U.S. Senator John Kennedy has an op-ed in The Times-Picayune today. His editorial offers some suggestions for combatting the increasingly out of control crime problem in New Orleans. Those suggestions are:
- Reverse the Landrieu hiring freeze at the NOPD
- Increase the budget of the Orleans Parish DA’s office
- Better coordinate with neighboring parishes and see if they can help with policing New Orleans
- Implement “stop and frisk” in New Orleans
The first three suggestions are not what we’re concerned with. Those three are by and large good suggestions and are not all that controversial outside of the Mitch Landrieu fan club. The point of this post is to address the fourth suggestion, “stop and frisk.”
Among those who think “stop and frisk” is a good idea is our own Dan Fagan. Fagan wrote today:
Before cops can employ stop-and-frisk they must first have probable cause. With DUI checkpoints everyone is stopped without any justification. This comes just a little too close to a police state for my taste.
But what is similar between the two is they without dispute work. Stop-and-frisk is one of the strategies that helped bring about an 85% reduction in crime in New York City between 1994 and 2013.
Think of how many lives would be saved if New Orleans saw an 85% reduction in crime. To argue the policy is ineffective is just silly. The politically correct look foolish trying.
Actually, stop and frisk has been shown to be ineffective. A report by the New York State DA’s office showed that only 1.5% of all stop and frisk arrests in New York City resulted in a prison sentence. Less than 1% of those arrested had a weapon. When stop and frisk ended, crime did not go up in New York City.
The original Supreme Court decision in 1968, Terry v Ohio, that permitted stop and frisk only allows the practice if someone is looking suspicious. A program of randomly stopping and frisking people for generalized suspicion, as was done in New York City, is both ineffective and unconstitutional.
There are other ways to combat crime in New Orleans rather than resorting to stop and frisk.