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Stop-and-Frisk in NY

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Meanwhile, back in New York, Heather MacDonald has this article in the City Journal on the ACLU's court campaign against effective policing.

Ligon v. New York challenged a decades-long program that authorizes New York police officers to patrol private buildings for trespassers and other lawbreakers. The Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP) tries to give low-income tenants in high-crime areas the same protection against intruders that wealthy residents of doorman-guarded buildings enjoy. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), however, police officers routinely abuse their power under TAP by stopping and arresting minority residents and their guests on suspicion of trespass without any legal justification.

The NYCLU didn't come close to proving its case. But the litigation's most disturbing failure was its blindness to the realities of inner-city crime.

Debbie McBride has nothing but contempt for the ongoing litigation. McBride is a street-hardened building superintendent in the heart of the South Bronx zone targeted by the NYCLU. When asked about TAP, also known as the Clean Halls program, she doesn't mince words. "I love it!" she roars. "I'm serious, I love it. Me being a woman, I feel safe. I can get up at 4 AM and start working."
McBride represents a type that seemingly lies outside the conceptual universe of the advocates and their enablers in elite law firms and the media: the inner-city crusader for bourgeois order. In 1999, McBride moved from Brooklyn to her present residence in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx. Her own intersections with street life had left her a three-time victim of rape and blind in one eye from assault--a boyfriend had struck her for refusing to try heroin--but she still wasn't prepared for the South Bronx. "I had had none of this before," she says. "It was like New Jack City. People were selling crack openly in the lobby." She asked fellow tenants how long the lobby's drug trade had been going on. Thirty years, they answered. "Desperate," she says, about her building's lawlessness, McBride started attending community meetings at the NYPD's 44th Precinct and secretly partnering with a local cop to get rid of the dealers. "I used to give him the nod," she recalls. The officer made so many arrests in her building that he won a promotion to detective.

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