Former Republican New York Governor George Pataki defended the "stop-and-frisk" policy by the New York Police Department that a federal judge ruled unconstitutional Monday, stating it not only produced a crime drop but protected the civil rights of young minorities.
During his appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Pataki said if President Obama wanted to probe a police department, he should look at his home city of Chicago, where urban violence continues to be a serious problem:
WILLIE GEIST: Don't you, Governor, have concerns about a policy, even if it is part of the solution, where if I'm walking -- if I'm an African American man walking down the street with my young daughter, I can be stopped for no reason whatsoever and then have to explain to my daughter why the police came for me for no reason? Doesn't that worry you on some level?
PATAKI: Sure, it troubles me but I'm also comforted by the fact that we have the best police department in the world, the most ethnically and racially diverse, the best trained police department and they're not doing this on a regular basis. If you look at the facts, the average number of times that a police officer on the beat stops someone to ask them a question before they even think about frisking them, is less than one a week. And when you look at the consequences of this policy, the lives that have been saved, the crimes that have been avoided, the quality of life that has been improved and overwhelmingly that is in low-income and African American neighborhoods where that crime has been targeted. If Holder and Obama want to investigate a police department, why don't they look at Chicago where the civil rights of young African Americans are being not only taken away, but they're being murdered in record rates in the south side of Chicago. The policing there leaves something to be desired when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of young African Americans to walk the streets with life, liberty and in the pursuit of happiness.