Ubundling the Police in NYC

In Why Are the Police in Charge of Road Safety? I argued for unbundling the police–i.e. taking some of the tasks traditionally assigned to police such as road safety and turning them over to unarmed agencies more suited to the task. A new report from Transportation Alternatives adds to the case. The report notes that the police in NYC aren’t even doing a good job on road safety.

For example, in 2017, there were 46,000 hit-and-run crashes in New York City. Yet police officers arrested just one percent of all hit-and-run drivers. In the past five years, hit-and-run crashes in New York City have increased by 26 percent. By comparison, DOT infrastructure projects designed to reduce these traffic crashes have proven effective and scalable.

Streetsblog (cited in the report and quoted here) also notes this remarkable fact:

Streetsblog recently reported that of the 440 tickets police issued to people for biking on the sidewalk in 2018 and 2019, 374 — or 86.4 percent — of those where race was listed went to Black and Hispanic New Yorkers. The wildly disproportionate stats followed another report showing that cops issued 99 percent of jaywalking tickets to Black and Hispanic people in the first quarter of this year.

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As usual, a discussion on the disproportionate amount of police attention given to minorities completely avoids the question of whether said minorities are committing crimes at disproportionate rates.

Fair point, the police, like Willy Sutton robbing banks, go where the money is, and they have quotas to fill... that said, jaywalking should not be a crime and police do target minorities to harass them. The one and only time I got a moving violation (speeding ticket, 5 mph over the speed limit, I contested it and got off since the cop did not show up in court) I was with a black friend. The friend said I was targeted since I was a white giving a ride to a black, which is 'suspicious' to police. This was in DC region of all places, not Alabama, it was a while ago, and I think they've mellowed a bit since then. Racial profiling is real and a real annoyance. Keeping the poor 'down' is a time honored tactic around the world, I could cite numerous examples.

Have you ever been to the south Bronx??? Real question.

And another part of the whole race-class-police argument that gets overlooked is that America is SEGREGATED.

The rich mans police in the upper east side isn’t the same police in Spanish Harlem.

The South Bronx has their departments and the West Village has there’s. In no way shape or form do these departments face anywhere near the same level of burden.

So the idea that rich whites are “sicking” the police on poor minorities is a sham at best and a total lie at worst.

The rich whites don’t give a crap about what goes on in the south bronx. Whether the police under police or over police is immaterial-nobody cares....

All that matters is that the riff raff keeps moving when walking up Madison Avenue from 60th-100th street.

I’m just saying....

precisely.

which is why affluent and suburban whites are mystified by BLM.

“i don’t understand all this protesting; our cops are so nice and don’t hassle anybody...”

Policing is a local issue, not a federal or even state-wide issue.

State and federal involvement is likely to make this worse long-run.

I disagree with that generalization. Sometimes, outside forces are better trained, and have a degree of emotional separation. The local cops are in too deep and 'on tilt.'

The obvious example is troops escorting black children into schools past outraged whites. The local police were clearly not going to (willing or able) to do their jobs on that one.

There are obvious Constitutional issue that are very important, nevertheless, in the current environment, I'd much rather be a BLM marcher with US Military soldiers separating me from the armed white supremacists, than separated by the local PD.

Troops are generally not considered police.

Also, white supremacists are absurdly rare - you'll need a good stroke of luck to find a handful of them. Granted, Virginia and her governor not withstanding.

Alas, armed angry white men, who assemble with great hostility towards blacks (and just about everyone else) are not rare at all

George, the year is 2020.

Not 1930.

Are you serious?

Yes, it's 2020. Those redneck clowns with their AR's and tactical vests are on my teevee like every freaking day

Television. Check it out. It's a thing.

Alas, armed angry white men, who assemble with great hostility towards blacks (and just about everyone else) are not rare at all

Since this happens “every day” I’m sure you have a link to back up this completely insane assertion.

We can't expect yippie dogs to understand the use of the term "like" as a qualifier.

So I'll cut you some slack.

Interesting that those "white" demonstrations where people open carried no one was hurt, arrested and no buildings were burned. Those angry "white" men even picked up their trash. But in those enlightened BLM riots/demonstrations people were killed and injured for racial reason. Police were injured, their cars were burned, businesses were looted, people were shot.
In fact the truth about these two groups are exactly opposite of what you presented.

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So “like every day.” How often? Five times a week? Five times a month? Year?

Surely this batshit insane assertion of yours has some evidence?

This should be front page news all over the United States

okay you got me.

I cannot provide an authoritative citation for my assertion that armed white men have staged counter-protests every single day.

You got me. You're like the wingnut Perry freakin Mason

Perry Mason I assume is some white Boomer bullshit

Okay, not every day. But surely every week. Every month?

Has this happened at all?
How many armed counterprotesters in the counter protest crowd? Hundreds? Thousands?

This should be front page news across the nation.

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George would come across better if he just admitted that his original statement was hyperbolic. Skeptical asked him to back up his statements and he couldn't (because they were clearly hyperbolic) and instead starts hurling insults.

Obviously you numbskulls. But yippie dogs gonna yip, and Skepticals are going to ask for citations through feigned sincerity as a diversion from the point, because that's what trolls do.

Trolls are people who resort to ad hominem attacks because they can't logically refute the actual arguments.

I'm a c\/ckold!!!

Well George, you've really hit rock bottom .... and started to dig.

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Not personally worse if you’re able to get a job in the national police force. Even a job as a corporate consultant for racial disparities might be attractive. In the latter case, you may be very content to leave policing as-is. Along with food deserts and racist viruses.

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@Terry richards - yes, I've been to the South Bronx exactly once (I live in DC, and for a while on the West coast in three major cities). I remember the South Bronx because flying into JFK, exactly none of the cabbies in line would take me to the address I gave them (it was a pre-internet date of sorts, and she was spectacular). So I had to pull out my map (this was the early 1990s) and be navigator for the cabbie! We found the address, it was super expensive to find a cab ($20 MIN back when that was like $45 now) and, much to my surprise and chagrin, went I went into one of those little mini-markets, I think they are called "bodegas" (Googling this now...yep), who did I see? A white guy I knew from DC that I highly suspected--because he told me once in an unguarded moment, we were friends of sorts-- was a drug runner! I avoided eye contact (as did he) and pretended not to notice him. Small world. That's my NYC story. I did not feel unsafe (even back then) but at night if I lived there for years maybe it would be different.

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I don't there's any way that 99% of jaywalking violations are committed by Black or Hispanic people. Does anyone really think otherwise?

Apparently there's a few people in this thread who think so.

Although they are speaking in code about it.

If that is what the evidence says, then I totally believe 99% of jay walking violations are by Blacks and Hispanics. But I doubt the evidence.

All that aside, if Blacks and Hispanics are so over-policed why do they commit so much more crime?

Over-policing produces its own crimes. Ask anyone who lived in East Germany.

Just before it collapsed East Germany ranked 155th in the world for crime.

That is, it was unbelievably safe.

And the soviets outproduced the US in wheat per acre by 5 to 1 or even 10 to 1! Their reports said it was true. Then they starved.

So he can make up figures but the DDR cannot?

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b.s.
"go where the money is"
doesn't account for the disparate crime rates

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It does beg the question if 99% of jaywalking tickets are given to Blacks and Latinos why would Blacks and Latinos keep jaywalking? I mean I kind of know where the speed traps are in town and I tend to drive a bit slower there. If the cops got all zero tolerance on speeding I'd soon never speed at all....behavior adjusts.

So some possiblities:
1. Cops are targeting Blacks and Latinos for harassment. The jaywalking ticket is just the bullshit ticket used to justify a quota, justify a stop and search, justify fishing for something else.

2. Blacks and Latinos live in denser neighborhoods with smaller streets. Jaywalking is quite logical to get to the other side of the street esp. if it is already full of people on the sidewalk and there's little traffic or it is at a standstill.

3. Whites in NYC are culturally totally just not jaywalking types of people.. I've been told stories about Basel where it could be 3 AM, dead of winter, and not a single person or car is out but people will wait and not walk cross the street until the crossing sign changes color. Having been in NYC on occasion, though, this does not seem like the case.

"Whites in NYC are culturally totally just not jaywalking types of people.."

lol indeed, yeah my experience with whites in NYC is that they are law abiding and patient, both on sidewalks and in cars. And even when on sidewalks while in cars.

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1. Cops are targeting Blacks and Latinos for harassment.

They handed out 80 tickets over three months in a city which has 4 million blacks and hispanics, you gassy fool.

So what? Elementary statistics and sampling. If the portion of non-white jaywalkers is much less than 99% in NYC, the odds that a random sample of tickets will be 99% nonwhite becomes almost impossible.

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NY had a rash of deaths from jaywalking. DeBlasio said the police needed to do something. The police in NY rarely wrote jaywalking tickets. But for a nine month period in the Bronx police did what the mayor wanted, they wrote a few more tickets. It appears mostly probationary cops who thought they had to do what the mayor said. And from this we get a study about how racists cops are. The number of jaywalking tickets then went down because most police don't want to be bothered. Alex is a moron when he writes about the police.

