ON-Lion Letter
Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in August that the "stop-and-frisk" tactics of the New York Police Department (NYPD) violate the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in its successful crime-fighting legacy during the past two decades.

"New York's 20-year reprieve from debilitating violence may well be over," Bradley Prize recipient Heather Mac Donald wrote the next day in the New York Post.

"[I]t is preposterous to maintain, as Scheindlin does, that when race is included in a suspect description for a particular set of crimes, however generalized, it may not form the outer parameter of who gets stopped for those crimes," according to Mac Donald.

Mac Donald is a John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and a contributing editor of its City Journal.  She is also the author of Are Cops Racist?:  How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans.

"The rest of Scheindlin's opinion is equally blind to the realities of New York crime and policing," Mac Donald continues.  "She evinces little understanding of what it means to live in a high-crime neighborhood, where youths congregating on the corner can be the prelude to gun violence or a street rampage" and "[s]he has accepted at face value the most far-fetched evidence against the NYPD ....

"The result is not only an insult to the most effective, professionally run department in the country," Mac Donald concludes.  "It may also signal the end of the freedom from fear that New York's most vulnerable residents have enjoyed for two decades."
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