Bill O'Reilly: Why the debate over stop-and-frisk is so intense

By Bill O'Reilly

The privacy of Americans under siege, high tech makes it easy to spy on us. And intrusive policies like airport security pat downs are a tremendous inconvenience.

And then there is stop-and-frisk. Nobody likes being a prisoner in their own neighborhood. But in some places that's what's happening. But the police are not the guilty parties, criminals are.

Last weekend in Chicago, another six people shot dead, 28 others wounded, including a seven-year-old boy. The Windy City has turned into Afghanistan; so far this year, 58 children and teens have been murdered. Chicago has lost control of the situation.

The violence is centered in the poor black neighborhoods and it's the same in most other American cities. Here in New York, under the very liberal mayor, David Dinkins, murders were topping 2,000 a year. Then Rudy Giuliani took over and a new policing strategy was put into place under police commissioner Bill Bratton.

Essentially the cops flooded the high crime zones, arresting known thugs for just about anything. The plan worked. Last year there were just 419 murders in New York -- a city of more than eight million people. One of the tactics police used to discourage thugs from carrying illegal guns is stop-and-frisk. Whereby officers search people they believe may be loitering or look suspicious. Most of those frisks are minorities. And that is causing deep anger.


FULTON: You can't give people the authority whether civilian or police officer the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin.


O'REILLY: That was Trayvon Martin's mother. And a federal judge agrees with her ruling that the NYPD must modify its stop-and-frisk program. Liberals are overjoyed but not so fast. The unintended consequence of a slowdown in stop-and-frisk could be death.


RAY KELLY, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY: The losers in this if this case is allowed to stand are people who live in minority communities; 97 percent of the shooting victims in New York City last year were people of color -- black or Latino.


O'REILLY: Not only that but 89 percent of the accused killers in New York City are minorities. And that's why people of color are under more scrutiny. It is beyond belief that an American would think that cops get up in the morning and hoping they can give a black American a hard time. That's nonsense. The stop-and-frisk program is based upon factual data and public safety... period.

That being said all of us should understand the intrusion. I mean I can't stand the airport security deal. So if I was being patted down on my way to the deli, it would not make me happy. And that happens to people of color all the time in this city.

There is no pure solution to the problem. But the police should record why they stop an individual. That is the fair and constitutional thing to do.

But throwing out stop-and-frisk would be madness. Just look at Chicago. The violence there could be stopped by flooding the zone with police on literally every corner of dangerous neighborhoods. But if the city did that, you would hear the howls of indignation from the racial hustlers who would rather see kids die than admit there is an acute social and criminal problem in many poor precincts. A very tough statement but it's true.

And that's "The Memo."