The Rules Don`t Apply In NYC
April 23, 2012, 01:21 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Much of the fury directed by the national press at George Zimmerman has been over the allegation that he "profiled" Trayvon Martin. How dare there be some backward corner of the Confederacy where people are more suspicious of blacks than of everybody else!

And, yet, like IQ tests for 4-year olds, Things Are Different in New York City. For example, NYC elected a black mayor ... once, and ever since the Democrats have gone 0 for 5 in mayoral elections there.

Crime is hugely down in New York City, in sizable part because the NYPD targets NAMs for stop-and-frisks. Profiling? Well, of course. But, it`s not really a big issue because, well, because it`s made life in New York City a lot better for everybody who is anybody.

Michael Powell writes in the NYT:

In that year [2002], the police stopped and questioned 97,296 New Yorkers; 82 percent of them walked away without so much as a ticket. Nine years later, in 2011, his officers stopped 685,724 New Yorkers; 88 percent of them were also completely innocent. A vast majority were black or Latino men. … 
Less than 2 percent of police stops led to the recovery of a weapon. ...


If you do the math, that`s about 10,000 guns per year being taken off of people who don`t have permits, which is ... a lot. But, still, if those Ku Klux Klanners in Sanford, Florida were doing it, it would be different.

I tried this around my dining room table this weekend. I am white and my sons — Aidan, 19, and Nick, 24 — travel to many corners of a city that they love. Has a cop, I asked, ever stopped you? 
Both shook their heads no. 
On Monday morning, I put that question to eight black male students who attend the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Cumulatively, they said they had been stopped 92 times. They spoke with surprisingly little rancor. 
But they wonder at the casual humiliations. The police stopped Mario Brown, who dreams of a career in theater arts, and forced him to take off his sneakers in the subway. (“It’s kind of ridiculous; I don’t see any Caucasian kids doing this.”) They forced Jamel Gordon-Mayfield, 18, the son of a police detective and a doctor, out of his parents’ S.U.V. one afternoon and demanded he take a Breathalyzer. (He passed.) Then they searched him and the car. 
Jasheem Smiley, 19, sweet and soft-spoken with a neat goatee, lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his uncle. Two months ago, he says, a van drove up on the sidewalk and a man jumped out. “I’m a cop!” the man yelled. “Get down on the sidewalk!” Mr. Smiley complied but feared he was being robbed and asked to see a badge. The officer, he said, responded by putting his shoe to his face and pressing it to the pavement.

Has the American-born black male population of New York City been dropping for years, in part because of police harassment?

Sure. But, it`s different because this is New York we`re talking about, not some racist backwater.