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Frisking Common Sense



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So, U.S. District Court judge Shira A. Scheindlin has done what has long been expected, which is to rule that the “stop and frisk” tactics practiced by the New York Police Department are an affront to the Constitution and must end. She also called for a federal monitor to oversee reforms in the department. 

With apologies to the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, today’s Fox Butterfield Award goes to the New York Times, whose story on the ruling includes this: “These stop-and-frisk episodes, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline . . .”

I do not endorse, nor should any police officer endorse, extra-constitutional means to achieve law-enforcement ends, no matter how noble. But in the Bronx, a week ago Sunday, an NYPD officer shot and killed 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse as he, Douse, was attempting to shoot some rival gang member. Would it not be preferable that the police had stopped and frisked Douse before his crime than shot him after? 

And is there anyone who believes that the added layer of federal bureaucracy over the NYPD, with all its inherent inefficiencies, will make the city safer?

Liberals, especially those who would never dare set foot in the Bronx, can rejoice at Judge Scheindlin’s ruling, then watch the bodies begin to pile up.  

UPDATE: As I feared, my Fox Butterfield reference is already used in today’s Best of the Web.

— Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jack Dunphy” is the author’s nom de cyber.



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