Cop Unions Tie Stop & Frisk Reform to NY Crime Rise

     MANHATTAN (CN) – With one holdout left in police union arbitrations, New York City tabloids have trumpeted a supposed link between Mayor Bill de Blasio’s civil-rights agenda to a bump in crime.
     A source knowledgeable about the New York City Police Department sees politics at play behind the sensational reports.
     “It’s not a shock that some police and union sources are stirring the pot during an arbitration,” the source told Courthouse News. “The tabloids are parading these scare tactics likely sourced by the one remaining police union. Deals have been reached with all others. It’s PBA and Pat Lynch that’s left.”
     The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and Lynch have led the charge against de Blasio ever since he entered office fulfilling a campaign promise to end racial disparities in street stops.
     For four years, street stops in New York City have been declining, as a prior administration defended against multiple civil rights lawsuits about the NYPD’s controversial stop, question and frisk program.
     Although ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg called the program essential for the safety of New Yorkers, the past four years have seen both dramatic reductions in street stops as well as violent crime.
     Anonymous sources of the New York Daily News, however, saw a 5-month bump this year as proof that street stops work.
     There was a 19.5 percent jump in murder, a 9.2 percent spike in shootings, and 9 percent lift in “shooting incidents” during that period.
     The Daily News quoted “one high-ranking police source,” “one Brooklyn police supervisor,” and a “Bronx officer” all blamed the spike on stop-and-frisk reform, and others who pointed an accusatory finger at de Dlasio.
     Meanwhile, the NYPD now has no choice but to clamp down racial disparities in street stops in order to comply with a federal judge’s order in the case of Floyd v. City of New York, forcing police to wear body cameras and submitting to a court monitor.
     When the PBA and other unions fought to intervene, the Second Circuit slammed their appeal as a “collateral attack on the democratic process.”
     Shortly after that 2014 ruling, tensions between the de Blasio administration and the unions came to a boil in the wake of a grand jury’s refusal to indict the Staten Island police officer who placed a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner.
     Speaking about the case last year, de Blasio noted that the grand jury’s outcome was one “many in our city did not want.” Noting that his children are biracial, the mayor also addressed how the Garner case made him think of the “dangers” his son faces.
     “No family should have to go through what the Garner family went through,” de Blasio said.
     Lynch responded with an often-vitriolic campaign against de Blasio. Union members turned their backs on the mayor at public events, insulted him in public statements, and spent several weeks protesting with a police slowdown that started shortly before the New Year.
     The PBA did not respond to a request for comment.

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