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In NYC When Cops Backed Off, Crime Did Too

Published: February 1, 2018
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Source: Mint Press

NEW YORK – A couple of weeks ago ProPublica noted that 2017’s murder rate in New York City was down to 291, the lowest since the 1950s. That number is noteworthy in and of itself, but also because of the context in which it occurred: the number of “stops” and “frisks” employed by the NYPD. About 10,000 people were stopped and frisked — checked for weapons, illegal substances, or outstanding warrants – on the streets of New York in 2017. At its height six years earlier, the total was 700,000. The number of people stopped by police dropped but crime didn’t go up. And this was not the first time.

A few months after the explosion of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement onto the national scene in August of 2014, two NYPD officers would be gunned down that December. This was the first incident to bring swift condemnation of the group as being anti-cop and advocating for the killing of police officers. As a protest against that movement (stated as concern for officer safety) and the perception that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was not supportive of NYPD, officers staged a “work slowdown” with the following effects:

  • Overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013
  • Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame
  • Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300
  • Parking violations dropped by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241
  • Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall arrest number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.

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