City Journal Spring 2014

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Heather Mac Donald
Backing the NYPD—by Accident « Back to Story

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We need 1000 more Heather Mac Donalds in public life.
The Sanity Inspector September 03, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Very thought provoking. My historically low-crime area of the greater Atlanta area has been a destination of the Great Reverse Migration in recent decades. Crime has unfortunately come with the transplants, and some of them are beginning to protest about police scrutiny. I hope they can realize the points made in this article.
Robert E McFeeley August 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM
"Since 2005, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has deployed the entirety of each graduating class of new police rookies in the highest-crime zones of the city, rather than spreading them out throughout every police precinct, as the politicians in those districts would prefer."

As a retired NYPD detective who joined the PD in 1962, I was assigned to the 9th Pct as my first command. Back in the early 60's this was the Hippy evolution and urban decay.

The 9th Pct nicknamed the (Sh*t House)we had in alphabet city, Ave A, B & C had at least one homicide every month and only the 41 Pct (Fort Apache) had more.

As a rookie I had no knowledge of drugs or how to spot drug addicts and I was assigned to patrol on foot Ave C between East 5th Street to 14th street. Because of this I learned very quickly what cops called "Street smarts" and I can credit this to the owner of a Jewish deli located on Ave C. Hymie (phonetically spelled) Shulman was the owner and he chastised me for not doing something about all the drug addicts that permeate the area. I asked him how he knew they were drug addicts, he replied "don't the police department teach you anything? He then pointed out that this is July, the temperature is 90 degrees and they are wearing long shirts to cover their needle tracks, they are white males in a predominantly Spanish area and they are from out of state by looking at their license plate. This education made me a super star in the neighborhood because of all the arrest I made to rid the area of the drug problem.

This is the reason why Commissioner Kelly is doing the right thing and the neighborhoods will appreciate it.
Bellafante is like those who describe the US as the worst place to live yet support virtually open borders. Such people never ask if it is so bad here, why do people come and why do I want them to come? Wouldn't I rather have them go anywhere else or stay where they are than come to his awful nation? They should ask themselves that.

to those who complain that the police are too much in poor neighborhoods: That is because the poor call the police all the time. Help me! Something bad is going on here. They need protection against their own neighbors. Without the police, many more women would be raped, children abused, senior citizens robbed. there would be even more disorder than there already is. In honest moments, people even admit that Guiliani's aggressive policing made things better where they live, safer, less violent, and they were glad to see certain people taken out of the neighborhood. We hear about cases where the police made mistakes. We don't hear about all the times people are glad they came.

Heather McDonald is absolutely right. Violence in NYC is overwhelmingly among minorities and in minority neighborhoods, notwithstanding the contrary impression given by the NY Times and Public Radio. Anything that lowers violence in those neighborhoods benefits minorities more than anyone else.
And yet, at the same time, she is completely wrong. African American kids don't get their rage from the NY Times. They are not going to thank the cop who throws them up against the wall at gunpoint for keeping the neighborhood safe. They have a whole different mind set, one that is rational from their perspective. They know that rich white folks are not going to be treated the same way that they are treated, under any circumstances. What they see is selective enforcement and harassment against overwhelmingly innocent young blacks (the vast majority of stop and frisks result in no arrests). Chalk it up to the Rashomon effect, where everyone is correct from their own personal perspective.
A lot of the readers, having never actually spoken to minority kids subjected to stop and frisk, seem to have all the answers, and yet they are probably big complainers when they are searched at the airports.
There needs to be a third way, to reduce crime without losing the hearts and minds of the minority community. Surveillance cameras are a good start, especially in housing projects; not only are housing projects the location of a disproportionate amount of crime, they are also the breeding ground of crime, where young thugs hone their skills with impunity before taking it to the streets (e.g. the kids who used to shoot their guns into the air from the roof of the Louis Pink Houses). Crime is often not reported in the projects because of the fear that neighbors will retaliate as well as mistrust of the police. Cameras would allow arrests and prosecutions without civilian witnesses (I personally know of a homicide in a project solved by video).
Contrary to the implications of the article, reduced crime benefits everyone. Crime saps the will and motivation of victims, reduces economic activity and lowers the value of homes. Spending more money on cameras will help us all. And if we don't owe it to the adults who live in housing projects, who Heather argues are already beneficiaries of too much government largesse, don't we at least owe it to the innocent children?
Nice deconstruct! It's always good to see emotion and agenda based writing held up next to fact based counterpoint. It's a bonus when you get to illustrate an example where their own statements undermine their agenda. Very effective.
In any zoo, either the zookeepers run the zoo, or the animals run the zoo. They both can't run the zoo. Mayor Bloomberg has opted to let the zookeepers run the zoo. We'll soon get to see who his successor chooses to let run the zoo.
Beautifully written yet no-holds-barred take-down of a vacuous but influential world-view. Excellent work.
Interesting article, which presents the comic position taken by the Democrats. When crime happens, Democrats scream for the police. When the police respond, Democrats call them racists, and demand they leave. So when they leave, and crime happens....well you get it.

What's not mentioned here is WHY that year in year out decade after decade one group commits an insane proportion of the crime in New York and other places. Unbelievably, one has to hesitate to even mention these statistics, because Democratic media has trained and conditioned Americans to ignore it, at the pain of being called racists, which that same media has made the worst insult of all, especially for politicians, for which it is a career killer (re: Bill Clinton's shock and dismay when Obama Democrats called HIM a racist!) .

