PROP response to Melissa Mark-Viverito’s State of the City speech

Summonses instead of arrests, even civil penalties instead of criminal sanctions, do not address the heart of the problem with quota-driven ‘Broken Windows’ policing which targets low-income people of color, charging them, sometimes for no good reason, with petty infractions. Even if her proposals were enacted, the stark racial bias will still prevail. She should directly challenge ‘Broken Windows’, calling on the de Blasio administration to abandon the tactic. Otherwise, in one way or another, the NYPD will continue to sanction and criminalize black & brown people for engaging in innocuous activities that have been virtually decriminalized in prosperous white communities.

Adding 1,000 new cops — which we assume she calls for as a way to protect her right flank and to earn some law & order stripes — is truly a terrible idea. Adding to the head count of an already bloated and dysfunctional agency that every day engages in blatantly racist, to say nothing of ineffective and wasteful, practices makes no sense. Mend it before you extend it. In fact, we at PROP are calling for retrenching the NYPD, for reducing the number of cops and for transferring some of the Department’s current duties like regulating street vendors, pedicab drivers, the selling of untaxed goods, responding to people in psychiatric crisis to other government agencies better equipped and trained to address those matters.

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