George Pataki, the former Republican governor of New York, argued in favor of the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” practice a day after a judge ruled it a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.
Pataki said stop-and-frisk is vital to the safety of certain communities in New York City, because the police have limited resources.
“You go where the crime is if you want to stop the crime,” he said Tuesday on Morning Joe.
A judge ruled Monday that police officers in New York City violated citizens’ constitutional rights by targeting mostly minority residents for millions of random stops, questioning, and searches.
The city’s officers–not a judge–are experienced, understand the nature of different communities, and make intelligent decisions of when to ask someone what they are doing, Pataki argued.
“I think the judge is completely off base in saying this is racially profiling,” he said. “If you’re going to be stopping people who your years of experience and training on the street tell you should be asked a question about what they’re up to, I think that’s a commendable thing. It’s not racial profiling, it’s trying to prevent crime.”
Pataki wrote in 2012 that he believes the root causes of crime, especially violent crime, are criminals who belong behind bars.
There were about 2,000 murders in the city each year during the early 1990s, and about 600 later in the decade, according to city statistics. So far this year there have been close to 200 murders, which Pataki said he credits in part to the stop-and-frisk policy.
“A program like stop-and-frisk can work,” the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson said on the show. “But you can’t have a policy in which you say we’re just going to stop African-American and Hispanic men, and that is the effect of this policy.”