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Gays join NAACP march against "stop and frisk" tactic in NYC

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As I wrote before, I think we have to show solidarity with sister movements, especially those that show solidarity with us (in this case, the NAACP came out in support of marriage equality, so we should be returning the favor on an issue they care about, such as "stop and frisk").

I also think that any gay group involvement in non-gay issues needs to be done in a measure manner.  Meaning, you have to choose your issues well so they're at least tangentially relevant to the cause - getting involved in the AT&T/T-Mobile version strained credibility.

But you also have to take care as to how much manpower and money you spend on non-gay issues en toto.  It's one thing to sign a letter or show up at a protest, but will we start devoting organization staff time and money towards lobbying for non-gay legislation too?

And if so, where do you draw the line?  Meaning, gay groups can't spend 100% of their time doing non-gay issues in order to be good coalition partners, so what percentage of time and money is just the right amount?  These are the kind of issues an organization confronts.

Now a non-gay word about "stop and frisk."  I've worked on a lot of police issues in Washington, DC, where I live, and was a rather influential anti-crime advocate/police watchdog in the early 2000s.  I learned a few things.

1. Not all police are bad, but a small, solid, and influential minority of cops are - and I don't necessarily mean that they're crooked, they're just bad at their job, lazy, etc.  Cops have a name for other cops like this, SLAPS.
2. The union will defend even the most crooked cop to the end, so good luck changing things.
3. Politicians fear the police like they fear the military - pointing out, and trying to fix, problems in the local police department is akin to embracing socialism; it proves you hate America.  So politicians tend not to get the problems fixed.
4. The police get awfully testy about any criticism, so that legitimate criticism can get lost.
5. The cops aren't all at fault.  A lot of cops feel like their hands are tied by liberal activists, and politicians, who don't care about stopping crime, and only care about stopping cops from stopping crime. They keep being told what they "can't" do, but now what they "can" do to actually stop crime.
6. There's a whole other issue about judges and prosecutors, both of whom don't pursue cases, leaving the police feeling like "what's the point in arresting someone if the prosecutors and the judges always let them get away."

It's a complicated issue.  And it's not just about "bad cops."  I know in DC, we've had a few houses/apartment complexes in my neighborhood that are notorious hotbeds of crime.  Prostitution, drugs, shootings.  Everyone has known for over a decade where the crime in our neighborhood comes from, and it comes from these three places of residence.  But there's little the police can apparently do to stop it.  And when they do go the extra mile to try to put a stop to the crime spree, or whatever, they get slapped down by liberal city council members and local activists for trampling on the rights of x, y and z.  And while the criticism might be justified, depending on the case, not much thought seems to be given to what the cops "can" do to put a stop to the crime that really is still endemic in my neighborhood, and much of DC.

My point: I get why the communities affected by stop-and-frisk don't like it.  But I don't like not feeling safe walking after dark in my own neighborhood, I don't like the shootings we seem to have on a regular basis, and I especially don't like the dead body the thugs dumped behind our condo at Easter.

This issue isn't simply about what shouldn't be done, it's about what "should" be done as well.

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