Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and many others, predicted that the end of stop and frisk would lead to an upsurge in violence as gun-toting thugs felt free to walk the streets in search of prey.
Civil libertarians and the usual police critics assailed the commissioner’s predictions. But, not surprisingly, he was correct.
Late August and early September saw an upsurge in gun violence throughout the city. Recent press reports showed that shootings increased by about 13 percent during the four weeks following a judge’s decision that stop and frisk was unconstitutional.
Some 17 percent fewer guns were confiscated in the city. That makes complete sense—stop and frisk, after all, was responsible for getting thousands of weapons off the streets and deterred would-be shooters from packing heat.
Among the victims of renewed gun violence were two children under the age of 4.
Nobody is saying that New York is on the verge of losing its hard-fought war against crime and criminals. The city remains amazingly safe, thanks to smart policing. But the NYPD has lost an important weapon, and it remains to be seen how much damage a single judge’s decision will cause in neighborhoods that need all the help they can get.