Tom Cushing is up in arms because Sgt. Ed Mullins of the NYPD has opined that we must prove we’re innocent or be presumed guilty, and that this is the price we pay to live in a free society. Cushing writes, in Techdirt:
In a recent Christian Science Monitor article dealing with “teenagers, terrorism and social media” (focusing on the recent Cameron D’Ambrosio arrest for making “terrorist threats” via some improvised rap lyrics posted to Facebook), Sgt. Ed Mullins of the NYPD shows up to make some very disturbing statements about your rights and responsibilities as a (mere) citizen. It starts with the worst kind of “policy” and goes downhill fast.
Using a zero tolerance approach to track domestic terrorists online is the only reasonable way to analyze online threats these days, especially after the Boston Marathon bombing and news that the suspects had subsequently planned to target Times Square in Manhattan, Mullins says. The way law enforcement agencies approach online activity that appears sinister is this: “If you’re not a terrorist, if you’re not a threat, prove it,” he says.
“Zero tolerance” is never “reasonable.” It never has been and it never will be. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. Zero tolerance policies simply absolve the enforcers of any responsibility for the outcome and grant them the privilege of ignoring mitigating factors. It allows them to bypass applying any sort of critical thinking skills (the “reason” part of “reasonable”) and view every infractions as nothing more than a binary IF THEN equation.
Mullins goes even further than this, though, asserting that the burden of proof lies with the person charged, not the person bringing the charges. This flips our judicial system on its head (along with the judicial systems in many other countries) and, if applied the way Mullins views it, puts accused citizens in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative. This is just completely wrong, and it’s a dangerously stupid thing for someone in his position to believe, much less state out loud. (Mullins also heads the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the second-largest police union in New York City.)
Believe it or not, Mullins is not done talking. What he says next doubles up on the “dangerous” and “stupid.” “This is the price you pay to live in free society right now. It’s just the way it is,” Mullins adds.
Cushing’s objection is well-founded; it doesn’t make sense to defend freedom by taking it away. But the discerning reader will notice that the real issue isn’t misguided police sergeants at all. The police have been doing what they must do in order to protect the citizens of New York. The real root of the problem is brought up, in passing, shortly thereafter in the article:
… The NYPD has been harassing young minorities at the rate of 500,000 impromptu stop-and-frisks per year for the better part of the last decade. For the past 10 years, the NYPD has been regularly trampling citizens’ civil liberties simply because they attend a mosque. The NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg have worked ceaselessly to make New York the most-surveilled city in the U.S.
It’s no secret that “young minorities” are the main perpetrators of crime in New York. Even the New York Times acknowledges this, as we see from an article by Heather McDonald back in 2010:
Allegations of racial bias, however, ignore the most important factor governing the Police Department’s operations: crime. Trends in criminal acts, not census data, drive everything that the department does, thanks to the statistics-based managerial revolution known as CompStat. Given the patterns of crime in New York, it is inevitable that stop rates will not mirror the city’s ethnic and racial breakdown.
CompStat embodies the iconoclastic idea that the police can stop violence before it happens. The department analyzes victim reports daily, and deploys additional manpower to the places where crime is increasing. Once at a crime hot spot, officers are expected to look out for, and respond to, suspicious behavior.
Such stops happen more frequently in minority neighborhoods because that is where the vast majority of violent crime occurs — and thus where police presence is most intense. Based on reports filed by victims, blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crime in New York in 2009, including 80 percent of shootings and 71 percent of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of reported gun assaults. And the vast majority of the victims of violent crime were also members of minority groups.
Non-Hispanic whites, on the other hand, committed 5 percent of the city’s violent crimes in 2009, 1.4 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.
If we allow large numbers of crime-prone people into our communities, then we are faced with a choice: Either protect the citizenry by ruling with an iron fist or permit the criminals to operate freely and allow death and mayhem to prevail. If we take the latter choice, we send the message that crime is tolerated in our communities – and the violence will eventually spiral out of control. If we take the former choice, we will lose civil liberties. The only way to avoid this Morton’s Fork scenario is to prevent crime-prone demographics from entering our communities in the first place. This would be a sensible immigration policy.
Unfortunately, those who make the decisions regarding immigration live sheltered lives and do not have to live with the consequences. Whatever their true intentions might be, they have succeeded in convincing a large segment of the population that “diversity” is a goal to be pursued – and that our immigration policies should reflect this goal. When I say “immigration,” I refer not only to the movement of people from one country to another, but also from one city to another – or from one neighborhood to another. When those in power discover a community that is “too white” for their tastes, they force it to accept large numbers of non-white immigrants. The community is ultimately destroyed, and the individuals within it lose their liberties as well.
In conclusion, Cushing is barking up the wrong tree. Instead of defending “young minorities” against police harassment, he should be demanding that more peaceful populations (whites and Asians) be allowed to live separately from those minorities so that they may retain both their safety and their liberty.
As for minority populations responsible for the crime, liberties such as the 4th amendment are alien to them anyway; they would know nothing about them had whites not taught them. As societies, they can have either safety or what we call “liberty”, but not both. The Constitution was intended for a highly developed society. When we are forced to live with savages, the Constitution can no longer apply. We have sacrificed our liberty on the alter of diversity and the only way to get it back is to dismantle said diversity.