By “ total chaos, ” I mean nothing really changed, except a lot fewer people were harassed by police.
And yes, I used the term “harass,” because I’m “anti-cop,” a “cop-hater,” “cop-killer sympathizer,” and I love Mayor de Blasio. Any criticism at all of police policies means that I’m a liberal who loves murderous and destructive Ferguson protesters.
The NYPD inadvertently showed their city that they’re really not needed all that much. In fact, their only real purpose is to bring in revenue for the city by making as many arrests and issuing as many citations as possible. That’s not to say that there are no legitimate arrests for them to make. But if all they did was arrest and investigate actual crimes, the police force wouldn’t need to be comprised of the exorbitant 34,500 cops that it is now.
[The slowdown] has helped contribute to a nose dive in low-level policing, with overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013, stats show.
Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent—from 4,831 to 300.
Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau—which are part of the overall number—dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
De Blasio ended the [stop-and-frisk] program soon after succeeding [Mayor Bloomberg], citing its discriminatory impact on black and Hispanic residents. Stop-and-frisk incidents plunged from 685,724 stops in 2011 to just 38,456 in the first three-quarters of 2014 as a result. If stop-and-frisk had caused the ongoing decline in New York’s crime rate, its near-absence would logically halt or even reverse that trend. But the city seems to be doing just fine without it: Crime rates are currently at two-decade lows, with homicide down 7 percent and robberies down 14 percent since 2013.
If stop-and-frisk was really about keeping people safe, then why is it that when they dramatically lowered their stop-and-frisk encounters, crime went down?
It’s not surprising then that ever since the NYPD turned their back on the Mayor, the city hasn’t spiraled out of control with crime. (No, I don’t care for de Blasio either; this isn’t a “conservative” vs. “liberal” issue. It’s a false bifurcation to be required to back either the NYPD or the Mayor. Why can’t we back neither?)
The Atlantic continued:
Public drinking and urination may be unseemly, but they’re hardly threats to life, liberty, or public order. (The Post also noted a decline in drug arrests, but their comparison of 2013 and 2014 rates is misleading. The mayor’s office announced in November that police would stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession and issue tickets instead. Even before the slowdown began, marijuana-related arrests had declined by 61 percent.) If the NYPD can safely cut arrests by two-thirds, why haven’t they done it before?
The human implications of this question are immense. Fewer arrests for minor crimes logically means fewer people behind bars for minor crimes. Poorer would-be defendants benefit the most; three-quarters of those sitting in New York jails are only there because they can’t afford bail. Fewer New Yorkers will also be sent to Rikers Island, where endemic brutality against inmates has led to resignations, arrests, and an imminent federal civil-rights intervention over the past six months.
The result so far has been to show that New Yorkers really don’t need about 90% of the policing that they’ve grown accustomed to. Murders, rapes, kidnappings, robberies…those are serious crimes that need investigating, and arrests need to be made. That’s what the NYPD should focus on. But if you have the wrong kind of plant in your pocket, or if you “look suspicious” and need to be stopped, frisked and interrogated at random, that’s not important. The only thing those arrests/citations do is pull in revenue for the city.
Since they’ve gone on strike, the NYPD were instructed to make arrests only if absolutely necessary. Shouldn’t that be the policy for every police department? Why should any cop be encouraged to make unnecessary arrests, except as a means of generating revenue?
Police departments should be smaller these days, not bigger. They should only make arrests when absolutely necessary. Having an overly aggressive and militaristic police force only puts civilians on edge and fearful toward the very people who claim to “serve and protect” them.