According to data compiled by staff at New York Daily News, the controversial crime-fighting strategy known as “broken windows” policing disproportionately targets blacks and Latinos.
From the 1990s, when “broken windows” was implemented, the number of summonses issued each year has soared from 160,000 in 1993 to a peak of 648,638 in 2005.
Although that number has fallen in recent years — to 431,217 last year and down an additional 17% so far this year — writing out violations still remains the most frequent activity of the New York City Police Department, far surpassing felony and misdemeanor arrests combined.
Roughly 81% of the 7.3 million people hit with violations between 2001 and 2013 were black and Hispanic, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union calculation of available race data on summons forms. Current Police Commissioner Bill Bratton first implemented the policy when he was head of the transit police in 1990, and expanded it citywide during his first tenure as police commissioner from 1994 to 1996. Raymond Kelly was the commissioner from 2002 to 2013.
Charges the at the NYPD’s execution of “broken windows” policing have become even more intense since the death of Eric Garner, a black father of six children who died when a white police officer put him in an illegal chokehold after he refused to be arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on July 17.
In some precincts, the rate of summonses was more than 1 in 10 residents in 2013. The 25th Precinct (East Harlem North), which is 90 percent black and Hispanic, had 18 summonses per 100 residents. The 40th Precinct (Bronx, Mott Haven) which is 98 percent black and Hispanic, had 16 per 100 residents.
Summonses are currently the subject of an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the city on behalf of people who say they were given bogus tickets so cop can make quotas. The NYPD denies that a quota system exist.
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