What does that have to do with the distribution of tickets? Are you saying there are no white jaywalkers? Or white jaywalkers don't get hit by cars? Whether or not a ticket blitz for jaywalking is a good idea is a different issue than if the distribution of tickets indicates a bias in enforcement, intentional or not.

Seems he could be saying, the low seniority beats in the bronx have very few white residents?

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As usual, a conversation on whether minorities are committing crimes at disproportionate rates completely avoids the question of whether police are disproportionately assigned to minority neighborhoods and, in this case, whether use of said forms of transportation disproportionally leans toward minority groups due to other external factors.

But, a better question would be: why are people being cited for cycling safely or crossing a roadway? If police officers have been instructed to write tickets in order to meet budget shortfalls, a better solution would be for the police being mandated to reduce their scope and expenses.

If your 5-year-old daughter had been knocked down by a bicyclist illegally peddling on the sidewalk, you might welcome a little police enforcement. The people in my nextdoor feed here on the Upper West Side complain constantly about cyclists on the sidewalk and ask why the police aren't doing anything. (After which another group of neighbors notes that the cyclists are mostly minorities making deliveries and accuses the first group of being racist. Good times!)

Anyone riding their bike on a road at 12mph being passed by a dump truck doing 55 mph wonders why your 5 year old being knocked down And scratching her knee is more dangerous than being pulverized by an 8 ton big rig.

It's like roads are for vehicles or something.

Indeed... and anyone commuting often on a bicycle knows it’s not a vehicle. U get hit on bicycle a ur skull is crushed. You get hit by a bicycle and u cry for three minutes and put a bandaid on.

I wonder if part of the reason that normal people think cyclists are douchebags is their lack of concern for the welfare of children.

Bicyclists.... they are all child haters. Anyone on a bike must be a douchbag.

And there is no way that 5 year old is one of those uncontrolled timeout kids.... especially if the bike rider was brown and the kid was white, right?

I'll take Karen over the morgue any day.

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A bicycle at speed with a 70 kg weight on it is a lethal weapon sufficient even unto killing an innocent Black Man who never did anything wrong and was killed just because he was Black and because of slavery and 200 years of brutal oppression. The White Man just can't stand to see a Black Man get ahead.

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I, a white man, have gotten a ticket for biking on the sidewalk. And after the class to keep it from being a moving violation affecting my insurance, I can tell you with much certainty that both the law absolutely considers a bicycle a vehicle and you are safer if you stay on the street. Also stop at stop signs.

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What on earth are you babbling about, other than your narcissism, ignorance, and sense of entitlement? There aren't any trucks doing 55 MPH on the Upper West Side--the traffic lights are 200 feet apart and sequenced at 25 mph. Riding bicycles on the sidewalk is illegal. The police should enforce the law.

I do not know about NYC but were I live most if the people who bicycle on the sidewalk are kids, I know my children did did so did I as a child.

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Well we know from survey data blacks and whites use pot about equally in NYC yet arrests for pot fall heavily on blacks. The 99% of jaywalking tickets means that if this just happens to be a case of white just never jaywalking spotting a jaywalking white person in NYC would be like citing a rate and exotic bird.

The question is who is using pot quietly in their home or yard versus who is doing it in public, or doing it and driving, etc. Virtually everyone exceeds the speed limit, but the police generally only pull over the ones who speed recklessly. Same for jaywalking, who is looking both ways and waiting for a gap in traffic versus just walking out into a crowded street?

No police officer is going to give a ticket for jay walking just for fun. It involves paperwork, which they hate. If you spend any time outside of the rich parts of NYC, you know that people constantly jay walk without any repercussions. Much more likely is that tickets for jaywalking were given for egregious cases.

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Yea this is a bunch of special pleading at this point. "well whites may jaywalk as much as blacks but whites know how to do it 'right' so it doesn't cause risk of accidents"....I think the burden is on you at that point to prove whites have a 'jaywalking style' that is dramatically different, and safer, than blacks.

I've noticed whites get out of the way of my car with some alacrity. Never seen one have a conversation with someone on the sidewalk while I honk at them.

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The politicians pass the laws the police are expected to enforce.
Garner for selling cigarettes, Atlanta for enforcing MADD inspired DUI laws, and Floyd for passing fake money as well as being under the influence (behind the wheel of a blue van?).
When those being arrested resist, that's when force, sometimes deadly, has been used.
I agree that the higher arrests might be because the offenders deliberately ignore the laws that political and police superiors directed cops on the street to enforce.

What did Z say the other day?

American “security” policies in practice are typically some combination of expensive, unnecessarily harsh and completely ineffective. (War on drugs, terrorism, TSA, immigration control....)

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That's true only if the laws give no discretion to the police to issue verbal warnings or citations. In the case of George Floyd, how do the cops know for sure he committed a crime? He could have innocently received it as change or payment for an odd job. It isn't even completely unheard of for an ATM to occasionally dispense a counterfeit note. An arrest can destroy someone's life even if that person is cleared of the charges later on and police should not be so cavalier about arresting first and asking questions later in such a petty issue.

They don't have to know. What they are required to do is respond to calls and investigate and use necessary force if the perp refuses. The compliance of perps is required by law (which if you don't approve of, change it but comply in the meantime, especially if your are loaded with drugs, overweight, and have serious heart disease). The LEO(s) is/are are supposed to bring the perp to an appropriate place to clarify the issue. The perp is supposed to voluntarily go with him/them.
Ricard bro, learn a little about how the American legal system works.

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You think 99% of jaywalkers and 87% of people who ride their bike on the sidewalk are black and Hispanic? That’s patently nonsense. People in good neighborhoods do those things all the time and never get in trouble. These laws are only enforced in all-minority ghettos as a means of creating a police state there.

"as a means of creating a police state there."

What does that mean? Like as a pretext to search for drugs?

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Well no. But the police will be told to concentrate on high crime areas and remove the bad actors by any means necessary. If they can't get a drug runner for dealing, they may cite him for jay walking.

This seems concentrated in the Bronx - and over half the tickets go to young men. So the police are not picking on everyone

There was a collection of deaths from jaywalking in NY. DeBlasio demanded that the police start writing tickets for jaywalking. Why? Because the police rarely wrote jaywalking tickets. As it turned out only one police district listened to the mayor. A district with a lot of younger cops that also was mainly Black and Brown. So for about nine months, one police district did what the mayor wanted. And that is now evidence of police racism. Bullshit on seriods.

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A smart allocation places police where the serious crimes are occurring. A cop that drives by a minor crime is viewed as weak by the population and limits are tested.

If the city council makes something illegal, jwalking or shooting fireworks, and a cop witnesses the event and it's non-trivial, what should he do in general? Enforce the law? Ignore the law?

If you don't want to be ticketed for jwalking and causing traffic to stop, then ask city council to remove it from the books.

Watch the link below as cops just roll through a neighborhood in NYC where everyone is shooting fireworks at each other. This is what many defund-the-police types want from the cops. Do you think rich people want this in their neighborhood? Not a chance. Rich people would say "If my kid is doing this, catch him, give him a ticket, bring him home, and I'll take it from there"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP04kLc5gqs

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Spoken like someone that has never been detained for trumped up BS jaywalking, had to present an ID, get talked down to by a guy on a power trip, had their pockets searched and be arrested because they are in possession of 1 gram of a wild growing flower they smoked last night while said cop was crushing beers with his buddies.

Jest aside, this is about more than race... it’s about power. Powerless (relatively speaking) people are harassed by cops and assumed guilty until proven innocent. Powerful people are left alone and assumed innocent unless their is air tight evidence against them.

That really pisses the powerless harassed people off. Especially when the vast majority of the things they are arrested or ticketed for (non violent drug offenses, jay walking, selling a single cigarette, visiting a prostitute) are abuses of authority to start with.

“If u don’t like my fire, then don’t come around, cuz I am gonna burn one down”.

Strangely enough some people without power - genuinely without power as opposed to some idiotic sociologist - don't like gang wars in their own neighborhoods. They do not like drug dealers on their stoop or in their stairwell. They do not like drug users breaking into their homes and stealing what little they have.

That is why they lobby for police enforcement. Thar is why Chuck Rangel was responsible for the tough laws against crack. That is why the police are necessary.

You don't like being hassled by the police? Make it clear you aren't breaking the law and do not tolerate people around you breaking the law either.

Gang wars are a function of black markets. The policing is exactly what is causing the gang wars in the vast majority of the cases.

“Make it clear you aren’t breaking the law”. Hahahahha. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. You think the police give a flying shit what you say.

In those situations, you shut up, and eat your lunch because you no say about shit. That cop can plant evidence on you (see Baltimore, the cop in Florida that did it to hundreds of people), that cop can say you smelled like a certain burning plant, that u looked like you had a gun... whatever he wants. This dude thinks he has “rights” hahah.

Unless you are video recording the interaction, u are gonna lose in court no matter what the facts are 95% of the time. Cops know this. Powerless people know this. It’s the way the system works.

That’s why people are pissed.

But someone that has never experienced the short end of the stick literally has no idea what they are talking about.

