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New stop and frisk law signed, questions still linger...

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.

But in reality, with the stop and frisks, Paterson noted only "one out of every 2,000 people had a gun. Over 90 percent of the people stopped were found to be not doing anything at all."

But once someone's name and information had been collected and stored, the governor stated that people were open to further scrutiny.

Paterson balked at Commissioner Ray Kelly's response that folk can't say they didn't do anything wrong because they were initially stopped because a police officer had a suspicion that they were doing something wrong.

The governor said that he has asked the Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to monitor the situation.

Despite the hopefully positive effect on the majority Black and Latino communities who endure the bulk of these unproductive stop and frisks, Paterson said the "biggest beneficiary is the New York City Police Department, who were starting to gain the reputation they had 20 years ago."

This legislation could prevent a deteriorating police-community relationship.

With a 20-year decline in the crime rate, even the Police Benevolent Association said the database did not help stop crimes, said the governor.

The question about whether or not all the intel in the database will actually be thrown away is a heavy one.

"Nobody has covered that issue," said Paterson. "Certainly, lawyers that I have known have said that they have gotten information back on their clients, but the data stayed in the system. I can't monitor the NYPD, but I will assume that the commissioner will comply with the law and that data will be expunged."

He said it was interesting that "Kelly wondered out loud why people aren't as upset about crime as being stopped by police." It's really no mystery; it is "because the majority of people stopped and frisked are innocent."

Echoing the cry of community activists over the decades, Paterson stated, "Police practices need to be looked into further."