A Win for Bad Guys

The city’s remarkable victories in the war against crime have made New York the safest big city in the nation. But a recent court decision may plunge the city back into the days of random violence and mayhem, with the poor, as usual, suffering the most.

Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the Police Department to halt its stop-and-frisk operation in the Bronx unless officers have a “reasonable suspicion” that “an individual is engaged in criminal trespass.”

The good news is here is that the stop-and-frisk campaign in high-crime areas has not been completely overturned. But this may be the first step. A spokesperson for the New York Civil Liberties Union made it clear that the organization wants nothing less than the abolition of stop-and-frisk.

Mayor Bloomberg accused the NYCLU of putting ideology ahead of public safety and common sense. He’s right. The stop-and-frisk campaign has made entire neighborhoods much safer and returned the streets to law-abiding citizens in some of the city’s poorest communities.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly notes that aggressive policing helps residents who can’t afford to live in buildings with doormen. But why would the NYCLU care about that?