When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hired former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to oversee the department again, he directed Bratton to revamp its highly-controversial stop-and-frisk practice. Bratton has promised to do this, but admitted that he still believes the stop-and-frisk initiative is a necessary component to policing.
In an interview with Here & Now, Bratton explained what he meant and said that a "questioning" piece needs to be added to stop-and-frisk. "You cannot police without it," he revealed. "If you did not have it, then you’d have anarchy."
However, Bratton believes there have been far too many stops in recent years. His responsibility will be to make sure the number of "stop, question and frisks" drops dramatically: "The way it was practiced here for the last number of years is that it was overused. And it’s the overuse that then created the negative reaction to the basic policy itself."
While Bratton notes that it's the overuse that's helped breed the negative stigma associated with stop-and-frisk, the complaints are fueled by the fact that young men who happen to be minorities are being disproportionately stopped. That's something else he and the department need to address.
Bratton was praised for reducing crime in the city during his initial stretch as commissioner under then-mayor Rudy Giuliani during the 1990s. Hopefully, his second stint atop the NYPD will be marked by a dramatic reduction in the number of "stop, question and frisks," as well a change of their nature.
[via Here & Now]
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