It’s finally happened …
After years of brutal on-air spats, Fox News’ “The Five” co-hosts Juan Williams and Jesse Watters have finally stumbled upon an issue where they both agree.
Speaking Tuesday about newly-emerged audio footage of Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, defending his successful stop-and-frisk policies, Williams and Watters agreed that Bloomberg’s policy was bad.
But in agreeing among themselves, ironically enough, the two wound up being in disagreement with fellow “The Five” co-host Greg Gutfeld.
Watch the discussion below:
(Source: Fox News)
“I will criticize him, but I will also defend him. … what is missing in the story is, what was the reality like before this was instituted?” Gutfeld said as the discussion began.
“Were there meetings where minority citizens and family members plead[ed] for help in a neighborhood that was plagued by crime?”
Ever since Bloomberg left in 2013 and current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took over in 2014, there certainly have been cases of black locals begging for such policies.
“We need stop-and-frisk,” local black resident Stacey Calhoun, whose nephew was killed by a stray bullet during a playground shootout, pleaded in 2015. “Somebody has to put their foot down. A lot of people would agree with stop-and-frisk if it’s for the safety among us.”
But according to Williams and Watters, policies such as stop-and-frisk are inherently racist.
“I think black people are citizens and they want to be safer and they want police protection in the neighborhoods, but it’s not the case that you want to have your kid, your son especially, walk out the door, get in the car, and realize they will be immediately harassed for being a black kid in America,” Williams rebutted.
“It’s not a matter of providing protection. It’s not an anti-police attitude. It’s a matter of police, as reflected in what Bloomberg said, basically saying, ‘I see a young black person.’ You know, stop-and-frisk, a lot of people still defend it, but it was only one out of every ten that were ever found with anything. So you’re antagonizing a whole community, not only the young men but also their families.”
Nevertheless, research has shown that stop-and-frisk policies correlate with a notable reduction in crime.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 8, 2018
“My own research and a growing body of police studies show that stopping and questioning is an effective crime deterrent,” Dennis C. Smith, a professor of public policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University who passed in 2015, wrote for The New York Times in 2012.
“In 1990, New York had 527,257 victims of ‘serious crimes.’ In 2011, there were 106,064. Murders dropped in that period from 2,262 to 504. Research has converged on the conclusion that a shift from reactive to proactive policing by the N.Y.P.D. has played the crucial role in what the criminologist Franklin Zimring called a ‘Guinness Book of World Records crime drop.'”
These sorts of facts tend to be dismissed by left-wingers such as Williams. It’s rare, though, to hear a conservative like Watters agree.
“It’s one thing to say we send more police to areas where they get 911 calls,” Watters complained. “No one argues with that. That makes perfect sense. But what [Bloomberg] said … was you’re throwing black kids up the wall and frisking them. No one wants to hear young black kids getting thrown up against the wall. It’s not right, it’s illegal search and seizure.”
“I agree with Juan: Eighty percent of the time they frisk these people, nothing was found — no weapons, nothing. These were innocent people, and it just ended up hurting the relationship between police and the minority community.”
The audio footage from 2015 that went viral this week shows Bloomberg stating some unfortunate and inconvenient but nevertheless statistically accurate facts about crime.
“Ninety-five percent of murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.,” he says. “You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops.”
“They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”
These remarks have been interpreted as racist and “problematic”:
Bloomberg had video of speech blocked.
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) February 10, 2020
“So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods,” Bloomberg continues.
“Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start… ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.”
Williams and Watters disagree with this line of thinking, as does Bloomberg allegedly. After the audio footage went viral, he trotted out an apology:
I have apologized for taking too long to understand the impact of stop and frisk on Black and Latino communities.
I inherited stop and frisk. In an effort to stop gun violence, it was overused. I cut it back by 95%.
I should have cut it back sooner. https://t.co/nj2hBJcQP6
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 11, 2020
But to some like Gutfeld, perhaps an apology was never warranted.
“So the cruel irony here for people who were just trying to make a minority neighborhood safer is that the methods you use to help save these minority neighbors can be recast as specifically targeting minorities simply because it’s in that community, when actually what you’re trying to do is save people’s lives. But that can be now twisted and turned into, ‘Aha, you were going after black kids!'” he argued.
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