In the wake of the death of small-time offender Eric Garner at the hands of the police, -- black leadership and many, mostly on the political left -- have questioned New York City's policy of "Broken Windows Policing" that had been established by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (now the current Police Commissioner under Mayor De Blasio) in 1990. Simply, Broken Windows Policing is a policy of zero tolerance of low level crimes in the belief that small crimes lead to bigger ones if not addressed.
As a part of this overall program, something called "Stop, Question, and Frisk" was developed, whereby suspicious people -- either on foot or in cars -- would be stopped and questioned as to why they may be loitering or driving around in high crime areas; usually at late hours of the night. If the answers seemed suspicious, the person or persons were then frisked; sometimes yielding illegal drugs, weapons, or stolen property.
The opponents of "Broken Windows Policing" -- and, especially "Stop and Frisk" -- complain that the program primarily targets high crime areas and, as such, unfairly targets minorities; especially blacks. They also point to the fact that in 2011, nearly 686,000 stops saw 88% of them yielded no convictions of any kind. This is why Bill De Blasio ran against the program in his mayoral campaign.
However, that 88% statistic ignores the fact that 12% did yield arrests and convictions. Simply, 12% of 686,000 stops, represents 82,000 criminal actors being taken off the streets of New York. Thus, crime was avoided and, more importantly, murders may have be prevented; especially, in high-crime, minority areas of the city. Also think about this. Would you prefer that we stop TSA screenings at airports just because there is such a low rate of catching any terrorists attempting to board our airplanes?
New York City has done a more than excellent job in reducing crime. The best of any major city in the U.S.
Since 1990 -- when the program was implemented -- crime in New York City is down 79%. Murder is down 85%; and burglary 86%; and mostly in minority neighborhoods. Times Square, which had turned into a broken down sleazy area, is again a shining star.
Those who complain about "Broken Windows Policing" are either uninformed or biased, racial activists. New York's reduction in crime has benefited all; especially those in once high-crime, minority neighborhoods.
Opinion: ‘Broken windows,’ broken policy: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/12/29/broken-windows-broken-policy/WM8hUySUL0YerJq2S2Ay1N/story.html
Stop-and-frisk in New York City: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop-and-frisk_in_New_York_City
Bill De Blasio Stop and Frisk - Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/bill-de-blasio-stop-and-frisk/
New York City Crime Statistics Since 1990: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cscity.pdf
William J. Bratton and George L. Kelling: Why We Need Broken Windows Policing: http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_1_broken-windows-policing.html
Serener streets: http://www.economist.com/node/14327168