Racist authoritarians insisted that ending stop-and-frisk would increase violent crime, but the opposite just happened

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/21/counting-the-cost.html


Good! Feel that regret deeply. Learn from it. Teach others.


Who could have ever imagined that all those rights we incorporate into our basic laws were not necessarily suicide pacts?

I wonder what other jackboot policies might be counterproductive?


Counterproductive to what? Crime went down - it keeps going down. Stop and Frisk was a waste of money and effort on that front. Counterproductive in that it ruined police/citizen relationships and raised racial tensions - yes. I argue it wasn’t counterproductive - I argue it was a total waste of human time on this earth, and the result of magnitudes of pain and suffering that didn’t need to happen.

To that end I argue - it was not counterproductive - it was a god damn travesty.


It was counterproductive by the standard of “bringing the administration of justice into disrepute”, a phrase enshrined in law. If people don’t trust the police, they don’t call the police. Hence the law about it. The counterproductivity is not a new problem, it has been seen before. It’s why “draconian” is a word in the language, following Draco, a Greek 2000ish years back, offering the theory that if there were harsh punishments for minor crimes, there’d be no major ones. Didn’t work because of the disrepute problem, people avoided the police.


Amazing how this country is willing to accept gross violations of the rights of its citizens for no good when those citizens are people of color.

What’s amazing is how many law enforcement policies there are that we know have the opposite of the (supposed) intended effect, yet they keep doing them. It’s hard to tell where pure ignorant incompetence on the part of law enforcement (still doing “scared straight” programs, even though we know they make kids more likely to be criminals as adults) turns into straight-up racist abuse of minority communities.


Not “amazing,” just business as usual, unfortunately.


Sure - I even agreed with that in my post. Wrapping these events in a word like ‘counterproductive’ places a veneer of sophistication and civility that these policies lack and don’t deserve.

Obviously counterfactuals are hard to support, but I would argue that creating an adversarial relationship between law enforcement and otherwise law-abiding citizenry is by itself counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime. We’ve seen that elsewhere, where (for instance) people of color are afraid to call for help because they know of neighbors who called 911 for medical assistance and were instead shot by police in their own homes. Not going to get many crime reports that way, will you?

In fact, IIRC there’s a fair bit of research to the effect that community policing – promoting a collaborative relationship between the residents of a neigborhood and law enforcement – greatly reduces crime.

That, of course, is on top of the radical notion that law enforcement is supposed to be a service to the citizenry, rather than an occupying force to be feared and loathed.


Repeal drug laws, release non-violent drag law offends, provide amnesty, and crime will drop further.


I should have said “amazing,” or perhaps amazing (/s). Or whatever the opposite of ‘surprising’ is.

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And also the queens would agree that drug laws offenders should be released


We’re not just seeing it in New York. Camden eliminated their police force and replaced it with a smaller lower paid force, with a community policing orientation. Crime has plummeted. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/01/what-happened-to-crime-in-camden/549542/ In contrast Cleveland has embraced the more money and equipment approach http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/01/another_deadly_year_for_clevel.html More and more frequently the “pro-cop” approach shows itself to be anti-community. We have to choose if we want safer communities and dignity for all residents or more of the modern policing structure, because they are clearly incompatible.


Use this in the future:



The problem with that is, it makes me potentially seem slightly surprised.

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I say take it further. These outdated opinions often don’t form unbidden, and I think one can trace them to specific lobbyists and the groups they represent. Don’t just reform policing but reform the capitalist-patriarchy model that continues to follow a divide-and-conquer m.o.
Take these divisive groups to task where possible.


Is that really the goal of American policing, though?


This is my favorite part;

“No one could possibly believe there could be 685,000 legitimate stops in a year,” the spokesperson, Stephen Davis, said. “We just focused more on learning how crime works. There are a small number of people responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.”

There called criminals Stephen. Concentrate on the criminals.


cough cough… “war on drugs”…