FOX13 Investigates Concerns about Stop & Frisk Policy in Memphis
by Greg Coy
September 2, 2016
Rumors of a controversial policy are raising some questions across the Mid-South.
Are they or are they not discussing Stop and Frisk?
The Memphis Police Department sent FOX13 an email on Wednesday.
“There has been no discussion of Stop and Frisk,” Memphis Police Director, Mike Rallings said.
FOX13 asked the question after first reporting on Tuesday about the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission hiring former New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as a consultant to help in preparing its third version Operation Safety Communities.
Raymond Kelly needs no introduction to law enforcement.
He is credited with lowering the crime and homicide rate in New York City by using data driven policing and intelligence gathering to reduce gang violence. He is also the founder of the controversial policy called “Stop and Frisk.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights offered this definition “Stop and Frisk is the practice by which a police officer initiates a stop of an individual on the street allegedly based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.”
On Friday afternoon, the Commercial Appeal released a story and the headline read “Stop and Frisk, one of the tools Memphis Police possibly exploring to reduce crime.”
The article also said:
“When asked about using Stop and Frisk during a podcast interview earlier this week with The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said he has met with New York Police. ‘I have talked to New York on a number of occasions,’ Rallings said. ‘So we’re going to look at all of it. I think that New York also learned that there was a lot of scrutiny for Stop and Frisk, so we want to avoid the scrutiny.”
FOX13 asked Mayor Strickland’s office for comment after we received two emails from Memphis Police stating “There has been no discussion of Stop and Frisk.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Strickland sent this email.
“When you made a request for a comment from MPD (about the same subject) Director Rallings clearly stated we are not commenting and referred you to the Shelby County Crime Commission. Thanks for your persistence and have a great weekend.”
Another email from the city said, “Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said he has met with New York Police.”
Reverend Earle J. Fisher of the Citizens Grassroots Coalition jumped on Twitter to criticize the possibility that Memphis would debate using “Stop and Frisk.”
FOX13 reached out to the Mike Williams, President of the Memphis Police Association, and he declined comment.
The Memphis branch of the NAACP is expected to issue a comment next week.
In our exclusive report on Tuesday, County Crime Chairman Ben Adams told FOX13’s Greg Coy that Raymond Kelly and his associates at K2 Intelligence can make suggestions but board members will make the final decision.
“They are consultants, they are not the one where the rubber meets the road,” said Adams.
Read about it here: FOX13 Investigates Concerns about Stop & Frisk Policy in Memphis