90%: The Harm Continues | A PROP Court Monitoring report

On December 22, 2015, the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) will release 90%: The Harm Continues, the follow-up to its 2014 publications, Broken Windows Policing: A True Tale of Two Cities and Everyday: NYC’s Cops and Courts Inflict Harm and Hardship, both of which presented the continued findings of the organization’s court monitoring efforts.

In preparing 90%, PROP representatives observed and recorded proceedings in 15 NYC arraignment parts involving over 520 cases, and interviewed defendants as well as the public defenders who practice in those parts. By identifying the most prevalent types of arrests coming through the criminal justice system and the individuals charged for those infractions, PROP effectively assessed the NYPD’s everyday practices and has concluded that the NYPD continues to engage in an aggressive application of a type of “broken windows” policing that does serious harm to selected communities in our city.

Here is a summary our court monitoring project’s most recent findings, as reported in 90%:

  • From May 22, 2015 through August 11, 2015, PROP recorded information on 524 cases presented in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx arraignments parts. Of those, PROP recorded the outcome of 482 cases.
  • Of the 524 cases seen, 484, or 90%, of defendants were people of color.
  • Of the 482 outcomes recorded, 453, or 86%, of defendants walked out of the courtroom

Here is a summary of the findings of PROP’s three court monitoring projects:

  • From June 3, 2014 through August 11, 2015, PROP recorded information on 1351 cases presented in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens criminal courts.
  • Of the 1351 cases seen, 1247, or 92.3%, of defendants were people of color.

As stated in 90%’s introduction: “Everyday New York’s district attorneys aggressively prosecute cases against black and brown people for engaging in mainly innocent or innocuous activities. Everyday our city’s courts devote considerable resources to the administration of injustice, applying sanctions in hundreds, if not thousands, of cases where the charges involves, at worst, petty infractions and where the defendants are almost always people of color, some of whom live on the margins of society.”

“It is a painful irony,” said PROP director Robert Gangi, “that the people targeted by ‘broken windows’ policing make up the very constituency representing the political base of those city leaders, from Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito on down, who proudly call themselves progressive. 90% serves as a compelling and concrete reminder that it is time for this particular group of city leaders to enact the fundamental reforms needed to fix our broken and unjust criminal justice system and to create a fair, safe, equitable, and inclusive city for all New Yorkers.”

You can browse and download all of PROP’s reports on our dedicated page.

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