What this conditioning ensures is that one party maintains full control in the black community - the Democratic Party, the same party that was responsible for maintaining slavery in the South, which enacted Jim Crow laws, which formed and whose members comprised the KKK. And it was Democratic governors who were barring the schoolhouse door seeking to prevent blacks from entering. These are the people who have been in full control of the black community for the last 50 years.

But the foregoing is a minor point - it is northern Democrats who have control of the black community and they are every bit as ruthless as their southern counterparts although with a different strategy and a different face. However, the result are pretty much the same.

One party control means Democrats get just about the entirely of the black vote, while at the same time delivering nothing but decades of misery. The journalistic political correctness standard (and that's what it is), under which Democratic failures in the black community are subject to no outside criticism, arose in the 1980's. Perfect timing, right? Before that time, the blame for economic, social and educational failures in the black community could be directed at remnants of racism, but by the '80's the racism excuse was getting thin. So...Democratic media simply imposed a blanket of protection on Democratic failures in the community. It's still unclear whether this naturally evolved or was intentional.

So, despite 50 years of Democratic control, year in and year out black leaders are always positioning themselves as demanding more for the poor because their community - year in and year out, decade after decade, remains poor, and with horrid (and not often disclosed thanks to P.C.)stats on crime, and dismal education and economic achievements. So....always the demands for money, the claims of racism, but the truth is something else entirely - Democratic policies which encouraged single families, a victim mentality, and dependence on government have destroyed the community. What money does go into the community - and there is plenty of that - enriches those who purport year and year out to assist the community but in reality these people get rich, while year in and year out the community remains poor. And those bloodsuckers who get the money never pay a price for their lack of success - they simply claim that not enough money was spent.

The screams from Democrats about police brutality, and all the nonsense about stop and frisk are desperate attempts to get the attention away from their own failures - which are readily seen, but, thanks to the political correctness standard, never talked about, nor is there any price to pay for failure. For example, you don't hear, since Obama was elected, the demand for more jobs in the community from black Democratic leaders. It's as if they knew this demand was a sham, but the reality is that for Democrats the worst that could happen is community improvement.

What it is, is like Alice in Wonderland. Plain insane.

So, like trained seals, the rest of us ignore what goes on, leaving it to black Democratic leaders to govern their own community, which they do with an iron fist - and God forbid anyone says anything it - the Democratic media is there with the racism label, an instant career killer. After all how can anyone possibly prove that they are not a racist?

The result? Year in and year out the community is ground under by the Democratic Party - the people doomed to be raised in a community where, ironically, real change is discouraged - and failure is always the fault of those outside the community. Where change is always talked about but where nothing ever changes. No wonder there is anger - but it is misdirected.

It's not as if there isn't a ready and simple solution to the problems in the community- repair the family, put the father back in the home, discourage divorce and discourage single parenting. But, Democrats do NOT want this - so they claim that family is a Republican issue and that Republicans are the enemy. And Democrats encourage and subsidize single parenting and make it acceptable through the example of Democratic media, where even drug abuse is excused.

Yes, it's a bleak picture, and it assumes that actions which appear unintentional are intentional, but it is also reality. No one ever talks about it because there is a price to be paid.

So if you wonder how a Democratic leader can complain about stop and frisk without mentioning the lopsided crime statistics, and then bitch about the LACK of crime prevention while at the same time that police are attacked for 'brutality' and racism, you need to understand that Democratic leaders are desperate to pin the blame on others for their own failures.

Because, after all, after 50 years of solid control in the community, Democrats have really - REALLY - run out of excuses, and at the worst time, before a Presidential election. Like three card Monte players Democrats must maintain as many distractions as possible.

Because, once the people they have governed for all this time understand - truly understand - what has been done to them, how they have been used, abused, pillaged, raped, and murdered by a coterie of corrupt, parasitic politicians, so called journalists and entertainers, there
is surely going to be hell to pay.

And when the Truth Commission gets rolling there will be lots of questions for Democrats.
Thank you for this excellent article, and tying together the column showing how the poor want a police presence with the irrational campaign by the Times against police presence in minority neighborhoods.
Smarts et moxie = unbeatable. Nobody does it better.
Very well said. Excellent article!
As a Sydneysider, the fact that $51 million can be considered "mere" and $20 million a "pittance" puts the scale of New York public spending into perspective. What a wonderful town!
Thank you, Heather, for another insightful article! I enjoy your use of irony. Keep up the good work.
My husband and I were in NYC a few weeks ago, visitors from Canada, and were really impressed with the street presence of the NYPD who, BTW, were also very helpful in giving directions -- and polite too.

We live in Toronto where the only place you see police officers is in Tim Horton's and at construction sites. They seem to have a problem being where the criminals are and tend to protect visible minorities when the vis mins are breaking the law out of, it seems, a misguided sense of not wanting to be seen to "racially profiling" criminals.

Toronto has a real problem with panhandlers, similar to what New York was like on my first visit to NYC in 1979. My husband and I didn't encounter one panhandler the whole time we were in the city during our recent visit.

New York streets were a pleasure to walk, made much safer by the many pairs of police officers walking the beat -- and making subway travel more secure, as well. (I've NEVER seen a police officer in our Toronto subways, EVER.)

The NYPD needs to be commended for doing its job: keeping citizens safe and putting criminals on notice that they're being watched and will be arrested if they break the law. Toronto's increase in violent crime is connected to the lack of police presence in our public places. Our so-called "Police Services" (sic) should be taking a leaf out of the NYPD manual.