New Evidence of Stop-and-Frisk Abuses Prompts NYT to Call for More Evidence

 The New York Times editorially decried the New York City police department’s stop-and-frisk practices (“Injustices of Stop and Frisk,” 5/13/12), noting that the criterion of “furtive movements” most often used for stopping disproportionately black and brown people is “so vague as to be meaningless,” that people of color are treated more violently than white people when stopped, and that the excuse that stop-and-frisk keeps guns off the street is not supported.

The paper’s conclusion: “The mounting evidence reveals a pattern of abusive policing that warrants the attention of the Justice Department, which should be using its broad authority to investigate these practices.”

That might sound all right, but as I recently wrote for Extra! (3/12), the Times has been clutching its pearls over stop-and-frisk for 10 years, and it’s become clear that there is no evidence, no research, no investigation that will move the paper beyond calls for more of the same. It seems inescapable that, for the country’s paper of record, the fact that a practice violates the human rights of black and brown people in the city daily is simply not sufficient cause to call for its end.

About Janine Jackson

Program Director and Co-producer of CounterSpin
Janine Jackson is FAIR's program director and and producer/co-host of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR's magazine, Extra! and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s (Westview Press). She has appeared on ABC's Nightline and CNN Headline News, among other outlets, and has testified to the Senate Communications Subcommittee on budget reauthorization for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Her articles have appeared in various publications, including In These Times and the UAW’s Solidarity, and in books including Civil Rights Since 1787 (New York University Press) and Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism (New World Library). Jackson is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has an M.A. in sociology from the New School for Social Research.