Everyone rails against dumb security at our airports, what with grandmothers in wheelchairs and toddlers being stopped and searched as they walk through metal detectors. Everyone agrees it’s just ludicrous.
And yet, yesterday’s much-discussed decision by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin which declared “stop & frisk” — NYC’s controversial crime-busting tactic — to be unconstitutional, could lead directly to a new program that looks very much like the security measures employed by the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.
The judge was careful to note in her 195-page decision that she was not judging the effectiveness of the program, only whether it violated the constitutional rights of minorities. She declared that it did and she does have a point. The TSA, after all, does not just stop Muslims or those with Arabic last names expressly because it does not want to accused of violating someone’s rights.
The “cure” for that is for the NYPD to begin stopping and yes frisking grandmothers, toddlers and women with red hair — in other words, pretty much everyone. That seems to be exactly the type of stop & frisk program that would satisfy Judge Scheindlin. The city claimed that because most of the crime was committed by young adult blacks and Hispanics, that is who police officers targeted and stopped.
Unless the city wins its appeal, that will no longer be allowed. Instead, it seems, the police will need to stop a cross-section of New Yorkers and that means more whites as well as blacks and Hispanics. It’s better than stopping the program all together IMO. In fact, I think the police should set up shop outside the Bronx Courthouse and begin by frisking the lawyers who brought this lawsuit in the first place. Maybe they could even stop Judge Scheindlin — she’s looking awfully suspicious to Mayor Bloomberg these days.