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Whether or not the aggressive stop-and-frisk policy in the 103rd Precinct is sound policing depends on what statistics you look at and whose child is being frisked.
One statistic shows that there has been a 1.3 percent drop in crime in the precinct, which includes Jamaica, Hollis Park Gardens and Hollis. More importantly, murders dropped 26.7 percent in 2011.
On the down side, rapes shot up by a shocking 76.2 percent, with 37 rapes compared with 21. Factor in the presumption that many rapes go unreported and this is an alarming number.
While the community welcomes aggressive policing, it is concerned that the 103rd ranks eighth in the city in the number of stop-and-frisks. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, 17,000 of the 685,000-plus individuals stopped last year were stopped in the 103rd.
Black and Hispanic young men walking the streets in Jamaica can pretty much count on being stopped more than once.
We agree with City Councilman Leroy Comrie, who said there has to be better to protect the streets.
“It doesn’t surprise me it has some of the highest numbers. I think there needs to be alternatives so that people don’t have their self-esteem ruined,” he said.
Since the community understandably has a love-hate relationship with aggressive policing, the solution may lie in a stronger partnership between the police in the 103rd and community leaders.
In a moving display of the frustration the community here feels with the lack of an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin, hundreds marched recently on a chilly day.
Protesters chanted, “No justice, no peace.”
City Councilman James Sanders Jr. said, “You see this case and it seems that there are two systems of justice and that can’t be. If there is going to be one America, there has to be one system of justice.”
We share Sanders’ frustration that shooter George Zimmerman still has not been arrested. At the same time, he should make it clear that the Florida law Zimmerman is hiding behind does not exist here.
New York isn’t perfect, but in this respect it’s light years ahead of Florida.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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