Is the value of one arrest worth the cost of nine stops of innocent pedestrians? Such did the RAND report try to ask about NYPD's Stop & Frisk policy. Aside from the fact that a lesser percentage of stops than so posed result in arrests (some led to summons, but not arrests), you might think this is a plausible question. Not NYPD.
As reported in the Center for Constitutional Rights daily summary of the Floyd v New York City Stop & Frisk trial
The bulk of the day was spent on direct and cross examination of the NYPD Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives, Michael Farrell. The testimony focused on the RAND report, which Farrell had commissioned.This is how a police state thinks. No one, in NYPD's view, is innocent. We are all suspects who simply have not - yet - been found guilty.
The draft language in the report asked at one point, "Is the value of one arrest worth the cost of nine stops of innocent pedestrians?" At the department's request, the word "innocent" was dropped and the final language reads, "Is the value of one arrest worth the cost of nine stops of suspects who have committed no crime and are not arrested?"
The blindness of NYPD to racial profiling also continues to amaze.
The day began... with Christopher McCormack's testimony. McCormack was pressed by co-counsel Jonathan Moore about his description, overhead on the tapes Pedro Serrano had recorded, of the "right people" to stop. Specifically, Moore wanted to know if McCormack gave his officers anything more descriptive than the description male Blacks ages 14 to 20 or 21... in terms of describing the people his officers should look for, he admitted that, no, he did not provide a description beyond race and age. Asked if he was concerned that this might lead officers to profile people, he said no.Well, let's be fair about this. McCormack wasn't asked whether his admonition would lead to racial profiling, he was asked whether he was concerned as to whether it would lead to racial profiling. There's a bit difference, and it says all you need to know about NYPD's institutional attitude.
Then we have Chief Morris, testifying a couple of days ago.
Yesterday, Morris asserted that he had never received complaints about racial profiling. Today, however, he testified that he has heard numerous complaints from pedestrians of color who have said that they believed they had been stopped for no legitimate reason. When asked, Chief Morris testified that such complaints did not raise concerns for him that the stops may have been a result of racial profiling.See. He had no concerns about it either! But what of mere semantics? How about hard statistics? From last Thursday's report:
Today began with Kha Dang, one of the city's "overstopper" officers. Under cross examination from Bruce Corey, he confirmed what his supervisor, Sergeant Joseph Marino, had said last week in court - namely, that his superiors were unconcerned with Dang's stops. Dang testified that he never had any discussions with supervisors about the fact that 127 stops in one quarter resulted in only six arrests. No supervisor ever probed why 127 of the 127 stops were of people of color. Nor did any supervisor ask about the fact that 75 frisks resulted in zero weapons confiscations.Quick! What's the probability of random chance selecting 127 people of color from a population that is 80% people of color and 20% white? Not that fast with a slide rule? Here's the answer:
About 1 in 2,000,000,000,000. That's one in two trillion.
From their own testimony we can be assured that NYPD is not concerned about racial profiling. We can be pretty confident that NYPD is not concerned about probability either.