Losing Our Civilization One Law At A Time

Last week The New York Times posted an article about some changes being made in law enforcement in New York City.

The article reports:

A package of eight bills to be introduced in the City Council on Monday would reduce the impact of the style of policing known as broken windows that has for two decades guided the Police Department to see minor disorder as a precursor to major crime, often alienating residents in the process.

Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police for offenses such as violating city park rules, a misdemeanor now, would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court.

The article explains that the new laws would make such crimes as littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, excessive noise and breaking certain park rules civil matters rather than criminal matters.

I understand that these bills may help with the problem of overcrowding in the courts, but they will not help with the quality of life in New York City.

One of my daughters attended college in New York City during the 1990’s. When Rudy Giuliani became mayor, he instituted something called the ‘broken windows theory.’ The idea behind this theory was that if you dealt with the ‘little things’ like broken windows, litter, vandalism, etc., then the atmosphere would change, people would take more pride in their surroundings, and all crime would go down. In New York City during the 1990’s, crime did go down, and the quality of life did improve for the residents.

I think this new package of laws is a step backwards–not forward.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

On November 24, The New York Post posted a story about some comments made by former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

The article reports:

Giuliani was over on “Meet the Press” — opening up on Michael Dyson, a Georgetown University professor and frequent critic of policing practices in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere in America:

“Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Rudy barked. “I would like to see the [same] attention paid to that, that you are paying to [Ferguson].”

“What about the poor black child who was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “Why aren’t you protesting that? White police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other.”

Even if you don’t like what he said, Mayor Giuliana has a history of successful crime prevention.

The article reports:

The city’s murder rate began its dramatic decline during Giuliani’s early months in office, accelerated during the remainder of his mayoralty — and continued to fall during the ensuing 12 years as Mike Bloomberg more or less unapologetically continued Giuliani-era policing strategies.

…In Ferguson, the police force is overwhelmingly white. In New York, the department has been majority-minority for some time now, yet that fact generally is lost in the debate — which almost always revolves around race as it relates to enforcement, and only rarely as it involves victims and victimizers.
The fact is that crime attracts cops — that’s the point of a police force, after all.

Hard-charging cops can be abrasive, and that’s something officers everywhere need to work on — but in the end the issue must not be cops, but rather crime.

Rudy Giuliani’s point, not to put words in his mouth, seems to be this: If a fraction of the energy that now goes to demonizing cops was devoted to condemning crime and criminals, some real progress might be made.

How ironic that Barack Obama seems to agree.

Mayor Giuliani was successful in reducing crime in New York City. He created an atmosphere where criminals were prosecuted and punished for their crimes. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has seen criminal activity in racial terms–an early example of this was the refusal to prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation despite the video evidence that was posted on YouTube. Injustice triggers anger, regardless of which race is being treated unjustly. I think the President needs to remember that.