We all at one point or another have a bit of a beef with uncle sam, every paycheck you earn rekindles this. When you see your hard earned money fleeced, going directly to your state and federal governments before you can even touch it, you cant help it but feel like you’re being scammed. This feeling becomes more distinct every time you’re driving simply going about your business and you see a cop parked in some highway nook wasting our tax dollars looking to spend hours not stopping real crime but handing out speeding tickets.
This is one of the more infuriating things about the current state of law enforcement, and the revenue generating scam that it has become known for. There is however an undisputed need for law enforcement. We do need some type of mechanism by which we can call for help in order to prevent crime from happening or to arrest those that would commit crimes against us. The question isn’t whether or not some type of law enforcement is needed, it is instead, how much?
Well, the tragic murder of two NYPD cops may have inadvertently triggered a series of events that give us some insight into a potential answer. An article titled NYPD Punishes City by Not Citing, Arresting Citizens as Much. Oh, No! gives the details:
Right now in New York City, guys selling black market cigarettes are much, much less likely to be harassed and arrested (or worse) by the New York Police Department. Apparently, or at least in the eyes of the New York Post, we’re supposed to see this as a bad thing (people not getting arrested is certainly a bad thing for the New York Post’s reporting, anyway):
It’s not a slowdown — it’s a virtual work stoppage.
NYPD traffic tickets and summonses for minor offenses have dropped off by a staggering 94 percent following the execution of two cops — as officers feel betrayed by the mayor and fear for their safety, The Post has learned.
The dramatic drop comes as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio plan to hold an emergency summit on Tuesday with the heads of the five police unions to try to close the widening rift between cops and the administration.
They provide an info box showing, in addition to the huge drop in minor offense summonses, a 94 percent drop in citations for traffic violations, a 92 percent drop in parking violation citations, and a 66 percent drop in overall arrests.
And there’s this paragraph:
The Post obtained the numbers hours after revealing that cops were turning a blind eye to some minor crimes and making arrests only “when they have to” since the execution-style shootings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
Well, we can only hope the NYPD unions and de Blasio settle their differences soon so that the police can go back to arresting people for reasons other than “when they have to.”
The NYPD’s failure to arrest and cite people will also end up costing the city huge amounts of money that it won’t be able to seize from its citizens, which is likely the real point. That’s the “punishment” for the de Blasio administration for not supporting them. One has to wonder if they even understand, or care, that their “work stoppage” is giving police state critics exactly what they want—less harsh enforcement of the city’s laws.
No doubt police are hoping that citizens will be furious when police don’t do anything about the hobo pissing on the wall in the alley or won’t make the guy in apartment 3b turn down the racket at four in the morning. And they’re probably right to a certain degree. But if they think the city is going to turn into sheer anarchy over the failure to enforce petty regulations, they’re probably going to be disappointed. Over at the Washington Examiner, Timothy Carney challenged the assumption that police are all that stand between us and mayhem. He used the Washington, D.C., chief of police’s complaints that pulling officers away to deal with protesters kept police from preventing “homicides and shootings and violent crimes and robberies and burglaries right before the holidays.” Carney noted:
In the week of Dec. 13 through Dec. 20 — the week when most of these protests happened, dragging MPD away from the neighborhoods — no homicides were reported. Not a single one. Only one homicide happened in D.C. in the two weeks following the grand jury decision to not indict the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold — police say it happened on a Tuesday morning.
As a NYC cop pointed out to me, on Sept. 11, 2001, there was no upswing in crime. Nor immediately after Hurricane Sandy.
We obviously need police. But if anyone believes that our police, in their large numbers, their liberty to engage, and their military-style arsenals, are the only guards against bedlam, they might be misguided.
So it turns out that when the police aren’t hassling citizens with their moneymaking scams and concentrating only on stopping violent crimes that actually harm people, the world does not descend into absolute chaos. Hmm. Another article in the same vein details the fact after releasing tens of thousands of non violent inmates Californias overall crime rate did not change. The article titled California let 30,000 people out of prison and the crime rate didn’t change stated the following:
In 2011, the State of California released more than 27,500 inmates from state prison as the result of a court order. A recent study, published online by the journal Criminology and Public Policy, is among the first to evaluate the effect of these releases on crime rates (paywall). Professors from three American universities examined data from the state and found there was no change in crime rates as a result of the releases.
In 2009, a federal court ordered the State of California to reduce it’s prison population to 137.5% of it’s designed capacity. According to the court, overcrowding had risen to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. (The population had been 181% of capacity.) Two years later, in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court upheld that order. To accomplish those reductions, the state passed the Public Safety Realignment Act, a law that mandated a variety of reforms, including releasing some non-violent offenders.
In order to rule out other factors that might have caused a change in crime rates, the researchers treated California as a sort of natural experiment. They used the other 49 states as a control group, so that they could verify that any change in crime rates was the result of the prison releases, rather than some unrelated cause.
Their results show no statistically significant variation in California’s crime rates in the three years after the releases, with the exception of a brief surge in auto thefts. They estimate that in the year after the releases there were somewhere between 18 and 130 additional auto thefts per 100,000 residents. By the following year that increase had subsided. The violent crime rate was unaffected throughout.
It is possible that other changes during the time period could have offset the effects of the prison releases, but that seems very unlikely. A study from the California Department of Corrections found little difference between the behavior of those released as part of the realignment (pdf), and those released previously. The new research provides strong support for the idea that at least some prisoners can be released from incarceration without creating any additional risk to public safety.
Undoubtedly many of the non violent offenders were in for drug related offenses, it speaks to the manufactured criminality happening in America and the real human cost of the war on drugs