Friday, July 17, 2020

Broken Windows

In 2015, Vox published an article summarizing 16 reasons crime may have plummeted across the nation since 1984. The reporters concluded that the impact on the crime rate of a vew was difficult to determine.

But Tucker Carlson is convinced he knows. At 32:24 of the video below, he states

One of the most impressive things that anybody in this country did in decades was to completely rehabilitate the City of New York, which many thought was lost. City leaders in the early '90s embraced policies that began with the "broken windows" theory of policing that actually worked. The city got safer, it got cleaner, more people moved there, the homicide rate collapsed completely, New York became one of the safest urban areas in the country, if not the hemisphere.

During this period, crime dropped throughout the USA, although, immediately a little more in New York City than elsewhere. However, NYC adopted other changes in policing and, as the Vox article reviews, many other factors played a role.

Still, New York did adopt the broken windows approach as Carlson observed. Vox notes that the impact of such a reform is hard to determine not only because other factors were not held constant but because different jurisdictions apply it in different ways.

So let's check in to a residential area of Tulsa, Okahoma, where on June 13 two black males, aged 15 and 13, were walking in the middle of a road with no sidewalks when they were stopped by members of the Organized Gang Unit of the police department. In a Facebook post, the department stated that the confrontation occurred near a housing complex with "a documented increase in criminal activity involving both juveniles and adults." The teens officially were stopped for "improperly walking along the roadway" by walking in the street in the direction of traffic.

In a video captured by a neighborhood resident

One of the officers is seen leaning into the car. After a few seconds, the officer can be seen kicking into the car. It is unclear what is happening inside of the car. Moments later, that officer throws the teen, who is handcuffed, out of the car and onto the sidewalk. The officer leans over the teen and points his finger into his face as he lays on the ground. At that point, the video ends.

The June 4 encounter with the two teens occurred near a housing complex that has had “a documented increase in criminal activity involving both juveniles and adults” recently, police said in Friday’s Facebook post.

The post includes a list of 10 police calls that it says occurred within a half mile of where the two teens were stopped. The calls include armed robberies, a quadruple shooting and a gang member’s drug trafficking arrest two days before the encounter.

There is no indication that these two fellows had engaged in criminal or delinquent behavior. They were walking down the street; jaywalking. Moreover, a neighborhood resident

also confirmed to CNN that she and other residents of the neighborhood regularly walk on the paved road rather than in the grass because there is no sidewalk and the grass is rarely cut.

"This is the place where young people come all the time. I walk all the time, and most of the time I come right there in the street and walk around," Corbitt said. "Because you see those bushes and weeds over there, I'm not walking through all of that. There's no real sidewalks here until you get to the parking lot so what is jaywalking really?"

But, hey, give us some more of that broken windows policing, Tucker. We leave Oklahoma and travel almost 1400 miles northeast to New York City, NY, in which:

Reportedly, the homeless man was charged with violent felony assault on the police officer.  That's an example of the New York City law enforcement tactic lauded by Tucker Carlson. Harass homeless people riding on public transit, or juveniles for jaywalking and maybe their older brothers for possessing marijuana for personal use (as New York City police officers did during their stop and frisk days). If you want to pit police against the community and boost those crime rates, you've found your formula

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