff on Aftrican-American friskees the first time they’re stopped (after that it takes a while for them to save up their food stamps to buy more drugs and guns and rapping music and wheels that spin). And, statistically, the blacks probably get picked more often because, statistically, they all look the same.
    Now, don’t get me wrong. Those are the facts. I’m not a racist. I have black friends. Sometimes I even let them use my bathroom.

  13. No One says

    Eventually all the brown criminals will be arrested. Selective pressure will leave only white criminals to flourish.

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