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.