Easing Off Crime

The Story

A recent New York Times article suggests that a new policing “philosophy” maintains order in the city’s streets while minimizing unnecessary arrests. According to officers quoted in the story, the new tactic involves ignoring low-level drug use or other “minor” crimes in order to cultivate good neighborhood relations, especially within minority communities. This approach, if true, reverses 25 years of hard-fought gains through Broken Windows policing, and it will be a disaster for the very communities that the NYPD seeks to help.  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Victims: The primary victims of street disorder are nonwhite residents of the afflicted neighborhoods. Read more.

  2. Perpetrators: Those arrested for “minor” crimes reflect the demographics of the neighborhoods in which they commit these crimes. Read more.

  3. War: The original impetus for the War on Drugs and increased policing in nonwhite neighborhoods came from minority politicians and community leaders. Read more.

“A community characterized by street disorder is a magnet for violent street predation, since criminals rightly perceive that social controls there have broken down.”

Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Is the Criminal-Justice System Racist? By Heather Mac Donald (Spring 2008)

“The high percentage of blacks behind bars reflects crime rates, not bigotry.”

Scheduling Note


In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, The Beat will resume on Monday, November 27.

And in other news...

“Fresh off a vacation and in the midst of a lead paint scandal, Mayor de Blasio defended plans to jet off to Iowa for a speech about his agenda next month.”