Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | William Bratton | New York City | crime | murder | marijuana

Bratton Faces Challenges from Race to Radical Terrorism in NYC

By    |   Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 03:20 PM

At a time when police departments are under more intense scrutiny than ever, New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton announced this week that law enforcement will be prohibited from stopping individuals based on general descriptions or for being in a "high-crime" area, according to a Newsday report.

The change in policy was communicated to NYPD commands on Monday evening and comes in the reaction to a settlement reached last year in a federal lawsuit.

The message stated that "furtive movements" or simply being present in "high crime area," are now deemed "insufficient basis for a stop or a frisk," and that general descriptions of suspects also cannot be used to justify stopping and searching individuals, the paper adds.

The New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA) responded in a press release issued Tuesday that contended the new "stop-question-and-frisk" policies would make officers' jobs more difficult.

"Police officers are going to have to travel with an attorney just to interpret these new stop and frisk regulations. Once again, the department and courts are putting responsibility for the problem that they created with illegal activity quotas on the shoulders of our members. The end result is making a difficult job more difficult and dangerous for members," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch.

Bratton, who first came to New York City from Boston and oversaw a remarkable decline in crime, including an 85 percent decline in murders since he took the post in 1990, now faces a multitude of challenges, including a steep increase in murders since 2014.

On Monday, the NYPD released crime statistics which showed that murders were up 16.7 percent over last year and 4.3 percent over the last two years.

The overall crime rate, however, has fallen 11 percent.

Warning that the "bad old days" might be coming back, Bratton said it "is something that we’ve got our arms around, something we have every confidence we can identify motives and basically focus on that," according to The New York Daily News.

The spike in murders is partly a result of the legalization in some states, such as Colorado, of marijuana.

"The seemingly innocent drug that's been legalized around the country. In this city, people are killing each other over marijuana more so than anything that we had to deal with in the '80s and '90s with heroin and cocaine," he told reporters, according to WABC-TV.

"We just see marijuana everywhere when we make these arrests, when we get these guns off the streets," he added.

The change in stop-and-frisk and his comments on marijuana have earned Bratton criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, but the one-time head of London's police department recognizes that in his second act he faces a myriad of challenges, including race and restoring the reputation of the city's police force.

"Race is something that’s always haunted American policing. It’s our intention to have a lot of the issue resolved here," he told Politico in an extensive interview.

And there is what he views as the most significant threat posed to citizens and officers alike terrorism.

"Over the past year, terrorism has morphed in the extraordinarily dangerous direction. They have been using social media in extraordinary ways. The challenge for us is how do we deal with that? We have not figured out with ISIS who these people are that are so skilled with the use of social media and are able to respond instantly to changes in trends," he told an audience at the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce on Monday, reports the New York Post.

"We have to deal with the violence that they are engaged in, but we also have to deal with the issue [of radicalization]. We have not been able to come up with a solution to how easy is it to recruit tens of thousands of young men and women whose cause is all about barbarism, all about crime, all about murder," he said.

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New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton announced this week that law enforcement will be prohibited from stopping individuals based on general descriptions or for being in a "high-crime" area, according to a Newsday report.
William Bratton, New York City, crime, murder, marijuana
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2015-20-05
Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 03:20 PM
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