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Chicago, New York officers spar over stop-and-frisk policy

By Sho Wills, CNN
updated 10:25 AM EDT, Wed August 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chicago officers not amused by New York officer's barbs
  • Tension comes after judge ruled New York City's stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional
  • After the ruling, New York officer implied Chicago has a high crime rate

(CNN) -- Police departments in Chicago and New York are trading barbs after a federal judge ruled that New York City's stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional.

"Welcome to Chicago," a Bronx police officer told the New York Post after the ruling, insinuating that crime rates in New York would approach those of the embattled Midwestern city as a result of the ruling, which mandated changes to stop-and-frisk.

Officials in Chicago responded by defending their city's reputation and taking a shot at New York's recent judicial defeat.

"We had significantly less crime, significantly fewer shootings and fewer murders of any year since 1965 without imposing on the right of our residents," said Adam Collins, the spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. "We don't engage in racial profiling."

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A judge ruled Monday that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program was unconstitutional and it had been disproportionately used on black and Hispanic citizens.

Chicago has its own controversial law enforcement policy called "contact cards." Under the contact card policy, police can stop individuals and demand information such as name, phone number and the disclosure of any tattoos. However, under the policy, officers do not make physical contact with the individual in question.

Despite the controversies, both cities have seen significant reduction in crime. In 2013, Chicago became the center of a national discussion on hand gun violence when there were more than 500 killings in the city.

More than a decade earlier, in 1990, there were more than 2000 slayings in New York in that single calendar year.

Both cities have seen more than a 25% reduction in homicides and in shootings in 2013 and are on pace for less than 400 murders for the year.

As for what started the whole war of words, "I'll leave any further opinions on that to other folks," Collins said.

New York Police Department officials did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

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