Crime in NYC drops even as tactics draw criticism

jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
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Maine
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Crime in NYC drops even as tactics draw criticism
TOM HAYS AND COLLEEN LONG, ASSOCIATED PRESS



Commissioner Bill Bratton, standing left, Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, watch as Deputy Police Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, right, swears in new NYPD detective during a promotions ceremony, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in New York. Even as New York’s police department takes heat for its tactics in the outrage over the Eric Garner choke hold case, year-end crime statistics show two clear trends: low-level arrests are holding steady and overall crime continues to fall. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
(Credit: AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Even as New York’s police department takes heat for its tactics in the outrage over the Eric Garner chokehold case, year-end crime statistics show two clear trends: low-level arrests are holding steady and overall crime continues to fall.

The numbers could be seen as an affirmation of Police Commissioner William Bratton’s signature “broken windows” tactic, the idea that enforcing smaller crimes like fare beating and public drunkenness help prevent bigger crimes. It has come under intense scrutiny since the July in-custody death of Garner, who was stopped for the minor offense of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

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“Because of the broken windows approach, we are the safest we’ve ever been,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday after attending an NYPD promotions ceremony. “I lived through the 1980s and early ’90s in this city. I don’t want to go back there. I don’t think anyone wants to go back there.”

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But with stop-and-frisk waning, critics now question broken windows.


To some, stop-and-frisk and broken windows “are the same thing with a different name,” said Deborah Wright, president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys.

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The tactic was one of the reasons officers were at the corner store on Staten Island where Garner died. In an episode captured on video, officer Daniel Pantaleo wraps his arm around Garner and wrestles him to the ground. He died at a hospital after his cries of “I can’t breathe” went unaided. A grand jury decided not to indict the officer, prompting mass protests and a public war of words between the mayor and head of the police officer’s union, who says the mayor is throwing cops “under the bus.”


Zeidman argues that any strategy that unnecessarily increases contact between police and civilians is a threat to community relations.


“The more you increase interactions, the more you increase the likelihood that something can go wrong,” he said. “I really thought the Eric Garner case would be the tipping point that would put an end to it.”


Most days in criminal court in Brooklyn there’s a parade of arrestees “where the only allegation is that they walked through subway cars and because they didn’t have ID on them, they get put in the system,” said a public defender, Elena Roberts, who participated in a protest last week. “That doesn’t really seem right to us.”


The suspected offenders “are disproportionately minority men,” Roberts added. “I know as a white woman, I’m afforded a certain privilege in my life and my activities that would never put me at risk for even being questioned for something so minor.”

link - Crime in NYC drops even as tactics draw criticism - Salon.com

I associate "broken windows" with Mayor Giuliani, I think most people think it was an effective strategy. Other than 'broken windows', going after the squeegee men is probably the next most famous example.

I understand what critics are saying, when they talk about minorities being targeted for no IDs in subways, for example (who knew that was an official offense?), but I don't see 'stop and frisk' and 'broken windows' as the same thing.
 
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