New Yorkers — duck!
Since Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional three months ago, city cops have made nearly 12 percent fewer gun seizures.
Between Aug. 19 — the start of the first full week since Scheindlin’s ruling — and the latest stats Nov. 3, officers took 634 firearms off the streets compared to 723 during the same period a year ago.
Meanwhile, the number of shootings and shooting victims in the city slightly increased. Shootings jumped 2.3 percent — to 312 incidents — compared with 305 for the same period last year.
There also was a 3.4 percent increase in the number of victims, with 367 people struck by gunfire, as opposed to 355 for the same time period last year.
“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.”
Still, overall, serious crimes are way down in the Big Apple so far this year compared with the same period last year. Murders are at an all-time low, with 248 so far this year. And shootings to date have plummeted nearly 22 percent.
The latest statistics on stop-and-frisk indicate cops were already reining in their use of the practice, too.
The number of NYPD stops from July through September, the latest stats available, decreased more than 50 percent from the previous year. That came amid a months-long downward trend.
From July through September, the number of guns and knives recovered from stops also was cut in half.
A police source suggested that in addition to Scheindlin’s ruling, cops are pulling back because of the threat of litigation involving other issues. “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.”
Another source noted that because of the constraints, “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.”
In August, Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD’s program violated the civil rights of blacks and Hispanics.
Scheindlin ordered the Police Department to overhaul its program by putting in place, among other things, a federal monitor to oversee it.
But Oct. 31, three Circuit Court judges unanimously booted Scheindlin from presiding over the two stop-and-frisk cases that were the basis of her ruling. They said she “ran afoul” of judicial-ethics rules by advising lawyers to steer one case to her and by giving media interviews in the midst of one nonjury trial over which she was presiding.
After Scheindlin was removed, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “I have always been, and I haven’t been alone, concerned about the partiality of Judge Scheindlin, and we look forward to the examination of the [city’s] case — a fair and impartial review of this case based on the merits.”
The panel of three judges who threw Scheindlin off the cases has since denied her request to address the panel and be put back on.
The city has been aggressively appealing the ruling against it and asked a Manhattan appeals court to throw out Scheindlin’s ruling in the wake of her removal.
Scheindlin didn’t return a call for comment Sunday.
Republished with permission of The New York Post