web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Stop & Frisk And Racial Profiling Legislation: Collateral Issues

Share Button

Dominating the public policy discussion in New York these past few weeks have been two pieces of New York City Council legislation relating to the New York City Police Department. One creates the position of inspector general within the NYPD to monitor the department’s activities; the other grants individuals who claim to have been victims of racial profiling the right to bring a lawsuit seeking a court judgment prohibiting similar actions by the NYPD (seeking monetary damages is not provided for).

Both measures are said to have been prompted by charges that the NYPD is out of control in its efforts to deal proactively with crime and the terrorist threat to the city. Separate and apart from the merits of the legislation, there are other salient points to be made that are receiving little if any attention.

At the outset, we note three things. Though we tend to agree with those who oppose the legislation on the ground that they will unduly hamper police in maintaining their robust program for crime and terror prevention, we are not unmindful that there are legitimate gripes from law-abiding citizens who get caught up in the wide net cast by the police. This certainly happens when police action is not limited to imminent wrongdoing. It is inherent in the nature of the enterprise.

Nor are we untroubled by charges of excessive use of force by the NYPD. We well remember the shooting of Gidone Busch in Boro Park, Brooklyn, on August 30, 1999 by four police officers. Mr. Busch, an observant Jew wearing a beard and yarmulke, was in an agitated state when cops shot him dead. He had been brandishing a hammer while standing more than six feet from the officers with his back against a wall. No one was ever indicted in the incident and a civil jury ruled against his family – and while the verdict was overturned by a federal judge because of problems with the testimony of a police witness, Mr. Busch’s family chose not to pursue the case any further.

Second, the two pieces of legislation passed the City Council at a time when statistics show that the number of crimes in New York, including homicides, have declined precipitously while those controversial police measures have been in place. Plainly the police are doing something right, though we agree that cannot be the end of the inquiry.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind captured the moment in a letter to the Council and on his radio show. In his letter urging defeat of the two measures, he noted that as the result of proactive police work, “We’ve had a remarkable, measurable downturn in crime.” He went on to write that the proposed legislation would have “ ‘a chilling effect’ where cops become more concerned with keeping their jobs than doing their duty.”

On his radio program he was even more expressive regarding criticism of special monitoring of Muslims: “As the days go on, more and more people, especially Democrats on the left, are criticizing, asking for more investigations…. I mean, these people are nuts.”

Third, Mayor Bloomberg has created distractions in the public debate with his attempts to justify targeting minority communities for special attention from police. He infelicitously cited the higher percentage of crimes committed by minorities and almost flippantly remarked that whites were being scrutinized far beyond what those statistics would seem to call for. He has also sparked criticism with his vow to throw around his money to defeat those members of the City Council who voted for the legislation. It’s his money to do with as he wishes, and he certainly hasn’t relinquished his right to do so by becoming mayor. Still, the comments serve no good purpose.

What is getting almost no notice is the provenance of both laws. In fact, they are the work product of something called the Progressive Caucus, which upon its formation three years ago was described by The New York Times as consisting of the twelve most liberal members of the City Council. “The caucus,” wrote the Times’s David Chen, “will be the first in recent memory to coalesce around ideology rather than racial or sexual identity, according to Council members. And by voting yes or no as a bloc, the caucus could establish a liberal litmus test for all Council members that could be easily tracked by future Democratic primary voters, who tend to skew left.”

The driving force of this grouping is Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander. The Jewish Press strongly opposed Mr. Lander when he first ran for the Council in 2009. We noted his public identification with the Palestinian cause and his dismissal of bris milah as an anachronistic and divisive act of child abuse. He has since become a regular contributor to The Nation magazine, one of the most virulently anti-Israel publications around. In our view, not only were the two anti-NYPD measures developed by Mr. Lander’s caucus, they would not have been passed without its support.

Mr. Lander was supported by some Orthodox public figures who told our community that he had turned over a new leaf. Since that is plainly not the case, we hope those supporters will now use any remaining influence they have with him to put him on the right path.

Kudos to Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. for refusing to report the measures out of his committee. Sadly, a discharge motion by the pro-legislation juggernaut in order to bypass his committee succeeded.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Stop & Frisk And Racial Profiling Legislation: Collateral Issues”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police take charge of  Yitzhar's Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva while students are on vacation.
Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence
Latest Indepth Stories

Brandeis, which had to have known about her record of criticism of Islam, pulled the honor after pressure from a Muslim advocacy group and a number of faculty members and students.

Rabbi Paysach Krohn

Wherever I was invited around the world, I always met with people and let them know that I wanted to hear great stories.

Israeli flag

R. Hadaya strongly argues in favor of establishing a festive day in commemoration of the establishment of the state of Israel.

Palestinian boys stand behind mock jail bars during a rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails (but not from Palestinian Arab jails), in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2014.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Brandeis, which had to have known about her record of criticism of Islam, pulled the honor after pressure from a Muslim advocacy group and a number of faculty members and students.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

To be sure, American policy had long opposed the growth of Israeli settlements, but at the same time U.S. policymakers acknowledged that in any negotiated agreement there would be land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians to accommodate the large numbers of Israelis living in the settlements.

The issue of affordable infertility treatment has long been one of particular importance to the Orthodox Jewish community and we support the leadership of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who again successfully championed this significant cause.

So it always struck us as hypocritical that Israel was expected to release cold-blooded killers almost as a matter of habit while the U.S. balked at letting Pollard go.

The Department of Justice acknowledges that individuals can claim an exemption if they can demonstrate an adverse impact on their religious beliefs.

In the larger sense, Mrs. Lubling came to epitomize an Orthodox community dedicated to taking care of its own.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/stop-frisk-and-racial-profiling-legislation-collateral-issues/2013/07/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: