In the Media
Arrests and summonses in New York City have dropped off precipitously, in what appears to be a deliberate work slowdown by the local police force amid heightened tension between New York Police Department officers and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
From Dec. 22 to Dec. 27, police made 66 percent fewer arrests than they had during the same period last year. Criminal court summonses were down 94 percent, as were summonses for traffic violations.
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is defending his department’s use of the “broken windows” strategy, which, as Al-Jazeera reports, is “the practice of cracking down on minor offenses” because if they go unchecked, the argument goes, “they create visible signs of public disorder that encourage more serious crimes.”
With the New York Police Department’s broken-windows theory of policing under intense scrutiny, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has co-written a long defense of his department and the controversial strategy.
The tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu offer New Yorkers an opportunity to have a real conversation about our city's sordid racial history. Racial politics may have come a long way in a city that prides itself on multiculturalism and progressivism, but community memories are long, and discussing the past must be part of moving forward. Mayor de Blasio recently acknowledged that some of the conflicts that have surfaced in recent weeks "go back centuries in their origins."
More than 20,000 cops—significant numbers of them from other states—turned out Dec. 27 as the city paid its final respects to Rafael Ramos, the NYPD officer whom Police Commissioner William J. Bratton described as having “represented the best of our values” before he and Wenjian Liu were murdered by a crazed gunman outside a Brooklyn housing project seven days earlier.
The New York Post's Christmas edition carried a red, but hardly festive banner on its front page: "War on Cops." The hyperbole aptly captures the perspective of the New York Police Department, which indeed has behaved like it's at war since officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered in their patrol car last week.
City Council members took to the streets in New York to block traffic in solidarity with the demonstrators demanding changes in policing.