When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected, he announced that he planned on reining in over-policing, particularly the racist practice of “stop and frisk,” and right-wing blowhards everywhere declared (almost in unison) that this would be the death of the city. They swore crime would increase and make New Yorkers less safe. One of the loudest of these New Yorkers was failed Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Guess who was wrong?
In the first 3 months of 2016, New York City saw a drop of 21 percent in murders compared with the same period of time only one year ago. The city also saw a 14 percent reduction in shootings during the same period from 2015.
Mayor de Blasio credited the good news directly to a re-investment of police time and effort into dealing with actual crime. Previously, many cops would be busy hassling minorities for the “crime” of standing or walking on public sidewalks under the unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policy. Rarely did it result in any real criminals being caught. Approximately 90 percent of the people stopped could be detained for any reason, and even then it was for some of the most minor of issues.
This follows a rather consistent pattern. If you do the opposite of what Republicans and the corporate police want you to do, you get better results.
There’s also been a 5.8 percent reduction in all major crime categories combined. This all just goes to prove how wildly successful Mayor de Blasio’s plan to decriminalize being a person of color was in his city.
De Blasio personally commented on the failure of “stop and frisk” as well, noting that it also brought more public engagement in helping with community policing.
Some years ago, I think there were some parts of the strategy that were backward. The city was alienating the very people that we need to protect. By reducing the tensions between police and community, we’re getting more cooperation from community members.
Source: Huffington Post
It’s worth noting that during this entire trend from 2011 until today, where crime has been de-escalating, Republicans like Giuliani have been trying to suggest crime has been going up. He said it as recently as last year, 4 years after the beginning of the downward trend. It just goes to show that no failed government policy is too terrible for Republicans. As long as it hurts minorities or the poor, they simply must have it.
Featured image via Andrew Toth / Getty