New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his police commissioner, William Bratton, announced this week that they are ending the police department’s anti-terror surveillance program. How come?
They’re not doing it because the war on terror is over or because New York is no longer a major target for jihadists—the Boston Marathon bombers had more explosives and were headed to the Big Apple next. Nor is the program being shut down because it’s unlawful or anti-Muslim—as the New York Times reported Wednesday, “Last month, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit over the department’s surveillance there, saying Muslims could not prove they were harmed by the tactics.”
Rather, the program is being ended because it’s politically incorrect. Some Muslims and civil rights groups don’t like it, and Mr. de Blasio says dropping the program is “a critical step toward easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve.” The mayor and his allies used similar language to oppose stop-and-frisk, another politically incorrect police tactic that helped reduce crime.
And so what we’re left with is a kind of pretend policing. The New York Police Department will pretend that most terrorism doesn’t originate in Muslim communities and that blacks and Hispanics aren’t responsible for most violent crimes. Everyone knows this isn’t true, but in the name of “easing tensions,” we will make-believe otherwise.
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“Community cohesion” is the phrase you’re looking for.