Brooklyn Hate Crime Spike: Cause and Effect


Sorry, image not available
KCDA/City Limits

District Attorney Kenneth Thompson
There's word today that Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is stepping up hate crimes enforcement in the wake of a string of distressing bias incidents in Kings County.

The recent spike notwithstanding. Brooklyn traditionally leads the state in hate crimes reports. As Chris Giblin reported last year at BkBureau.org, "Brooklyn is home to 32 percent of New York City's population but reports 43 percent of the city's hate crimes. One in 12 New York State residents lives in Brooklyn but one in five of the state's hate crimes occur in the borough."




Beer and Politics Mix on TV


"Straight Up," Brooklyn Independent Media's delightfully looser take on the traditional reporter roundtable, will be out with its second installment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23.

It features yours truly, DNAinfo's Jeff Mays and the Observer's Jillian Jorgensen discussing race, policing and politics at the beautiful yet unpretentious Emerson's bar in Clinton Hill.

Watch it here, live ...

A




Striking Disparities in Neighborhood Violence


Sorry, image not available
Izaakb/City Limits


Last week Mayor de Blasio attended the NYPD's weekly crime statistics session, a response to the uptick in violence this summer. That uptick has to be seen in context—the number of shootings, murders and other crimes is still way, way lower than it was not just in The Bad Old Days but even just a few years.

What is striking though, when one digs a little deeper into the shooting statistics is how uneven they are across the city. No, it's not surprising that some areas have more crime than others. What is a little shocking is that, even in a bloodier summer, so many areas have absolutely no reported gun violence.




The Death and Life of Stop-and-Frisk


Sorry, image not available
Fxp42/City Limits


Back in 2007 or so when the uproar over stop-and-frisk was just picking up, the NYPD made a point of referring to it as the "stop, question and frisk" program—to emphasize that the strategy was not focused on patting people down, but rather allowing police officers to ask questions of people who came under suspicion.

A new report by the New York Civil Liberties Union looks back on the whole history of stop-and-frisk (or stop-and-question-and-frisk) and reveals that among the more than 5 million stops the NYPD made from 2003 through 2013, 52 percent involved a frisk.




Resisting Arrest: Is There a Trend?


Sorry, image not available
Michael Fleischhacker/City Limits


Police commissioner William Bratton told the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC yesterday that there's a trend of people resisting arrest.

"What we’re seeing … over the last several months [is] a number of individuals just failing to understand that you must submit to an arrest, that you cannot resist it," Bratton said.

Is there such a trend?

According to data provided to CityLimits.org by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there was a spike is arrests for NY Penal Code section 205.30, resisting arrest, between February and March, a drop in April, and another jump in May before a decline in June.




Report Finds 'Epidemic' of Aging in Prison


Sorry, image not available
Peter Greenberg/City Limits

The guard tower at Sing Sing Correctional Facility on the banks of the Hudson in Ossining.
The aging of people behind bars is "a national human-made epidemic decades in the making" associated with a swelling fiscal impact and a spreading moral stain, according to a report released Thursday by the Osborne Association.

The prison population aged 55 or older quadrupled from 1995 to 2010 and is expected to represent a third of the entire prison census by 2030, "amounting to a staggering 4,400 percent increase over a 50-year span," the report found. "Even as crime has drastically declined and the U.S. prison population has begun to shrink, the aging prison population continues to rise at a disproportionate rate."




What Was the Bloomberg Admin. Saying About Jail Violence?


Sorry, image not available
Jarrett Murphy/City Limits


The devastating Times investigation of violence at Rikers Island and yesterday's chilling U.S. Attorney's report on the same might make one wonder why the deteriorating conditions in the city's jails didn't send up red flags or set off alarm bells during, say, the 2011-2013 period covered by Preet Bharara's probe.



Cloudy Views On Broken-Windows Policing


Sorry, image not available
Tomas Castelazo/City Limits


Everybody knows what Immaculate Conception is. They must because they reference it all the time. Except they often get it wrong. People will jokingly allude to Immaculate Conception when describing someone being born without their parents having, you know, done it. But that's not Immaculate Conception, it's Virgin Birth, which the Bible says occurred in Jesus's case. Immaculate Conception refers to Mary—that's Jesus's mom, for the uninitiated—having been born (after being conceived the traditional way) without original sin. The confusion is enough to drive an ex-Catholic to prayer.



Some Police Agencies Revive Restraints Involving Neck


Sorry, image not available
USMC/City Limits

Troops in training demonstrate a lateral vascular neck restraint, or LVNR.
Outrage over the death last week of Eric Garner while in police custody hasn’t been echoed on listservs and bulletin boards frequented by police officers and their supporters. "Looking at this video, there is no criminal action on the part of the officer(s) in my opinion," wrote one poster at Thee Rant, where some posters disparaged the dead man and there was general concern that the cop at the center of the case might be unfairly blamed for Garner's demise.

There’s no way to tell whether the posters at sites like Thee Rant are cops, retired cops, wannabes, buffs or trolls. But one post raised a question that may resonate as the uproar over Garner’s death lives on.




NYC Pols React, Unevenly, to Mideast Violence


New York City—a tourist magnet and center of global finance boasting a large immigrant population, a number of major international organizations and a history of being targeted by foreign terrorists—is a place where international politics and local sentiment regularly run into each other on the sidewalk.

This is especially true when it comes to Middle Eastern affairs. Rudy Giuliani once threw PLO leader Yasser Arafat out of a concert at Lincoln Center. Mike Bloomberg had to retreat to a Sderot bomb shelter on a mayoral visit to Israel. Shortly after taking office, Bill de Blasio told a pro-Israel lobby group he saw defending the Jewish state as one of his duties as mayor.






Next 10 Posts >