If A Happens, Does B?

The New York City Police Department is convinced that its program of halting people in the streets and searching them has led to a reduction in crime. Joseph Esposito, a retired police chief, argues that halting 4,430,104 individuals between 2004 to 2012 has led to a  40% decrease in crime. Of course, 86% of those halted and searched on the streets of New York were African American or Hispanic youth. Esposito and Ray Kelly, police commissioner, insist there was no racial profiling, it just turns out that people with darker skin color are more prone to become criminals. Gee, when I was growing up the common thought was that young Italian boys were more prone to become criminals and prior to that group the common thought was that Jewish or Irish youth were more prone to become criminals.

The best indicator of crime is the number of people in the age bracket 18-27 since it is from this group that most crime emerges. To conclude that halting people is THE cause of  declining crime is ridiculous and not supported by any evidence. Actually, if those in the age bracket 18-27 decline, then crime rates drop-regardless of what police do or do not do.

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