Stop-And-Frisk News

Apparently the NYPD finds most guns outside of the areas where they’re allegedly looking for guns with stop-and-frisk. The NYPD, being the NYPD, has decided that this proves that stop-and-frisk is working because people are carrying guns where there isn’t a heavy police presence!

…Yes, really.

Guys, have you looked up something called “falsifiablity” lately? I think it’ll really help you not sound like fucking idiots. If you interpret literally every conceivable circumstance to prove that stop-and-frisk is working to prevent gun crime, then you’re not participating in a logical debate, you’re just manipulating the data to prove whatever theory you already had. That’s not on.

[In case the NYPD is confused, I have found a flowchart that explains how debate works. They have failed at the first item, i.e. “can you envision anything that will change your mind on this topic?” Text available here.]

Meanwhile, demographic data has been released about the people who get stopped by stop-and-frisk. “I sense something,” you may say. “I think… they will all turn out to be young men of color!” Well, ha ha, you are wrong, while the overwhelming majority of people stopped are black men, people age 14-18 only make up a fifth of the people stopped! The NYPD is A W E S O M E at diversity and not profiling people that they Terry stop!

However, there is something even more hilarious (by hilarious I mean “depressing”) about this data. Last year there were 120,000 stops of black or Hispanic boys age 14-18. There are 177,000 black or Hispanic boys age 14-18 in the entire city. This means, if I did my math correctly, the average black or Hispanic boy age 14-18 will be stopped almost three times (actually about 2.7) in high school. On the other hand, your average white female high school student will be unlucky if she’s stopped once. Nondiscriminatory!

This is necessary, of course, to protect everyone against every black and Hispanic high-school-aged boy, all of whom are carrying guns and shooting basically everything that moves. Facts. White boys never shoot people. (Columbine? What’s a Columbine? Is that a type of flower you’re talking about?) This is definitely not racist and has no negative effects whatsoever. It doesn’t make black and Hispanic boys more likely to be victims of the prison-industrial complex, or remind them that they’re hated by vast portions of Western society, or remind them that they’re not allowed to use the streets, which have to be kept safe for nice friendly white people. Because that would be racist! And the NYPD is never racist.

About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.


  1. AnonymousDog says:

    And of course, there’s the conveniently unexamined question of whether those gun laws actually do anything besides allow cops to make ‘good’ arrests, thereby generating favorable statistics for the police department, the public prosecutors, and the courts, while doing nothing to actually make society safer.

  2. That flow chart is silly. Frequently being able to envision something is what would change your mind about it. So say your a mathematician from a long time ago. You believe that all infinities are equal. You can’t envision anything that would change your mind; if you could, your mind would be changed already. Yet if I had a time machine, I could have a perfectly reasonable discussion with said mathematician and probably change his mind.

    Oh also “the person asserting the position bears the onus of demonstrating its truth”; not exactly a good idea. Ozy you appear to have asserted their is this thing called “New York”, can you please show this? And if for some reason one of your arguments assumes that the waking world is real and the dream world is false, I’ll need you to show that too. See how this spirals downhill quickly?

    I’m done nitpicking now.

      • Up there we go, assuming the waking world is real. Could you provide any evidence for that? Because if the waking world isn’t real then wikipedia means nothing.

        • At some point you have to assume that there are some bedrock foundations to existence, and that your senses can gather information about it. The assumptions might be wrong, but at least you have something solid to work from, and can you change them later. Otherwise it’s just solipsism. Nothing’s real except you (and some people would question even that). If you can’t assume that the fact that you’re awake means anything, then there’s not much point in discussing anything at all.

          • Right, the discussion needs starting assumptions, without those you can’t get anywhere. And really that’s what the chart is trying to slip in. I’m guessing anyone posting this chart has a very clear cut idea about what “evidence” is; which makes a bunch of starting claims without providing any support for them. (For example, the ever popular “the waking world is real” assumption.)

            P.S. “Nothing’s real except you (and some people would question even that).” Nope. You can argue the dreams are real, while still killing any productive discussion.

            • Um, “the real world is real” is an Occam’s Razor situation. Certainly it’s *possible* that there’s another world and we’re all dreaming this, but “this is actually real” explains everything that the “this is a dreamworld” theory explained, without postulating a random dreamworld that makes no difference to anything. Your turn to come up with some evidence that we’re dreaming.

              • Um, “the dream world is real” is an Occam’s Razor situation. Certainly it’s *possible* that there’s another world and we’re all awaking this, but “this is actually real” explains everything that the “this is a waking world” theory explained, without postulating a random waking world that makes no difference to anything. Your turn to come up with some evidence that we’re awake.
                Well that was easy.

                More clearly, the “evidence” for both is pretty dang equivalent. You have senses awake, you have senses dreaming. You have memories of both, and the memories of the dream world are clearer in the dream world, and the memories of the waking world are clearer in the waking world. Occam’s razor won’t help you decide. You can choose “everything in the waking world is fake, and everything in the dream world is real” or “everything in the dream world is fake and everything in the waking world is real”. Or you can say both are fake, everything can be explained by stuff being fake, no need for additional elements.

                • Okay, let me explain this in the simplest way possible. There is ample evidence that there exists The World We Observe. There are two relevant theories here: (a) The World We Observe is all there is; (b) The World We Observe is one of at least two worlds, in one of which we are asleep and dreaming The World We Observe. The first explanation is simpler, because you don’t have to postulate anything except The World We Observe, and it fits all the data equally well.

                  What evidence would make b more plausible? As an example, violations of causality. Dreamworlds typically do not stick to standard cause and effect; real worlds do. If causality were violated in The World We Observe that would make “this is all a dream” more plausible.

  3. Of course! After all, the police aren’t scientists. So they don’t use the scientific method, they use the police method! Which, near as I can tell, basically involves doing whatever it takes to avoid budget cuts.

  4. QuantumInc says:

    To be fair, I could see how the data supports the continuance of strop-and-frisk. However it also proves that there is a massive NEED to focus police efforts in new areas. There are two possibilities, A. The NYPD collects this data and actively encourages it’s on-the-ground members to focus on the areas with more/drug/contraband-to-be-confiscated-via-stop-and-frisk thus massively improving the amount of contraband confiscated B. The realization that the decision making process of stop and frisk is pretty much unrelated to the idea that you might actually find something illegal on the person you’re frisking so thoroughly. I hope for A, but probably B. Especially considering the second part. Quite simply, the process a cop uses to determine if a specific individual is a criminal is utterly identical to the one everyone else uses.

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