Bill de Blasio won the mayoralty of New York by running a demagogic campaign against the New York Police Department. He has now compounded the injury by dropping the city’s appeal of an equally deceitful court opinionthat found that the department’s stop, question, and frisk practices deliberately violated the rights of blacks and Hispanics. De Blasio may thus have paved the way for a return to the days of sky-high crime rates.
Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling against the NYPD last August was built on willful ignorance of crime’s racial reality. Scheindlin invented a new concept, “indirect racial profiling,” in order to convict the department of unconstitutional policing, despite lacking the evidence to do so. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenged Scheindlin’s appearance of impartiality last October when it found that she had steered stop, question, and frisk cases to her courtroom. The Second Circuit panel removed her from the case and stayed her opinion while the city pursued its appeal. Now, however, thanks to de Blasio, Scheindlin’s tendentious ruling will stay on the books (unless the NYPD’s police unions succeed in their own appeal), setting back the cause of public safety not just in New York, but across the country.