You know how this works: police sources provide dubious, inflammatory statements to a sympathetic news tabloid and that tabloid uncritically publishes them for $1. Today's cover of the New York Post promises propaganda so sloppy, one would hope that 1 Police Plaza is cringing.
The basis of today's story: only 634 firearms have been confiscated by police from August 19th through November 3rd of this year, compared with 723 for the same time in 2012. Presumably this includes the 254 guns retrieved in the largest weapons seizure in the city's history (a seizure owed to a lengthy police investigation and the work of an undercover officer).
Shootings are also up 2.3%, and the number of shooting victims has increased by 3.4%, for the period of August 19th through November 3rd (in a moment of clarity, the Post helpfully notes that shootings overall have dropped by nearly 22%).
“Of course, [Scheindlin’s] ruling is responsible for this,’’ a police source griped. “There’s a definite cause and effect here. Her ruling has made a lot of officers gun-shy about getting guns off the street. They don’t want to get sued.”
Prior to the ruling's existence, weapons were found in just 0.1% of 4.4 million stop and frisks from 2004 to 2012 [PDF]. Were officers "gun-shy" then? The hundreds of millions of dollars the City paid out in NYPD-related legal settlements suggests otherwise.
“They’re under so much scrutiny now since the ruling. And there are cameras everywhere videotaping them and what they say. It’s a nightmare,” a source said. “Then there’s all the paperwork for [stop-and-frisks], which is now getting scrutinized to the max by the bosses.”
Paperwork and video-assisted transparency—what a nightmare! Almost as chilling as being made to feel like a criminal in your own neighborhood because of the color of your skin.
Also, the "paperwork" changes the source is presumably referring to—instituted months before the stop and frisk ruling—requires officers to specifically note in their log books the detail of the stop, including the suspected crime, the explanation of their suspicion, and whether or not the suspect was frisked. A form must also be more thoroughly filled out. These conditions have existed since 2008.
“We get calls for shots fired or someone with a gun, and we go out looking for the person with the gun. We’re not going to stop people as much in areas where we’re not getting those calls.”