PROP response to media homicide reporting


Image source: New York Times

In response to what almost seems like an orchestrated media stampede, PROP researched the number of homicides in New York City in recent years. Our aim was to check on whether the numbers of killings in the city actually reflect any significant trend indicating a serious uptick in violent crime.

We found that the data from the NYPD* shows that the number of killings so far this year, when prorated on an annual basis and compared to previous years, are running lower than the numbers for previous periods, including significantly fewer than in 2011, the peak year for stop-and-frisks by the NYPD — over 685,000 stops for that year, nearly 2,000 per day,

Now, under pressure from quota-driven broken windows policing, NYPD officers waste their and the criminal justice system’s time and our taxpayer dollars on the surreal and discriminatory practice of arresting mainly New Yorkers of color on charges of manspreading and having their foot on a seat in the subway, having open alcohol containers in public, being in a park after dark, riding a bike on the sidewalk, and similarly innocuous activities.

“The question for Commissioner Bill Bratton and City Council leaders”, said PROP director Robert Gangi: “How can you justify adding even one officer, to say nothing of the 1,000 being proposed, to the force when so many officers now engage in such wasteful and frivolous practices? The request for leaders of the city’s media outlets: please consider publishing a fuller set of relevant data so that concerned New Yorkers can have truer picture of the incidents of homicides in our city, and how policing tactics do or do not affect those numbers.”


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