Robert Gangi

Will Bratton's Resignation Make Any Difference in 'Broken Windows' Quotas That Discriminate Against Poor New Yorkers?

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton recently announced his plans to leave his post for a better paying position in the private sector. Most mainstream politicians and journalists responded to the news by directing effusive praise in the man's direction specifically for his service to NYC and generally for his decades of leadership in the law enforcement arena.

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When Police Are Encouraged to Abuse, Not Protect

While the harmful effects of the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactic have received the most public attention, this practice does not represent the most serious problem with current policing policy in NYC. It is not the true dark heart of the beast. That honor goes to an agency wide quota system that police brass use to evaluate the performances of officers on the street and that drives a harsh, aggressive approach to law enforcement which, in a misguided effort to keep a lid on crime, results in the targeting and abusive treatment of our city’s most vulnerable groups.

Every day the City’s police engage in objectionable practices that waste government resources and that result in more, rather than less, social disorder. Black and brown young men stopped and frisked for no apparent reason, at times arrested and ticketed for trespass while standing in front of their own buildings; drivers pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt even though they were using the device; people in psychiatric crisis, clearly disoriented and confused, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and locked up; LGBT persons called derogatory names, questioned rudely and inappropriately touched as they enter a local community center or gather in a group on a neighborhood street corner; sex workers arrested for simply carrying condoms or forced to provide sex in return for their release; street vendors hassled, fined and arrested for violating minor rules that are arbitrarily enforced; homeless people roughed up – their belongings often destroyed – and apprehended for begging on the subway or sleeping on a park bench; officers apologizing to people they are handing a summons explaining that they are under pressure to fill their quota.

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Whose Police Department? How the NYPD Serves the Rich and Oppresses the People

 Plainly racist comments made by NYPD officers were recently published on a Facebook page for the world to see. “Savage Day”, “this coconut parade”, and “pure savagery” were just some of the scurrilous terms posted. While these ugly comments targeted people who participated in the city’ West Indian American Day Parade, they do not merely reflect an isolated incident – rather, they represent a daily reality for communities of color in NYC, and are emblematic of widespread and toxic NYPD attitudes and practices. 

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