Getting busted for possession after committing a highly-visible traffic violation isn't getting the "short end of the stick". Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Of course, the solution to all of this is simply to stop enforcing crimes, and let people do what they want. I would suggest carving out an autonomous zone of sorts, just make sure you build a wall so no racist cops on a power trip can get in. Everything should be perfect after that.

You don’t actually have to be jay walking. They can just say that to arrest you for possessing a harmless wild growing plant.

1 out of 3 men in America are arrested for something by age 30. 1 out of 3.

Either we are just the worst group of people on the planet in droves... or we are abusing authority by having way to many laws for dumb stuff like smoking weed.

You are the kind of person that would tell a gay guy that got arrested by the taliban that he should have just not been gay. Or argue the black teen in Alabama in 1940 that looked a white woman should have just put his head down and obeyed the law.

The big issue we are facing in America is that we arrest the shit out of people for BS. That is compounded by racial prejudice and a legacy of cops being able to put their knee on a guys neck and kill him because he stole 20 dollars.

If that wasn’t recorded, there would have been no consequence and people like u are like. Shouldn’t have stole 20 bucks. Geeze.

George Floyd died because he was high on fentanyl and resisted arrest. Same with Michael Brown, etc. You'll notice, as a common thread over these police brutality / racist lynching cases, no one ever dies after doing something as simple and innocuous as, say, "jogging". That is, if you want to notice, since our overlords don't make it a point to tell you.

Of course, there are people who say that no one should die in police custody, regardless of who they're pointing a weapon at or what they're resisting. These are the same people who are currently arguing that burning down buildings and looting stores isn't "violence", even though hate speech and microaggressions are.

So it is, in fact, not an issue of too many laws, or asinine laws, but the fact that we have consequences for actions. It's pretty typical r-strategist thinking. The underclass wants a free hand to turn America into the third-world hellholes they fled, and the upper-class leftists are more concerned with virtue-signaling for each other than what's going on outside their gated communities and high-rise condo buildings.

The fact of the matter is that we have the laws we have because we live in a diverse, low-trust society. We didn't need jaywalking laws, for example, when people were polite and deferential and paid attention to traffic when crossing the street (as some still do today). We didn't need drug laws when people made a point of isolating themselves and being responsible with their use (again, as some still do today).

We enjoy the high standard of living that we have, at first because of the people who adhere to its social contract and understand its abstract benefits, but failing that, because we applied and enforced laws to maintain it. The laws are a Band-Aid, they're there in recognition of the fact that we have a significant population of people unable to natively maintain the level of trust needed to operate in our society. And now, at the nadir of leftism, they in conjunction with leftist traitors, want to do away with the laws and their corresponding punishments, and they ignorantly believe they will enjoy the same benefits of society after they do. That's why we're evicting leftists from the country.

Ok vey...

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There was a collection of deaths from jaywalking in NY. DeBlasio demanded that the police start writing tickets for jaywalking. Why? Because the police rarely wrote jaywalking tickets. As it turned out only one police district listened to the mayor. A district with a lot of younger cops that also was mainly Black and Brown. So for about nine months, one police district did what the mayor wanted. And that is now evidence of police racism. Bullshit on steroids.

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this is b.s.
"The policing is exactly what is causing the gang wars in the vast majority of the cases."
this is exactly why you shouldn't send your progeny to an overpriced
sociology school in the vast majority of cases

Believe me, I was not sent by mommy and daddy to an over priced sociology school.

This dude doesn’t understand the link between black markets and violence but he did stay at a holiday inn last night.

we are betting this student cannot correctly define this weeks stupidest memezombie media meme "vast majority" without using an adhominem or a fake psychiatric diagnosis

Good one man haha. Btw, “we”, you got a mouse in your pocket?

silly postmodern leftist marxist pronouns for thee
but not for cornpops?
cornpopsrustyrazor gotta rustyrocket in our pocket

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In Chicago, gang warfare used to be connected with the drug trade. Now, it is mostly connected with one group disrespecting another, and retaliation.

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"Of course, the solution to all of this is simply to stop enforcing crimes, and let people do what they want."

A lot of things that are "crimes" shouldn't be, certainly. It's a crime to have certain wild flora on your property, for example. Who does it harm for a farmer to let a weed grow in his fallow field? It's a crime to drink alcohol if you're 20 years and 11 months old. It's a crime to sell perfectly good food if you're not given permission by the government. It's a crime to not build a house following certain guidelines--some of which are rational, some of which are simply asinine. It's a crime to bend the sheet metal for the shell of a car too much or too little. In some places it's a crime to serve eggs cooked the wrong way.

At this point there are so many laws on the books that no one knows what's legal and what's not. We're not even sure how many laws we have on the books, let alone regulations, regulatory guidelines, and regulators simply making crap up on the spot.

I don't think we should eliminate police, but we can certainly as a society get rid of a vast number of laws!

Exactly...

I like how St. Thomas Aquinas put it in the Summa...

Aquinas

- The human law, says Thomas, is not obliged to repress all vices. It is framed for most people, who are far from perfect in virtue. It is aimed at the more grievous vices from which the majority can abstain, i.e., those which are to the hurt of others, e.g., murder, theft, and the like. Were the law to attempt to legislate perfection, it would make people hostile to the law and defeat its purpose. (Q. 96, a. 2)

People have indeed become hostile to the law and it is defeating its purpose when people don’t even know what is illegal and cops don’t have to bother with truth... they can just make shit up.

Abolishing the police is stupid. Defunding the police is stupid (although it’s quite possible they are over funded due to their being asked to over enforce everything that bothers the Karen’s of the world).

Well put Dinwar.

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I think that's the correct solution to the issue. But it's important to note that this is not what BLM is asking for. They don't want to broadly reduce the laws and regulations. They want to remove the laws that annoy them but are advocating for a vast increase in laws and regulations that will (presumably in their mind) benefit them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movement_for_Black_Lives

Reference:
The organization's platform, entitled "A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice," has six demands:

End the war on black people
Reparations
Invest-Divest
Economic justice
Community control
Political power

I agree... and that’s probably why they are going to fail. They took the wrong fork in the road.

call them the 1619 riots
Claremont’s Charles Kesler wrote a column in The New York Post Friday, titled “Call them the 1619 riots,” blaming the indignation and utter lack of regard for the nation’s greatest men on the misinformation stemming from The 1619 Project.
Hannah-Jones responded to the article on twitter saying she would be honored to claim responsibility for the defamation of American heroes and Founding Fathers such as George Washington.

It would be an honor. Thank you. https://t.co/W4HXKY8kCm
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 20, 2020

“America is burning,” Kesler writes. “Rioters set fire to police stations and restaurants. Looters have ravaged shops from coast to coast. And now they’re coming for the statues — not just of Confederate generals, but the republic’s Founders, including George Washington, whose statue was torn down in Portland, Ore.
Call them the 1619 riots.”

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I'm certainly not advocating for BLM. BLM isn't so much a mixed bag, as it is a bad organization with occasional good ideas. There's a portion of their complaints that are valid, but much of the rest is horrible.

"I'm certainly not advocating for BLM. "

Sure, I didn't think you were. However, BLM and its allies are driving the conversation. I don't know where will end up, but it's clear they won't be happy with a return to the status quo nor even efforts to re-train the police. They want definitive action. It feels like they'll get something action out of this. It's unlikely to be a well thought out policy with few down sides and more likely to be a politicized policy with a bunch of un-intended consequences.

Agreed, which is why I think it's important for rational people to come up with a counter-proposal.

The status-quo is called the "school-to-prison pipeline" for a reason. It's highly politicized with a bunch of consequences (some of them unintended, some of them very much intended). Any reasonable person would want to change things. The problem is, BLM's policy is going to be even worse than the current status quo, as demonstrated by at least one recent experiment.

To counter a bad idea, though, it's not enough to merely point out that it's bad; you've got to have some alternative. Plus, it has the potential to pull people in from both sides of the aisle.

I said when all this started that if the Right stuck to their ostensible principles they could come out of this looking like heroes. They push law and order. This is the PERFECT time to say "...and we mean EVERYONE has to follow the law, even us". It shows their voting base that they're serious, and it shows minorities that they're wiling to listen. It would cut the legs out of the Democratic contention for presidency. That they're not doing it is the best proof of the decline of American intellectual capacity that I've seen thus far.

" They push law and order. This is the PERFECT time to say "...and we mean EVERYONE has to follow the law, even us"."

The Law implies having a trial for the accused. That's where this is going. That of course, includes stopping the burning and looting. I don't see that the Right was standing in the way of the Law in this case. Nor was the Right advocating breaking the Law.

The only thing that would have satisfied the mob was if they had thrown Derek Chauvin to the wolves. That's not following the Law. I don't want to live in the kind of country where we would have short circuited due process in order to appease the rioters.

I never said the Right was standing in the way of law and order. You are reading my post in an even-or manner when nothing in my post requires or even implies it.

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They are.

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Drive around in "bright yellow cars with free gas and jumper cables." Sure

bagels would be a nice touch too

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When I was a child growing up in a small southern town, one of my father's employees, a black man who worked for the family for most of his life, was sometimes arrested for passing on a hill. While walking. The jail needed cleaning and he did a good job cleaning it. He would be driven home or back to work once the job was done. Outrageous but not unexpected in a small southern town back then. But blacks on bicycles in NYC?

