Thank you, Ray Kelly

It is a matter of hard data that there is more crime in New York in minority neighborhoods. Are New York City police to ignore that because Tavis Smiley doesn’t want to hear it? And who would suffer most if the police decided never to stop anyone on the basis of reasonable suspicion — the legal standard for the stops in question — ever again in these areas? Presumably not many MSNBC executives live in Bed-Stuy or East New York.

The New York police department, quite logically, focuses its efforts where the crime is, and the results have been stunning. There has been a drop in crime around the country since the early 1990s, and from a variety of causes. But as Heather Mac Donald of the City Journal writes, “New York’s crime drop has been twice as deep and has lasted twice as long as the national average since the early 1990s.” Kelly himself wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week that murders are down almost 30 percent from last year…

There have been more than 4 million stops since 2004. That works out roughly to 40,000 stops a month, in a city with roughly 20,000 officers on patrol duty. About 6 percent of the stops result in an arrest and 6 percent in a summons. Critics say that’s not enough to justify them, but its not clear what number would ever satisfy them.