The Bail Trap (via NYT) - Brooklynian

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The Bail Trap (via NYT)

The incident took place at the corner of Schenectady & Lincoln (last November). Will the new "community policing initiative" reduce incidents like this one, which are executed by "plainclothes officers from the New York Police Department’s Brooklyn North narcotics squad"?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/magazine/the-bail-trap.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Comments

  • edited August 2015
    The incident document by the NYT is quite routine, and has become an inherent part of the various Quality of Life "Broken Window" policing initiatives.

    I doubt the NYT had to interview many people before they found such an instance.

    The police are incentivized to make such arrests, and -in the areas they are assigned- there is a high probability that there will be an outstanding warrant that makes the arrest seem more legit.

    http://www.vice.com/read/why-do-so-many-new-yorkers-have-outstanding-warrants-622

    As a result, stop and frisk has merely evolved into something I call a "Deference Check".

    If you do not show the officer deference, s/he will use your old warrant, or some charge they will create on the spot, to help them meet their quota.

    You will likely be released for time served, but you will likely lose a few day's work ....which may cause you to lose your apt in this "high demand" part of town.
  • To answer your question, unless the above is addressed, I believe most Community Policing will have little to no effect.

    ...those put into the system will merely know the officer who arrested them.
  • So do you believe that the announcement of "One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere" is merely a PR issue on the part of Bratton & Co. that, on its face, intends to seem like a more community-oriented initiative but will ultimately not bring substantive change in policing efforts?

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/25/us/ap-us-nypd-community-policing.html
  • I think it is a step in the right direction.

    However, if I had a magic wand, I would increase the size and resources available to the court system. By doing so, indigent defendents would not have to sit in jail for AS LONG merely because they lacked bail. As a result, my solution wouldn't merely save the city some of costs of incarceration (which the new bail program achieves), it would ALSO help resolve the open warrants and pending court cases that (together with deference and quotas) "tip the scales" to cause an officer to put someone in the system for a very minor offense.

    By enlarging the court system, the next time the man encountered an officer there would be no open court case and no open warrants to incentivize the officer to find/create a charge.

    Note, I do not believe that magic wand is powerful enough to eliminate the effects of deference and quotas; those are not going away. Ever.


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