I suspect that the increase in hit and runs is attributable to ride hailing services; I don't know about NYC, but over half the 60% increase in traffic congestion in the Bay Area is attributable to ride hailing services. https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/8/18535627/uber-lyft-sf-traffic-congestion-increase-study

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I'm with you on the unbundling, too much is expected out of one person. Here's my split:

- Traffic/safety guy for parking/moving violations
- SWAT for active situations; fully trained, disciplined, only division that is fully armed
- Mental health; unarmed but could be accompanied by armed officer in situations, psychological expert, excellent communicator
- Regular cop, armed only with non-lethal weapons, also excellent communications, knows how to defuse and prevent escalations, community base policing, main tool is not a gun but an IPad
- Likely more but it's morning.

For future policing of public demonstrations, a number of health organizations including the American Academy of Opthamology and the American College of Surgeons are calling for a ban on rubber bullets (which actually contain a metal core and is made of hard foam) that caused blindness in those exercising their First Amendment rights. Tear gas is a chemical weapon that is illegal to use in war and should have been banned for use in policing long ago. During a pandemic, this will only add to the fatalities as it too attacks the lungs just like the virus.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/06/fact-check-its-true-tear-gas-chemical-weapon-banned-war/3156448001/

https://www.aao.org/about/governance/academy-blog/post/fight-rubber-bullets-blindness-protesters-eyes

I think this was the event that changed policing in America:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

I remember police departments responding, with higher capacity/caliber hand guns, higher power rifles, more militarized SWAT.

The problem we have in this country is that the same people support the NRA and the Thin Blue Line. If you accept both those things, it is insolvable.

It doesn't work to have AR-15s for everyone, except the police.

How many crimes are actually committed with AR15s?

It wasn't the rifles that were the biggest issue, it was the body armor.

The police at the time had no way to counter it and because of that, the assailants were able to act with relative impunity.

I lived in CA at the time and I remember hearing (not sure if true and too lazy to look) that the police actually went to a gun shop in the immediate area and purchase ammo to use because what they had was ineffective.

Most crimes involving firearms are committed without body armor or assault rifles. They are committed with handguns. The Hollywood shootout was a rare event. The crime statistics simply do not support regulation of assault rifles and body armor.

1. It is a very strange American choice that body armor is for sale to the general public.

2. It is not that the police encounter it every day, is that they imagine they might encounter it at any time.

3. The more you disarm police the more they will.

What are the incentives for bank robbers when police only carry stun guns?

> What are the incentives for bank robbers when police only carry stun guns?

To rob banks more often with the pistol that they usually use.

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@Anonymous - I was in California during the North Hollywood shootout, actually out of the country, in Japan on an assignment, when it happened, and what I remember is my JP hosts asking me if America is like this all the time (I told them what they wanted to hear, a JP tradition, and said though automatic weapons are not common, gun violence is very common, which is true) and also one of the two bank robbers shot himself in the head after being injured in the legs, and the other guy being effectively neutralized by a brave cop who used ricochet bullets from a machine gun to mortally injure the second robber hiding behind a car, who they allowed to bleed out before EMT could take then to the hospital (which from what I've heard informally is standard practice for suspects who shoot at cops). Later the LAPD settled with the family of the second robber for an undisclosed sum, probably a hundred grand I figure. The other thing I recall is the cops could not hit the robbers who were wearing body armor, despite aiming at center mass. Only when they were told to aim for the legs did they manage to wound the first robber. So I would say SWAT would have been a failure even back then.

Ray, you have no shortage of interesting stories in this thread.

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Well, you need to have a continuum of options available for policing demonstrations. Remove rubber bullets and tear gas? What is left? Water cannon perhaps. No doubt that has the potentia lfor injury too.
Any option that uses force will also have the chance of injury, it's ineluctable. Yet not having a gradient means you are left with extremes (no force/lethal force).

Stripping away the tools for policing demonstrations is the point.

No the point is Free Speech should not be censored violently through permanent bodily harm by the state.

Free speech does not tend to be actual violent riots, property destruction, or murder. All of which seems to be what BLM and the 'abolish police' movement call free speech.

Uh, except nobody has actually said that is free speech, mr straw man. In actual fact the vast majority of protests have been peaceful and in most cities supported by the police

Someone did just literally say that.

And I am sick of people being dishonest over the "vast majority". The vast majority of police stops do not end in people dying. But we care about George Floyd anyway. Hell, the vast majority of Chauvin's stop did not end with anyone dying - so I guess you think he should be free to go? The vast majority of people who fought under the South's flag owned no slaves. So there is nothing wrong with the Confederacy? I can play this stupid game all day.

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b.s.
many of the protests have involved property damage, arson & assaults.
this behavior is routinely justified, incited & encouraged by BLM marxists

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Understood.

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And when the demonstration escalates to a riot, then what tools are left to use?

I know leftist think it's ok to let the rioters get it out of their system, but that violates the rights of everyone who is harmed by the riots.

Alternatively (in a world without less-lethal options) I guess you can start firing indiscriminately into the crowd, but something about that seems disproportionate.

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Crowd control doesn't require any of those. For most situations, it is very effective what a large group of officers equipped with megaphone, shield, and barriers can do to keep order. I'm pro police and pro free speech so there's a balance to be had here for sure. If you haven't seen Greg Doucette's massive list of tweets on policing brutality during the protests, it is an eye opener:

https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1266751520055459847

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1266751520055459847.html

+1. Nice to see a conservative free speech lawyer take on these issues.

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Leave the policing of demonstrations to the National Guard.

Local law enforcement having access to military grade equipment is a new phenomenon.

People throw water bottles at armored personal carriers and officers in full body armor because they recognize it is a symbolic act and that their actions have no reasonable ability to cause any sort of harm.

Do you not see the tragedy in a protest against police brutality when the police show up with better equipment than the average soldier but with 5% of the training and discipline?

Mob control requires specific training to not make it worse. I read something about Minneapolis which described how the protesters controlled the police response strategically. These situations don't arise often or regularly in the US.

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this is b.s.
"People throw water bottles at armored personal carriers and officers in full body armor because they recognize it is a symbolic act and that their actions have no reasonable ability to cause any sort of harm."

people just did 100 million bucks of" wreckoning" in Minneapolis
and rebranded it as mostly peaceful protests

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"Leave the policing of demonstrations to the National Guard." You mean like at Kent State? The National Guard is a bunch of part-timers who like playing soldier in their spare time. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Put them in front of a crowd throwing rocks, and someone is sure to get frightened and fire his weapon.

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I am reminded of the outcry that eventually led to rethinking protocols around high-speed chases.

Eventually, policing started breaking off 100 mph+ chases in dense locations. And guess what? the world did not end. Dogs did not start sleeping with cats. Jaywalking did not explode. And perps were generally still apprehended eventually - instead without the tragic massive wrecks involving innocents and/or officers.

The mindset around policing demonstrations must also be re-thought. Police put themselves in situations with crowds where they've framed the issue as about control and respect for authority, and so naturally it escalates when the crowds refuse to comply. Eventually cops are bashing heads and pepper spraying previously peaceful protestors, who simply got tired of being ordered and pushed around arbitrarily - the violence justified by the cops as a need to maintain CONTROL at all times. An obviously self-fulfilling cycle, that time and again is shown to have been initiated and escalated by the police.

If you are a parent, then perhaps you recognize the "oh crap" moment with your child where you are no longer trying to parent about a specific issue, but instead escalated into a power struggle for its own sake. And you've backed yourself into a corner, and resort to rage and (hopefully modest) violence just to make a point about 'who's in charge'.

I think George is correct here. Relax the policing. Crime will go up a little, but most of it will be in areas that are poor and heavily minority. Eventually, people will stop calling the police in those areas for minor crimes and the crime stats will drop.

It's pretty much the approach that England took, and they still get by.

I really like this idea too. Leave these communities to their own devices and police the rest of society as before. This policy aligns better with preferences.

+1

Federalism/Localism on steroids. Will probably play out along municipal boundaries in reality.

Let Oakland or Minneapolis or the Bronx choose to not have armed police enforce the laws. Let everyone choose with their feet.

Related: CHAZ business owners have sued Seattle

Isn't CHAZ simply extreme localism. You should be thrilled to see examples of micro-democracy.

Oh wait, you believe we should revert to citizenship based on property ownership.

Classic Turing test fail. But a very amusing and teachable example.

Isn't CHAZ simply extreme localism. You should be thrilled to see examples of micro-democracy.

Yes, I’m completely okay with CHAZ. Why would I not be?

Oh wait, you believe we should revert to citizenship based on property ownership.

No, I believe in the free movement of people. Why would I want to restrict citizenship?

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So leave the black people (who generally request more policing, not less) to die and rich white liberals declare victory.

You'd be surprised at how most police don't live in the cities they serve. When you lack the connection or skin in the game to borrow a Taleb-ism, then your actions won't match the preferences of the people very well. Some places should let things slide and others less so. The community sets the thermometer though.

