In predominantly African-American neighborhoods of U.S. cities, far too many killers have gotten away with far too many crimes for far too long, fueling a disastrous murder epidemic. Solving these murders and other serious crimes of violence in black communities should be a top goal for law enforcement--and it deserves to take priority over much more widely discussed issues such as racial profiling and the excessive use of force by police in black neighborhoods, from Ferguson to Staten Island.* * *
But instead of checking this wave of urban violence, America threw up its hands. Prison terms per unit of crime in the U.S. hit rock bottom in the 1960s and '70s, making the U.S. one of the world's most lenient countries, as William J. Stuntz of Harvard Law School and others have shown. Reformers focused on the rights of defendants, remaining blind to the ravages of under-enforcement.
In the 1980s, a get-tough backlash hit, ushering in the current era of mass incarceration and long sentences. But unsolved homicides still piled up in black neighborhoods. Even as convicts grew old in prison, detectives remained overwhelmed by exploding street violence.
Recently in Policing Category
Hundreds of police officers again turned their backs as Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke Sunday at a funeral for a slain officer, demonstrating the challenge the mayor faces in healing a rift with the nation's largest police force.Commissioner Bratton asked but did not order the police officers to refrain this time, and an overwhelming majority ignored the request, as a picture in the article shows.* * *The officers' action reflected growing anger with a mayor who said he has counseled his biracial son to be careful during encounters with police, has allied himself with a police critic, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and has backed protesters rallying against grand-jury decisions not to indict officers in the 2014 deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Missouri.
"Police officers feel like they were turned upon by City Hall, and we have a right to express our opinion as well, as they did respectfully," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the city's largest police union.
He said the back-turning was "an organic gesture that started on the streets of New York."
After only a year in office, de Blasio finds himself in a crisis largely of his own making...Having antagonized the police by campaigning against stop and frisk policies, he went a bridge too far when he joined in the chorus of those treating law enforcement as the enemy after Ferguson and then the non-indictment of the officer accused of choking Garner. That rhetoric created the impression that de Blasio agreed with those who have come to view police officers as guilty until proven innocent when it comes to accusations of racism or violence against minorities.
The entire article, which isn't that long, is worth the read.
The police are not perfect and can, like politicians, make terrible mistakes. But the problem with the post-Ferguson/Garner critique that was relentlessly plugged by racial inciters, the liberal media and prominent political leaders such as Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder is that it cherry picked two extraordinary and very different incidents and wove it seamlessly into a highly misleading narrative about racism that might have been applicable in Selma, Alabama in 1965 but doesn't reflect the reality of America in 2014.
Mr. de Blasio isn't going to say it, but somebody has to: With [their] acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department's credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect.
[N]one of [the officers'] grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign -- the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence. This is the view peddled by union officials like Patrick Lynch... -- that cops are an ethically impeccable force with their own priorities and codes of behavior, accountable only to themselves, and whose reflexive defiance in the face of valid criticism is somehow normal.
Law enforcement fatalities in the United States rose 24 percent in 2014 to 126 and ambush-style attacks were the No. 1 cause of felonious officer deaths for the fifth straight year, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The NLEOMF report said 126 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty this year, compared to 102 in 2013. The number of officers killed by firearms in 2014 -- 50 -- is up 56 percent from the 32 killed last year.
Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, and the recent shooting deaths of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have attracted national attention and contributed to tension between police and the city's elected leaders.
The total of 15 ambush assaults matched 2012 for the highest total since 1995.
The hate war against the police is not directly responsible for most, or perhaps any, of this. At the same time, those insisting that hate has no consequences are lying to themselves and to us.
Some of you may have noticed a pattern in our "national conversation about race" in which the focus of attention has shifted from racist cops to institutional racism of police departments and now, is focused squarely on the "broken windows" theory of policing, so-named for an article in the Atlantic Monthly by Harvard Prof. James Q. Wilson, based on his research of many years on the tolerance of petty crime in urban areas. There has been a blizzard of articles like this one over the last two weeks, executed on cue. Be prepared to hear [these] arguments in Derrick Jackson's piece over and over, in the media and on FB.
Having lived in Boston and later in NYC during both the late Koch years through Giuliani's first term, I saw this proactive method of policing introduced, and it produced results within one year. Most people, however, have no memory or knowledge of what it was like to live in a place where every public park, train, wall was defaced with graffiti and gang markers, where tot lots were used for drug deals in the open daylight, where muggings were a routine occurrence and the victim was blamed for "being there at that hour of night" or for "what she was wearing," etc. People don't remember putting the "NO RADIO" sign in your windshield after you'd lost several of them already and had given up replacing them.
Critics have posed a variety of arguments against Broken Windows. Some assert that it is synonymous with the controversial patrol tactic known as "stop, question, and frisk." Others allege that Broken Windows is discriminatory, used as a tool to target minorities. Some academics claim that Broken Windows has no effect on serious crime and that demographic and economic causes better explain the reductions in crime in New York and across the United States. Still other critics suggest that order-maintenance policing leads to over-incarceration or tries to impose a white middle-class morality on urban populations. It is rare to have the opportunity and space to correct all the misconceptions and misrepresentations embedded in such charges. We will counter them here, one by one.
Bin Fin Liang, 56, said Officer [Wenjian] Liu would drop by his restaurant supply shop on the way home from the Police Academy. Mr. Liang asked him why he wanted to be an officer.
"I know that being a cop is dangerous but I must do it," Officer Liu replied, his friend said. "If I don't do it and you don't do it, then who is going to do it?"
* * *
On Sunday, those same neighbors were mourning the loss of Officer [Rafael] Ramos, who joined the Police Department three years ago. While residents of his working-class neighborhood described the pride he took in being an officer, they remembered him more as the man who shoveled sidewalks after snowstorms, or who took his two boys to nearby Highland Park to play basketball, always with a smile on his face.
"He was a wonderful man," said Alexander Justi, 72, who wiped away tears. "He's good people."
When Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley brutally executed Officers Ramos and Liu he did so in an atmosphere of permissiveness and anti-police rhetoric unlike any that I have seen in 45 years in law enforcement. The rhetoric this time is not from the usual suspects, but from the Mayor of New York City, the Attorney General of the United States, and even the President. It emboldens criminals and sends a message that every encounter a black person has with a police officer is one to be feared. Nothing could be further from the truth. We will never know what was in the mind of Brinsley when he shot officers Ramos and Liu. However we do know that he has seen nothing but police bashing from some of the highest officials in the land.