Rich Lowry: NYPD Chief Kelly Deserves Applause for 'Stop-and-Frisk'

Image: Rich Lowry: NYPD Chief Kelly Deserves Applause for 'Stop-and-Frisk'

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 12:43 PM

By Dan Weil

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New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly should be lauded for the "stop-and-frisk" policy that is receiving strong criticism from liberals, says National Review editor Rich Lowry.

"Already politically embattled, New York City’s stop-and-frisk policing is now in the cross-hairs as allegedly an officially sanctioned, citywide version of George Zimmerman's suspicion of Trayvon Martin that created the predicate for the tragedy in Sanford, Florida," Lowry writes in Politico.

The stop-and-frisk policy allows a police officer who suspects a person has committed a crime to stop and question that person, and, under some circumstances, frisk the person for weapons.

Kelly is at a disadvantage to his critics because he deals with tangible crime, while they deal with words, Lowry says.

"I hazard to say that Ray Kelly cares as much about black lives as any of his critics, and I know he has certainly done much more to save them," wrote Lowry.

Kelly's name has been floated as a candidate to succeed Janet Napolitano as secretary of Homeland Security.

More crime occurs in New York City's minority neighborhoods than outside them, Lowry says. "The New York Police Department, quite logically, focuses its efforts where the crime is, and the results have been stunning."

He quotes Heather Mac Donald of the City Journal who wrote that the decline in New York City crime has been twice as big and has lasted twice as long as the national average since the early 1990s.

"Mac Donald points out the fallacy of alleging racial bias in the mere fact that minorities are subject to stops disproportionate to their percentage of the population," Lowry writes. Minorities account for more than half of all police stops, even though they represent only about a quarter of the city's population, Lowry says. But, according to Mac Donald, blacks make up 66 percent of New York's violent-crime suspects, he writes.

Left-wingers don't appear too concerned about police practices in cities with the worst violence, Lowry says. "Should your police force drive the number of murders down to a 50-year low to the disproportionate benefit of young black men, though, that's different. Then there's hell to pay."

New York's policing techniques undoubtedly have saved the lives of kids like Trayvon Martin, Lowry says. "It shouldn't be hard for anyone who rejoices in that to say, before anything else, two simple words: Thank you."

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