Old article from 538 but it wouldn't surprise me if it still hold true today.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-police-dont-live-in-the-cities-they-serve/

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"So leave the black people (who generally request more policing, not less) to die and rich white liberals declare victory."

I don't see a lot of black people speaking out against BLM's demands. Should I attempt to White Knight them and do what I think is best for their own good? Or just let them be their own agents?

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Actually, what normally happens in the endless cycle is that crime rises in minority neighborhoods, the residents start to complain, feckless liberals like Alex will bring up some statistics to show that the police aren't proactive in Harlem like they are on the upper east side and complain about how racist that is, candidates like David Dinkins will campaign on strong law enforcement platforms and push through hiring of more policemen, and the cycle will continue.

Yes that's exactly what will happen, but who am I to stop it? I live in a suburb and will vigorously defend the vigorous enforcement of our laws, and I will leave the minorites and Liberal urbanites to their fate.

I'm with you. Preventing moronicism and folly among community activists, politicians, and professors would be a Herculean undertaking, and not very personally profitable.

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A main function of policing is deterrence. Someone rolling around with an iPad is not a deterrent. Someone with a tank will likely only respond once there’s already a high likelihood it will be needed.

The challenge comes when a bunch of idiots don’t find a policeman with a hand gun to be an effective deterrent.

It really sucks that the idiots tend to look the same.

Speaking of po’dunk white people of course.

Most police work is not deterrence. It is literally talking to people and taking a report .... which could be done on an iPad. Most episodes of COPS is like that. The cuffs only come out when people are drunk and belligerent.

@Ikkos - true, and a lot of people don't realize that it's very difficult to actually handcuff a person who is belligerent. I learned that on the YouTube ASP channel, by a pro-gun nut (and Christian pastor). That's why cops will either beat or tase you senseless if you arrest, or, initially, ask you "can you put your hands behind your back?". A suspect strung out on angel dust and 50 pounds heavier than you is very hard to arrest, unless they cooperate, as Pastor John will tell you. It might explain the wide use of choke holds, baton beating, and tasing by police (plus some of them are sadists).

Surely you've used some of your wealth to take martial arts! Then you'd have firsthand knowledge: yes, it's very difficult to restrain a belligerent. Pain and chokes are the only way.

Tasers are an attempt to incapacitate at a distance but they have their own risks and the charge can dissipate in clothing.

Basically, this problem will be solved by drawing lines around certain areas and deciding that nothing short of physical battery with weapons will merit a police response. The policing at that point will focus on keeping the stupid and violent within those lines.

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"A main function of policing is deterrence"

No, deterrence is an important function of the criminal justice system. Police spend much of their time on taking reports on petty misdemeanors and infractions or sorting out non-criminal disputes between people.

It is remarkable neither of you can see that this *is* deterrence.

Nobody said it wasn't a function but the key phrase was "main function" which is the wrong characterisation. Hence, the corrections.

What correction? Everything they listed is literally the definition of deterrence. Paperwork isn't but visibility and taking crime seriously is.

The context is that one person said they wanted "regular police" to be armed only with non-lethal weapons and someone else said they would not be a deterrent. That's false as police do not need firearms to make arrests or issue citations and some countries get along perfectly well with having unarmed police handling petty offenses and street patrol.

I'm agnostic on the question of having non-firearm-carrying police. It could be an interesting experiment to try out in a few places. Or, allow them to carry concealed firearms on the condition that they go through regular retraining and target practice.

A man with an iPad and a man with a sidearm present two very different levels of deterrence, especially if the citizen involved views violence as a part of their option-set when dealing with the officer.

In my town, Ricardo, you are probably correct that police more often then not do not need sidearms to act as a deterrent to anti-social behavior. But I expect they are a necessary component to deterring anti-social behavior by some of our transient population and certainly the population of our nearest large city.

And we're not even talking about officer safety here. Just the likelihood someone won't sucker punch a guy with an ipad in order to escape a possession charge and handing over an illegal firearm.

Unfortunately, Ricardo, you are also correct that sometimes, even multiple officers with sidearms do not act as a deterrent. See every BLM case this year as an example. I suppose Anonymous would just as soon call a SWAT team in for George Floyd or the Wendy's drunk, of course after the social worker failed to convince them to comply.

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I would have responded earlier, but was enjoying the morning working while taking care of my kids.

George, you’re a dishonest asshole.

I specifically said “a main function”. Not “the main function”. You and your buddy Ricardo deliberately misrepresented the point.

Why do you think sometimes state troopers sit in plain sight during rush hour?

Why do you think police “patrol” neighborhoods, either in a cruiser or on foot?

It’s a deterrent. It is one of the main functions of policing in most areas.

I can understand how indirect activities with an abstract endpoint may be more difficult for you to recognize (vs specific actions like writing tickets or serving warrants) but it’s quite likely the aspect of policing that directly impacts the most Americans. And the good thing is, most don’t even realize it, yourself included.

Is that you Skeppie? FYI I am not even in this thread.

Yes I’m Taiwanese American and my name is John Smith.....

.......not

Looks like he meant Gerardo up thread

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I won't defend George, but Ricardo is a reasonable and fair poster. He raised a legitimate objection and even though I do think police presence is a primarily source of deterrence, it's still a gray area.

I will say that both Tyler and Alex have linked to sources that say Europe relies on a lot more police per capita and less prisons. The logic being that a higher and more visible police presence acts as a better deterrent than a lot of prisons.

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As the other comments said, there seems to be excessive use of things like tear gas and rubber bullets. At best, they make sense when you have a group of people engaging in looting, destruction of property or violence and you need to disperse them as quickly as possible. Video footage shows lots of cases where things were not even close to that level. If you want a non-violent crowd to disperse or move to the sidewalk, use barricades and shields and give the group a verbal warning. If that has no impact, start detaining troublemakers at random.

What videos show in several instances is police not even bothering to communicate properly with crowds and then using tear gas as a form of extrajudicial punishment. The protest on Vine Street in Philadelphia, for instance, could have been handled a lot better.

"What videos show in several instances is police not even bothering to communicate properly with crowds and then using tear gas as a form of extrajudicial punishment."

In every case I saw where the video was running before the tear gas was used, the police were under assault and/or there's clear signs of destruction of property.

Check out the Philly freeway videos.

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- Traffic/safety guy for parking/moving violations
- SWAT for active situations; fully trained, disciplined, only division that is fully armed
- Mental health; unarmed but could be accompanied by armed officer in situations, psychological expert, excellent communicator
- Regular cop, armed only with non-lethal weapons, also excellent communications, knows how to defuse and prevent escalations, community base policing, main tool is not a gun but an IPad
- Likely more but it's morning.

Oh yes. Likely more, indeed.

It's becoming hilariously obvious how much expensive, specialized and complex governance is needed for the care and feeding of the African-American and Hispanic populations. I trust the GMU Economics Department doesn't bother with libertarian or classical liberal political economy these days, because those ideologies are dead and buried.

So what you're saying is, every black and latino is incapable of looking after themselves, right?

The description “populations” is ambiguous. I interpreted AG as commenting on minority communities, not “every individual”.

It’s very difficult to generalize every individual of a population. And it’s racist.

"It’s very difficult to generalize every individual of a population. And it’s racist."

+1

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Apparently. How much are they saying we owe them these days?

There are Hispanics and there are Hispanics. I expect the ones requiring a lot of government oversight and transfer payments in New York City are Puerto Rican.

Net tax consumption is heavily skewed to African-Americans. Like, we are getting nothing out of this deal. They need us, not the reverse.

Perhaps something like a Reservation System would work. Certain areas could be "no goes" for police and could be policed by unarmed community security officers. Step outside the reservation, and normal societies rules apply. Neighborhoods could elect to be in these reservations. The gangs will choose to do their shootouts there and the rest of us are spared. This relegates crime to predefined areas. I think this is defacto what is happening now and what will be even more true in the future.

"Nogoes?" I believe joggers is the proper term, bigot.

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- Traffic/safety guy for parking/moving violations

Reasonable. We already do that to some extent, via meter maids (not PC, but where I live they're still called that).

- SWAT for active situations; fully trained, disciplined, only division that is fully armed

Not sure about this one. After a certain point, the National Guard seems like a good option. I've always wondered what would happen if we treated a gang war like a real one. On the flip side, if we end the futile and failed War on Drugs, a lot of the need for this sort of thing would go away.

- Mental health; unarmed but could be accompanied by armed officer in situations, psychological expert, excellent communicator

Not sure what role this will play. Certainly they need a mental health division internally, but I'm not sure what good they'd do on the streets.

- Regular cop, armed only with non-lethal weapons....

Non-lethal doesn't mean it won't kill you. When my wife bought her taser I pointed out that with my heart condition it's more likely to kill me than a gun shot wound is. I'm not saying this is a bad idea; I'm just saying we need to be VERY clear to these folks that the point of non-lethal weapons is to reduce the chance of death. They need to understand that if they pull their weapon they need to assume they're going to kill.

