July 08, 2014You should know that since New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton eliminated the Stop and Frisk policy, the number of shootings and loss of life by innocent bystanders has increased to the point that if this does not stop soon, New York City might become the next O.K. Corral.
You should know that the O.K. Corral involved the shooting between the Earp brothers, Wyatt, Virgul and Morgan – and the Clanton brothers – in Tombstone, Arizona on October 26, 1881. It is still regarded as the biggest gunfight in the American Old West.
Under the Administration of New York City's former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Stop and Frisk policy was established, stopping a lot of crime and getting guns off the street. While there are those who will argue against Stop and Frisk, statistics show that crime was better controlled and the loss of life was decreased.
Most complaints against Stop and Frisk include the fact that more Black and Hispanic people were stopped than Whites. That created a lot of bad feeling and a public outcry, forcing Bill de Blasio – when he was a Mayoral Candidate – to promise that when he would be elected Mayor, that he would not comply with Stop and Frisk and that he would end Stop and Frisk.
But my dear reader, the waters are running deep for Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, because these past few weeks have been the most violent in the city. Last weekend, there were more than a dozen shootings, four dead, many injuries including a 10-year old and a 12-year old bystander. Between June 20 and 22, there were 21 people who were shot, and two of them died.
The spike in crime in New York City is soaring, preventing senior citizens from going out for a walk, and parents from feeling safe to take their children outside.
You should already know that the Stop and Frisk policy has its critics and its supporters. We all know that critics complain that the policy had a racially motivated theme, citing to the fact that the people who were stopped were almost exclusively Blacks and Hispanics, and were stopped because they were Black and Hispanic. That was insulting.
On the other hand, supporters of Stop and Frisk say that the violent gun crimes are committed almost exclusively in Black and Hispanic communities by Blacks and Hispanics. Therefore, the police do not go to White communities to stop people because violent gun crimes are not prevalent by White people in White communities.
Let's look at the facts. We all know that taxi drivers have been assaulted and killed by Blacks and Hispanics. Bodegueros have been assaulted and killed by Blacks and Hispanics. Senior citizens and young children have been assaulted by Blacks and Hispanics. And so, you can see, ladies and gentlemen, that there were strong pro and con arguments on both sides of the Stop and Frisk policy.
The problem now is that since Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Bill Bratton have removed the Stop and Frisk policy, crime is going up and people are losing their lives. Bullets are flying, and children are dying.
If the new initiative by Commissioner Bratton to put more police officers on the street does not work as expected, then we need to take another look and think about the pro's of Stop and Frisk.
We all know how Stop and Frisk took many guns off the street. Criminals also knew it, and knew they could be stopped at any time. Now they know that no one will stop them, and they can feel the freedom to carry weapons throughout the City.
If the Stop and Frisk policy does resurface, it needs to be done in a way that all Black and Hispanic people are afforded the same courtesies that our White neighbors receive from New York City Police officers. We all know that some of New York's most prominent Black and Hispanic residents have been exposed to Stop and Frisk, and many have complained about rude and abusive treatment by police officers until their official identities were revealed. If Black and Hispanic New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect, there may be less criticism and the Stop and Frisk policy could work.
Senator Diaz says if black and Hispanic New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect, there may be less criticism and the Stop and Frisk policy could work. Photo by The Associated Press.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have to believe that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will have to decide what's more important: reinstating Stop and Frisk, or just keep losing lives? How long can we keep telling parents of young victims: "I'm sorry for your loss?" How long before New York City becomes the next O.K. Corral?
This is Senator Rev. Rubén D'az, and this is what you should know.