It is axiomatic that the law enforcement function often needs to resort to unsavory, brutal and, sometimes, deadly measures in order to maintain safety and order in society. Which means that law enforcement officers require some sort of checks, balances, restraints and tethers on their activities. This is not an attack upon the integrity or value of law enforcement, but rather, is a recognition of the human dynamics which operate upon law enforcement officers and everyone else. This is why police departments have strict and exacting disciplinary regimes; it is why police departments are overseen by civilian review boards; and it is why even those Justices on the Supreme Court bench who are viewed as staunchly conservative in their outlook have steadfastly upheld the validity of the Miranda warnings requirements.
On the other hand, it is a key liberal, progressive and Democratic Party thing to sit in the comfort and safety of one's armchair and bash the police officers who are compelled to resort to unsavory, brutal and, sometimes, deadly measures in order to maintain safety and order in society. And it is a liberal, progressive and Democratic Party thing to scream "racism" in connection with shows of force by police departments.
Accordingly, New York State Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson, being an African-American Democrat representing a largely African-American district in the Bronx, was very quick to jump on the Bash-the-NYPD bandwagon in condemning the NYPD's so-called "stop and frisk" policy.
Now, it seems, Eric is having second thoughts after a 4-year-old constituent in his district was killed by a stray bullet. He is now singing the "We need to give the police leverage to use stop-and-frisk. They should be allowed to do it" song.
While I do not expect Eric to all of a sudden realign his political orientation, he is operating very much in consonance with the old political maxim: "A conservative is a liberal who was mugged last night."