Like I said, though: Get rid of the War on Drugs and a lot of this goes away. Folks delivering whiskey to an ABC store aren't shooting people on a regular basis, and the cops aren't routinely shooting family pets over the father having some beer in the fridge, at least not anymore. That would free up a massive amount of money and manpower to deal with actual crimes (what someone chooses to put in their own body is not anyone else's concern).

"Not sure about this one. After a certain point, the National Guard seems like a good option. I've always wondered what would happen if we treated a gang war like a real one."

You mean use a military force to wage war against an insurgent group? Ask the Afghans, Northern Irish, or residents of former South Vietnam about that one. Anti-insurgency work is, in fact, police and detective work. You need people to tell you where the weapons/drugs/money are kept, who the leaders are, and what their next move will be. This is properly the job of the FBI or of specialized units of state and local police.

Honestly, the quickest way to deal with gang warfare is to end the drug war. That eliminates a good chunk of the financing and incentive towards violence. Attacking gangs head-on is going to end in an unacceptably high body count; attacking their finances by removing a major pipeline for income would be more effective and have fewer graves associated with it.

"Honestly, the quickest way to deal with gang warfare is to end the drug war. That eliminates a good chunk of the financing and incentive towards violence."

+1, the drug war makes no sense in modern day America. Just let the people who want to be druggies, be druggies. Let the free market supply them a high quantity of very cheap drugs so that there's less incentive to steal.

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"Certainly they need a mental health division internally, but I'm not sure what good they'd do on the streets. "

The idea that a cop is expected to be Dr. Phil too makes the job way a bit overloaded. Mentally ill people require a different set of tools I would think or at least specialization to do well. The media underreports the policing of the mentally ill which has had disastrous results like the death of Tony Timpa.

I'm old enough to remember that in my childhood that someone who was acting over-the-top idiotic might be told (perhaps jokingly) "They're gonna call the men in the white coats to come get you." Maybe we need those men in the white coats to handle people who have mental problems and are acting out in public without actually being a threat to life and limb.

The court system largely ended institutionalization. So, instead of the men in white coats, it's the men in blue. Instead of being locked away to protect society and for their own good, they are involved in a revolving door police system. It's probably a system worse than anybody would actually design and implement.

Institutionalization as it was needed to end. It wasn't mental health, it was torture.

I'm not saying the current system is good by any means. I'm just saying that what we had in the past certainly wasn't any better, and was likely worse.

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What do you do when a violent armed criminal is stopped by an unarmed traffic safety officer to receive a ticket for a moving violation?

What do you do when a drunk armed person is stopped (or a stop is attempted) for drunk driving?

What do you do when someone refuses to stop for the traffic safety official? Let them go? Contact the person to whom the car is registered (what if it is a stop for an unregistered vehicle?)?

It would be nice, but the core issue is that at the end of the day, all laws are enforced on pain of death.

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" hit-and-run crashes in New York City have increased by 26 percent."

"projects designed to reduce these traffic crashes have proven effective and scalable."

Then why are they increasing? The "scalable" multiple is too small?

Exactly. DOT shuts down a block for resurfacing, and hit-and-runs on that block drop to zero. Hard to do that city-wide.

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You know, as a proud member of the Future Farmers of America, I have noticed that our country has faced soft power issues lately. The police brutality problem is just a part of it. It is clear to me that American business are being hindered by the arrogance image Trump's Administration radiates. There are ways to soften and burnish America's image. America xould donate equipment to South American countries who are fighting locusts right now. I thinkmsuch a measure would gain our country a large measure of good will.

Thank you for pointing that. I thought I was the only person who noticed how detrimental to America's real long-term interests Trump's policies really are. He is costing us an unbearable ammount of good will and money. Your idea of supplying deserving South American countries with anti-locusts equipment is pretty good.

Umm, would this have any +ve impact on the illegal immigrations issue???
As Winston Churchill supposedly once said 'You can always depend on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else'.....

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Trump rallies could be policed by a cadre of officious and highly partisan nurses.

Maybe.

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Whoa! I didn't know that Trump re-directed the locust swarms to South America. Way to go Trump!

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"For example, in 2017, there were 46,000 hit-and-run crashes in New York City. Yet police officers arrested just one percent of all hit-and-run drivers. In the past five years, hit-and-run crashes in New York City have increased by 26 percent."

This sounded pretty alarming so I followed the links to make sure the facts were documented and supported. The "report" by Transportation Alternatives quoted above has a hyper-link on "just one percent" that leads to another report called "Vision Zero" ( a self-congratulatory NYC Transportation Department publication). I think I searched the latter pretty carefully, but nowhere can I find that it references or supports those numbers.

"Hit and run crashes" sounds pretty bad, but my sceptical self thinks that what we might be talking about here is a lot of owners claiming someone scratched their car in a parking lot without leaving a note. Even if the villian is identified, these sort of incidents result in a summons, not an arrest.

I would be very happy if Alex were to come back to this and confirm the numbers and justify the severity of the language used. I think that when using this space to make claims against the police (the FDA, etc), one should at least use a little due diligence and not rely on "hit and run tactics".

That was very rude of you to try to verify the numbers.

Regarding riding on the sidewalks, I guess the cops aren't able to catch the Chinese delivery men. When I used to work in lower Manhattan, I was almost hit a few times by bicyclists coming from behind me and I know someone who was hit and seriously injured in just those circumstances.

Take a walk in Manhattan, look both ways for cyclists, count the number of bike messengers, tally the race of bike messengers. Also, don't assume sidewalks or green crossing signals offer any safety, And again, look both ways.

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Excellent comment. As usual, the commenters put in much more thought than the bloggers around here.

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+1, thanks for digging into the numbers

More numbers, these for context.

The argument over tickets for biking on the sidewalk and jaywalking is absurd. No New Yorker of any race is at all likely to be ticketed for either.

Look at those number: 78 jaywalking tickets in 3 months and 220 biking on sidewalk tickets per year.

Compare those to parking tickets (9 to 11 million per year), speeding tickets (1.4 million in school zones alone), or QoL fines (700,000 a year).

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/new-york-city-fine-revenues-update/

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We have a Vision Zero group here. Problem is, drill down I to the numbers and the vision conflicts with another local vision, of drunk pedestrians and stoned or otherwise addled homeless people.

vision zero= blindness

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Data is here. Don't know why the TransAlt report doesn't link directly, but it was trivial to find - https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/traffic-data/traffic-data-leaving-the-scene.page

The arrest rates are much higher in injury cases than property damage cases, but still <10%. The hit and runs causing injury have increased since 2017, while the rate and absolute number of arrests has declined.

2017 total arrests rate
Property 40866 114 0.28%
Injury 5137 481 9.36%
Total 46003 595 1.29%

2019 total arrests rate
Property 40820 105 0.26%
Injury 6142 453 7.38%
Total 46962 558 1.19%

So the Transportation Alternatives was quoting stats that were technically correct but highly misleading.

If they had posted the numbers that you had posted, which would have painted a clearer picture, then the take on their article would have been significantly different.

Most people who read their article will never see the numbers in context which will result in them being mislead.

Thanks for this. As J Watts has noted, this paints a somewhat different picture. I continue to suspect that the "property damage" reports are largely minor parking bumps (labelled here for effect "collision") and that most of these are reported merely to justify an insurance claim. Is this really the sort of thing we want our law enforcement spending huge amounts of investigatory time and money on? And, further, the fact that an "arrest" is not made does not mean someone was not summoned or cited.

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I think you're missing the point. The arrest rate for hit and runs resulting injury or death are higher than 1%, but 7-9% is still abysmal!

https://safetrec.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/publications/on_the_legal_deterrence_hr_workingpaper.pdf

This study is a bit older, but has a cross-state comparison of hit and run identifications. New York and Arizona are at the bottom with 7.3% over the period studied, compared to a nationwide average of 42.9%. The next worst states after NY and AZ still have a 30% clearance rate.

Not to mention that NYC is absolutely blanketed with cameras, which should make it easier for the police to track down hit and run perpretrators should they care to.

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>In Why Are the Police in Charge of Road Safety? I argued for unbundling the police

Yes. And you were mercilessly mocked in the comments for the near-unprecedented level of stupidity inherent in this suggestion. It was hilarious. Thanks for doubling down!

>police officers arrested just one percent of all hit-and-run drivers.

Hmm. Maybe it's because.... they ran? Could that be a factor?

You're probably right -- guns are the problem here. If you stripped the cops of their guns, I'm sure the criminals who fled the scene could be more easily caught. And the Completely Unarmed Safety Official would have no problem apprehending and arresting the violent fugitive felon.

Keep 'em coming Alex, we can do this all day!

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This will last until the unarmed road safety officer is murdered by someone and then the unarmed road safety officers will be travelling with an armed road safety protection officer. Also, image how many times the road safety officer will be pulling over a drunk driver, or someone who is has outstanding warrants and has to call a law enforcement officer anyway.

I suspect that if we really went to road safety officer that it will be like the social workers, health inspectiors, and fire inspectors and they will only work M-F 07:30 to 16:00 and the roads in the middle of the night will resemble Mad Max.

