Today’s Investigative Special Report July 12, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “Stop And Frisk”- Police Over Reaching or Saving Lives?

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

In Chicago this past weekend there was a shooting of an eight year-old boy in the Englewood neighborhood and a 12-year-old girl was shot in the Mason Park. Both of these shootings occurred in the city of Chicago. Since 2012 began there has been a 38 percent increase from last year (2011) in Chicago homicides. Last year there were 433 homicides and this year there are already 275. Something is wrong in the city of Chicago, where children can’t play in the street or parks without the possibilities of being shot, injured, or killed.
English: Chicago Sun-Times building in Chicago...
English: Chicago Sun-Times building in Chicago, IL - includes a Holiday Inn at the top (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chicago Sun-Times states, “During a single 90-minute stretch 13 people are shot. The outstanding Chicago Police Department Officials must be sending police officers from one shooting to the next. What most people don’t understand with each shooting there is a trickle down affect when it comes to city, county, state, and federal resources?

With each violent assault, shooting, or homicide an aid-car, fire department personnel, medical personnel, crime scene personnel, police officers, police supervisors, communication/dispatch personnel and on and on have to either respond violent incident or provide services and resources to those involved in the violence. The amount of money being expended all across the United States is staggering. There are cities which have been left to protect themselves from those who are in charge of the streets. Each city needs to evaluate and ask the question, “Who is in charge, the citizens or the community or the gangs?”

What does race have to do with all of the shootings happening in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and so forth? It is African American on African American. It is Hispanic on Hispanic. It is gang fighting another gang no matter the race, age, community, education, or the territory. Violence is not color blind. It does however harm and murder children who are innocent and as Mayor Emanuel stated in talking to the gangs, leave the children alone.

Emanuel (Photo credit: Marcio Cabral de Moura)
The communities who are afraid and outraged needs to be dealt with. In Chicago the short-time Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former President Obama white house aide, has a belief when speaking about gangs, “They do have values. They have the wrong values. Don't come near the kids -- don't touch them." Really, Mayor Emanuel, they have values? Do individuals who violently assault, shoot, and murder others have values of any kind?

The new Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy believes in the current strategies that his police department is presently instituting. He points to a decrease in other areas of crime, in fact a 60% reduction. There are two things happening under McCarthy’s reign, he was hired by Emanuel to bring down the numbers reference the crime to make Emanuel look good, or crime is down, or a combination of both.

Emanuel and McCarthy can’t change or manipulate the number of shootings and murders not to mention all of the violent assaults. A dead person counts as one there is no way to get around it. A person who is shot counts as one. They generally end up in the hospital and as well are counted.

The major crimes occurring in a city tell the community that they live in a safe or unsafe city. The statistics don’t make sense in Chicago. Those who live in the city are asking the wrong questions of its leaders. The discrepancy needs to be seriously questioned.

English: NYPD Dodge Charger #2909 in midtown M...
English: NYPD Dodge Charger #2909 in midtown Manhattan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In New York, the stop and frisk police procedure is making a difference. However, certain individuals are complaining that the actions of the police is ‘profiling.’ According to Wikipedia:

The stop-and-frisk program of New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department to stop, question, and search people. About 684,000 people were stopped in 2011. New York residents have questioned whether these stops are based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. According to NYPD statistics, over 80% of those stopped have been completely innocent. The vast majority of these people were African-American or Latino.

In New York, in using the stop and frisk police procedure, crime has decreased by 22% and this has caused major criticism from the ACLU. During these 684,000 stop there were 8,623 weapons seized. The question than is, “How many of these weapons out of the hands of criminals did not find a human target?” If
English: New York City Police Department headq...
English: New York City Police Department headquarters Español: La sede del Departamento de Policía de la Ciudad de Nueva York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 not for the stop and frisk these weapons would have never been seized. The Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly who has been in his position since 2002 has his police officers backing off due to civil right issues. Kelly is a creative, innovative, and intelligent leader who has kept crime in New York from escalating out of control.

In Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and his department’s use of stop and frisk tactics has made a major impact in crime. The same problem exists in the civil liberties have intervened and their stop and frisk tactics have been reduced. However, there is an educational program occurring in the lower-class residential areas teaching the residents how to deal with the police. Still homicides are up this year, 189, the highest since 2007.  With the educational programs and the stop and frisk minimally being utilized maybe crime will once again decreasing.

The mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee wants to institute the stop and frisk police procedure. According to Digital Access, “…Lee recently stated that he is considering adopting a stop and frisk strategy similar to one employed by the New York Police Department under Ray Kelly.” Lee has already been criticized by civil right groups that this policy should not be incorporated. The crime in San Francisco has decreased over the past 10 years, so it is unknown why Lee is considering the stop and frisk strategy.  

There is no place in this society for racism. Stop and frisk can be viewed as targeting specific ages and races. However, there is much happening in the United States and may explain why there is so many violent crimes occurring in the major cities.

Currently, under President Obama there are 28 million people unemployed, 45 million people on food stamps, emotions are high, people are hurting, families are breaking up, the divorce rate is high, 50% of marriages end in divorce, and instead of dealing with all of these daily problems people are hurting and killing one another. Gangs have taken over neighborhoods. Drugs are being sold on many street corners. Respect for the law is at an all-time low.

However, according to the FBI, violent crime dropped by 4 percent in 2011, this being the fifth straight year, which has criminologists trying to understand the link between personal and property crimes in touch economic times. (The Christian Science Monitor, June, 2012)

In the meantime, the police procedures in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and other major cities need to come together with the civil liberties organization and come to a middle ground, if one exists or is possible.

The victims here are those who live in the lower-class residential areas of the major cities. Children are no longer allowed to be children and play on the streets. Gangs either punish or push young boys and girls into becoming gang members. It has become a part of life for these children.

Putting a police officer at every corner is not going to work. The nucleus family needs to transform and begin cleaning and making those who are acting criminally to change. Those who won’t conform to the laws of the land need to go to jail. Police agencies need to have the ability to do their job.

The costs of shooting and murders are out of control in the major cities in America. Society needs to do the math and figure out for every violent incident, there is another dollar that goes into the pocket of the bad guy’s behavior.

The trickle down resources which are reactive to the violence happening in the streets needs to stop and redirected. The numerous methods and techniques in how to stop the violence are available, but there is a fine line between aggressive police tactics like the stop and frisk and the violation of someone’s Constitutional rights. Bringing everyone together to find the answers begins at the top with leadership being demonstrated by those who are in charge. Make those in your community accountable and responsible for making the right decision.

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 Lawrence W. Daly                                             Follow me on Twitter @lawrencewdaly
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