NYPD traffic enforcement agents are already opposing this transfer to DOT because they remember how it used to be done until the mid 90s when they were regularly getting attacked while doing their jobs.

All of these reforms are dumb and will result in zero improvement in the real world because they all start with the assumption that everyone is peaceful and loving and it's just the mean old police that come in and start shooting everyone.

To be perfectly fair, the mean old police roughing people up for no good reason is kind of why people imagine that it's all their fault.

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Unless it has been removed from daylight like Cops, one can always go back and watch Parking Wars and used to be on A&E from 2008 to 2012. IT was amazing how often the police had to be called to deal with some stupid person. My favor was the African-American woman who jumped into her car while the tow truck was hooking it up. She refused to acknowledge the police until her Husband/boyfriend showed up to talk her out of the car. Of course, put her in handcuffs and arrested her. I would assume that she believe that they were towing her car because she was black.

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Funny how automation was not mentioned: cameras and radars. If simple laws like speed limits are enforced, the most impulsive and dangerous drivers lose their permits. Of course, criminals don't need a permit to operate a car. But the non-criminal dangerous drivers would be in the passenger seat.

Except that all the data I've seen shows that SLOW drivers are more dangerous. Humans are pretty good at aggregate risk assessment; the average speed driven on a road is the safe speed to drive there. Drivers going faster than average are generally okay, they go past and don't interfere with traffic flow. Slow drivers, in contrast, create congestion and disruptions to traffic patterns, which causes not only them to get themselves killed, but they kill a dozen other people as well.

The other issue is that posted speeds are political. No one wants to be the one to say "We should increase the speed limit"--they will immediately be shot down as wanting to kill children, regardless of where or the facts of the matter.

There are also emergency situations. A lot of my family is in emergency response, and sometimes the rest of us get roped into helping get to/from scenes. I'm not an emergency response person, but if I'm driving the fire chief to a fully-involved house fire I'm also not going to follow posted speed limits. In fact, where I grew up it would be illegal to do so; the fire chief has the authority to order non-fire fighters to engage in fire-fighting activities if needed. Automated systems can't handle that sort of nuance. Okay, maybe that's a rare situation, but it's intended to illustrate the type of things that happen which require discretion, something machines lack.

I am looking forward to the day when it is fully recognized that (within reason) assertive competent drivers are not the problem, even if they default towards more assertive actions. (Perhaps because they are engaged, predictable, competent, and paying attention).

The main problem (most of the time) is distracted, incompetent, unpredictable, inconsistent (and obstinate passive aggressive) drivers. It's an epidemic crisis.

* Note that I said 'within reason.' Road rage, excessive speed, tailgating, and driving beyond safe conditions is something else.

There's even a lot of empirical data to support this. My dad is a NASCAR fan. Folks going 200 miles an hour, three inches from each other. As long as everyone's acting in a predictable manner, there are no problems. They're aggressive, sure--but they know the risks and take that into account. Accidents happen when the unexpected occurs.

It's the morons on their cell phones going 30 miles an hour below the speed limit that get folks killed. If you can't see a giant tanker truck because you're too busy browsing Facebook (seen it happen daily in California) you shouldn't have a car, much less a license!

you can't be serious.
Nascar has the most spectacular car wrecks
wrecks in the history of car wrecks

Obviously you aren’t a race fan. Look at WHEN the wrecks happen.

many nascar wrecks happen for a lotta the same reasons wrecks
happen on the highway (minus the impairment&cellphones) in your words
"Accidents happen when the unexpected occurs. "

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Taila-gating detection systems (cameras+software) exist =) This is a thing since a few years ago in Germany https://www.catchsystems.nl/en/specials/tailgating-detection

80-90 MPH may be still safe for a highway in a low car (sedan), but there's people that like 110 in unstable cars. If the police is not at the right place at the right time, they get away with it until someone is hurt.

Mentioning the 70 MPH speed limit is an example of something that can be monitored with a camera, radar and other devices. A cop in a patrol car is much more expensive and he's not there all the time.

PS. there should be a periodic exam to keep the driving license above 65 years old. It's funny that you need to pass a practical test to get it, but once you have one, you almost need to kill someone to lose it. This doesn't require any armed cop, it can be done by DMV cheaper employees.

"80-90 MPH may be still safe for a highway in a low car (sedan), but there's people that like 110 in unstable cars. If the police is not at the right place at the right time, they get away with it until someone is hurt."

There are innumerable laws on the books that work exactly that way. Take waste generators--it's up to me, as the generator, to determine if I'm a small quantity, large quantity, or something else generator. Very rarely is it checked. About the only time is if someone gets hurt. Same with laws on the length of knives. No one's frisked me and inspected the length of my knife blade, despite working on multiple military bases with 3" maximums (knives are necessary in my line of work). If I ever hurt someone, you can bet they'd hit me with that in the lawsuit!

In fact, many traffic laws are policed on the basis of "Ignore it until it hurts someone". Even speed is addressed this way--in the North, in winter, the official speed limit can change depending on weather. Since the cops can't know what it is, they often merely wait until someone gets into an accident and cite them for going too fast.

So it wouldn't be a stretch to extend this to speed in general.

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The speed limits on state highways (including interstate highways) in my state are set by doing "surveys" where equipment is used to measure the speed of vehicles on the road for a period of several days.

Once they have that data, they use the 85th percentile of all speeds and that's where the limit is set.

The theory is that 85% of drivers will go at what is believed to be the maximum safe speed for the road in average conditions - and 15 % will always go faster.

The limits are also not absolute as the laws also specify that, with the exception of the State Police, officers conducting "stationary" radar surveillance may *only* ticket drivers who are traveling "consistently" at least 10 MPH over the posted limit. State Police officers can ticket someone for any speed exceeding the limit and local officers who are moving and running radar or pacing may as well although the reality is that most will not even look at you unless you're speeding in excess of 15 MPH over the posted limit - especially on the interstate.

NOTE: Speed limits in active School Zones and the recently-fabricated "Work Zones" are absolute at all times. The latter is especially lucrative for local jurisdictions as all they need to do are post signs - there is no requirement for any work to be in progress (or even in existence) at the time you're stopped.

Having said all of that, I drive a LOT and I can promise you that slow drivers - especially those who get on the freeway and move all the way to the left-most lane and refuse to move - are more than a nuisance, they are a danger to everyone around them. If you're too scared to drive, stay off the road or at least stay out of the left-hand lanes.

What you've described is the theory. Unfortunately politicians get involved, and often over-rule the engineers. I know a few towns and counties that have intentionally lowered speed limits, often for only portions of the roads, so that they could increase income from speeding fines.

That's part of a broader issue: using police to increase local government cash. Even in relatively affluent areas police are used as basically another form of tax collectors, working not to enforce laws but to increase government general funds. This puts the police at odds with the population. The police see the population as livestock to be farmed, and the population sees every interaction with police as potentially annoying at best, dangerous at worst.

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Some of them are scared, some are clueless, but I am convinced that many are acting passively aggressively by going slow and refusing to move over or yield.

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"Except that all the data I've seen shows that SLOW drivers are more dangerous. "

The data I've seen indicates it's speed differentials that are dangerous. It's not the SLOW driver or the FAST driver, it's the pedestrian /cyclist / slow driver around the fast driver

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If cars came with a cell phone jamming device, the average driver competence level would quadruple overnight.

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Unless they're running a speed trap for local revenue enhancement, the police don't usually pull over people who are just going with the flow of traffic, even if that's over the limit. But there are people who drive much faster than traffic and these people are too. It isn't slow drivers or fast drivers per se who are a treat but large speed differentials which are dangerous.

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If you're not at some point willing to send a cop to pull someone out of the car and lock him up, and use force to make it happen if the driver objects, there's no point in taking away licenses, as people will just keep driving without them.

Why would anyone ever stop for a road safety officer just keep driving. The chance that that road safety officer will bother to contact law enforcement and have you chanced down is probably nil. Also, why bother registering your car or having a license plate. No one is going to do anything about it.

They put a boot on your car. Or at least that's what my city does.

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Nonsense.

People who ignore the unarmed traffic officer would be ruthlessly tracked down using every available electronic means to track their identity and movement. They'd be in cuffs by dinnertime.

The flipside of a system that softens the first stage of enforcemet is that the second stage is more severe.

We don’t even track people down with open warrants.

Citation please

https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20190113/justice-unserved-authorities-drowning-in-open-arrest-warrants

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I guess you have forgotten the Walter Scott incident in South Carolina in 2015. Mr. Scott had warrants for unpaid child support, had an expired license expired tags, and had alcohol and cocaine in his system. When stopped by the police we ran for it.

I doubt if an unarmed Road Safety Office would have cared if Mr. Scott had ran away or even bothered to call law enforcement. There was a passenger in the car that would have made the situation more dangerous for an unarmed government employee. Mr. Scott would just have avoided being shot by a very stupid law enforcement officer.

So if you want the roads to become like Mad Max, the do replace anyone with law enforcement powers with road safety officers. Of course, an economist would think about the increased price of transportation, insurance, and loss of life due to the failure of the road systems. But some economist travel so much they want the roads in the U.S. to become like the roads in Lagos.

Yes, how perceptive and well-argued you are.

I want to the roads to be like Mad Max. But only if I can have Mel Gibson's Falcon

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>They'd be in cuffs by dinnertime.

Unless they resist. In which case, whoa, better back off. Maybe come back some other time, when they may be more agreeable to being arrested.

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Look my library is pretty easy going. I can have a lot of fines, they don't hassle me. Once in a blue moon I have to pay because my license is suspended for new borrowing but I just toss some money in and it's on again. There's no cop at the library, no one with a gun who would try to stop me if I told them "I don't care about your system, I'm taking this armful of books worth a few hundred dollars so ya sucker!" .

Yes technically this is not a 'no police system'. If I was enough of a dick at the library, sooner or later someone would show up who was a cop. If I really pushed it hard, I could end up in jail over my screwing around with the library. But normally, for 99.9% of people, the idea that your library interactions would require police interventions would sound strange.

It seems a lot of stops could be done without police and since only tickets would be involved there would be no tense standoff.

The intersection of the set of people who check out multiple books from the library and those speeding down the highway at 2:00 is probably close to the null set.

LIbraries work because of the type of people who actually visit libraries.

Except they don’t even work once you get into areas with any kind of strength enhancing diversity.

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Probably but speeding down the highway at 2 AM could be handled by a camera, picture, and ticket in the mail. Yea some people don't care but for most people paying the ticket is better than having your license suspended, getting added tickets for driving without one and risking your car getting impounded. There are people who take out huge amounts of stuff from the library and never come back who do eventually end up with a cop knocking on their door.

I think the idea here is to minimize the interactions between law enforcement and civilians while keeping it as a possibility where really needed. The policing concept that has caused us trouble is the opposite. Maximize interactions because every time a stop can be justified for anything, no matter how minor, that is an opportunity to check for warrants, see if 'probable cause' exists for a search etc.

But what about all of the driver who obscure their license plantes. Or why not just remove the license plate if you are not going to stop for the Road SAfety Officer and the Police are not going to pull you over. Cameras only work for honest people.

I recall NYC busted a truck a few years ago. They had come up with a set of pullies, when they approached a toll the license plate would be raised and a fake one underneath displayed as the truck buzzed thru EZ Pass. You still keep some police doing road side checks, just make it the exception rather than rule.

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"the idea here is to minimize the interactions between law enforcement and civilians "
that sorta overlooks the obvious fact that many interactions between law enforcement are initiated by civilians calling law enforcement

Are they? In my case over the last 5+ years I would have to say my two interactions were indeed the results of my calling law enforcement. I suspect, though, other communities will have different tallies.

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I’m glad the Mayberry library is that way meanwhile in San Antonio the downtown library has three cops on duty and metal detectors. Every time I’ve been there at least one of the cops is engaged in handling a disturbance. Admittedly only once have I seen blood and a person in cuffs but I’m rich so I barely ever go to the library.

Since the people are homeless, maybe the guards should be replaced with social workers with great verbal skills who will help the homeless people transform into vital members of society.

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Indeed, there are criminals out there. But there are a lot more of "law abiding people"(non-violent) that should not have a permit, would quit driving without a permit but they cause accidents everyday due to lax enforcement of traffic laws.

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Researchers detected the presence of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that caused the disease in samples of waste water in Barcelona, collected in March 12, 2019. These results, sent to a high impact journal and published in the archive medRxiv, suggest the infection was present before knowing about any case of COVID-19 in any part of the world.

Seems not possible given all we know about the doubling time of the virus. The virus doubles every 5 days in unchecked society, which means if 1 person had this in Barcelona on March 12 2019, then on September 12 2019 (6 months = 36 doubling intervals) then 70B people would have it.

Maybe a milder form was detected.

Phinton, there is a limit to the doubling... Please.

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I suspect either false positive or they picked up bits of coronavirus but not the one we care about today (there are several known viruses, some have been known for decades before Covid came along).

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Alex, thank you for taking up this cause. Unbundling of police is one of the best suggestions I have heard in the current debate over police reform.

I would like to add to that extending the active years of police officers. There is absolutely no reason why they should retire in their 40s. Having older officers on the force also adds experience and wisdom.

otoh
this is the same canadian who told us decreased policing in baltimore
was a causal factor in the increased violent crime rate for the last 5 years

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Older officers are paid through the roof. Contracts are structured so that cops are under paid at the start of their careers but overpaid near the end. When a senior cop is fired, retires, or quites the savings is massive since he will be replaced by a cop collecting at a rookie scale.

There are no savings because the dept has to pay both the retirement/pension of the retired officer and the new officer.

Pension is usually a different budget than the department so there will be savings on that local scale.

Also it doesn't really matter. The cop with a lot of tenure has already earned his pension so that cost is sunk. On New Year's Day starting the year with a rookie cop versus senior cop is less money out the door for wages.

Also pension liability is usually based on the highest year's of earnings and earnings go way up near the end of a cop's career. Terminate a cop whose senior but a few years before retirement and you save a lot on pension liability as well.

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You should correct "Ubundling" to "Unbundling" in title of post.

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Campus police gave me a speeding ticket once, on my 3-speed Schwinn. I was pretty steamed about it. I didn't realize they gave me street cred too.

Even though the last bike I owned was stolen almost 30 years ago, I'd agree that time spent policing people on bikes, or jaywalkers, instead of drivers of cars and motorcycles - how I hate motorcycles in an urban setting, I routinely pronounce a silent curse on motorcyclists* and it seems regularly to be answered - is wasted and any such funds should be diverted to my only concern, parks and paths.

*Though not quite as much as I detest people who remove the muffler from their cars.

You realize, I hope, that (i) the motorcyclists think the same about you and (ii) they get to vote just as much as you do. I know, it's unjust. For myself, as a pedestrian, I hate urban bicyclists the most.

The motorcyclists hate me for being too quiet. I suspected as much. You've relieved me of all guilt! (Which I do feel, in nearly equal measure to my boundless loathing.)

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Streetsblog recently reported that of the 440 tickets police issued to people for biking on the sidewalk in 2018 and 2019, 374 — or 86.4 percent — of those where race was listed went to Black and Hispanic New Yorkers.

About 54% of New York City's population is black or hispanic, so this suggests that these subpopulations are 5.5x as likely to be noncompliant with traffic ordinances as are others. That's not implausible given the composition of other offender sets.

It's not impossible but you're missing a control. You're assuming police are simply stopping every person that bikes on a sidewalk....or that every street in the entire city is uniformly covered with cops enforcing the sidewalk prohibition.

Better to match it with a mass survey asking bikers their race and how often (if every) they biked on the sidewalk. Or randomly tape streets and have people count the sidewalk bikers.

I wouldn't be surprised if non-whites do violate sidewalk biking rules in NYC more often. I suspect bike messengers and delivery people are disproportionately non-white. Since those bikers are on a clock not taking short cuts means money out of their pocket. But still you're assuming the enforcement of the law is unbiased and objective rather than actually testing it.

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The only thing I can think when I read the comments here and Alex's comments about police in general is: defund, unbundle, extinguish the police? Have it all!

I grew up in a mid-size Brazilian city. It was a lawless land, where the notion that police was around if someone broke into your house or mugged you on the street was ludicrous. Unbundling? Unarmed, dedicated traffic agents do not stop drivers to give them tickets, afraid that they will be beaten or shot by the disgruntled motorists. By the way, they are so hated because they usually have "ticket quotas" to fill - and they can be much more "productive" if they do not have to waste time talking before issuing a ticket.

My unscientific prediction, very biased by my personal experience, is that you will regret any of these changes. That is, unless you are very rich and have your own armored car and personal armed security detail, which is the Brazilian solution, anyway.

Evidently, in the past, there were some problems in Brazil regarding public security. However, crime rates are actually trending down in Brazil thanks to President Captain Bolsonaro's leadership. I do not think crime is now a great concern for most Brazilians.

Thiago,
average is over, crime is up.
do academics have eyeball worms?
time for a free eye test
can you spot the leftist congressional frittata who recently & unironically asked "where are the police when you need them? "
after an assault by a leftist wingnut
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=eye+worms&id=4D67E9E476D4B3D73FD6208A03005CC804D9A904&form=IQFRBA&first=1&scenario=ImageBasicHover

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Alex bro, learn a little about the American legal system.
Non-cops do traffic system/regulation (Sir Paul McCartney even wrote a song about them).
They leave a ticket on your windshield and them depart.
The limitation is when they have to hand it to you and you have to sign it. You might say, especially if you are a proud Black Man who never did anything wrong, "f**K this s**t, I ain't never did nothing wrong, I ain't signing no muthaf**k**g BS ticket" (I don't mean to be racist, white people say similar things sometimes, and then are indignant when they get tased or physically removed from the motor vehicle, because of their white privilege) . In such cases, it may be necessary to legally and lawfully "arrest" the individual. While private citizens can make arrests under more restricted conditions, generally it is advisable to have a LEO do it. I'm sad that Americans don't understand their rights and responsibilities better. I guess it's understandable that some immigrants don't get it. But I wish you'd try harder, maybe read a book or something.

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