Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Has de Blasio Surrendered to Higher Crime in New York City?

 

Over at the City Journal website, my friend Heather Mac Donald expresses her concern that all of the hard-fought gains in the fight against crime in New York City may soon be undone under the stewardship of new mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. de Blasio has elected to discontinue the city’s appeal of Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling from last August, in which the judge found that the NYPD used racially discriminatory tactics in implementing its “stop-and-frisk” policy. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had already stayed Judge Scheindlin’s ruling and removed her from the case, finding her impartiality to be in doubt. Thus the city was already well on its way to prevailing in the case, yet Mr. de Blasio has now made the choice to surrender.

What I find mystifying is how William Bratton, Mr. de Blasio’s choice for commissioner of the NYPD, has organized his thoughts in such a way as to allow himself to work for the new mayor in the first place. Given the restrictions placed on the department by Scheindlin’s order, to say nothing of the added levels of bureaucracy, maintaining the low levels of crime that have characterized recent years will be a difficult task.

Mr. Bratton has succeeded in lowering crime in every department he has headed, including my own LAPD and in a previous stint in New York. He is preoccupied with nothing so much as his own reputation and celebrity, both of which will suffer if crime rises in New York. If crime does rise, as Heather Mac Donald fears, look for Mr. Bratton to jump ship before he can be blamed.

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  1. Profile Photo Member

    “[Bratton] is preoccupied with nothing so much as his own reputation and celebrity”. Precisely. Read his own recent entry in City Journal to see how out of touch he is and -more disturbingly- how ignorant of constitutional principles. Is this something he has become -a casualty of celebrity- or has he always thought this way?

    • #1
    • February 1, 2014, at 5:12 AM PST
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  2. ChrisZ Inactive

    Jack, as a former resident of NYC during the Rudy glory days (and of pre-hipster Brooklyn in the demoralizing Dinkins years), and as a person who still commutes to work into NYC, I started detecting the signs of greater disorder (bums sleeping in Penn Station, a hint of urine in the lesser-used corridors) almost immediately upon deBlasio’s election. It’s like they knew their day had returned and were ready to resume their pre-1990s habits.

    The appointment of Bratton was a huge surprise, and one that lifted my spirits considerably. It seemed clear to me that the money-liberals of NY had given the new mayor a talking-to, presumably telling him that they’d subscribe to any social tinkering, but that they wouldn’t tolerate a return to the old liberal religion of crime and disorder.

    I think Bratton is a hero for taking the mostly thankless job and allaying fears of an immediate escalation in crime. I’m sure all sorts of mental gymnastics are involved on his part, and a parting of the ways is pre-ordained. But his presence has probably bought us a couple of years of relative order.

    • #2
    • February 1, 2014, at 7:13 AM PST
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  3. Plato's Retweet Inactive

    A retired detective I know once told me that without the full support of the Mayor, a PC can’t reduce crime.

    Ray Kelly was ineffective when the NYPD was shackled under Dinkins, but very effective under Bloomberg after the Giuliani reforms.

    Now, again, Bratton succeeds Kelly. John Miller is back as Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence. And I’m so glad we have Heather MacDonald keeping an eye on things, as she did with her many articles about the Giuliani-Bratton-Jack Maple initiated reforms which revolutionized policing in New York and eventually nationwide.

    Those reforms were so successful that it will be difficult now for even a Mayor to undo them.

    Bill Bratton has never been afraid of microphones, or to challenge his boss. Mayor de Blasio can’t easily fire him. If he did fire him, Bratton could run for Mayor in the Democrat primary of 2017.

    NYC’s politics of crime are exceptional. Have a friend there who was a red diaper baby. Loves Rachel Maddow. Votes Left, almost always. Almost. Voted for a second term for Rudy Giuliani. Personal safety trumps ideology.

    The city is accustomed to safety now, and won’t surrender it easily.

    • #3
    • February 1, 2014, at 8:27 AM PST
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  4. Michael Knudsen Inactive

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/11/its-de-blasio-time.html

    Do you miss the old New York City? Remember when subway trains were covered in graffiti, a news hour began with six shootings and everyone who lived in the city had been mugged at least once?

    Remember when Times Square had more strip clubs than theaters and when you could afford an apartment in the village because it was a drug infested mess? 

    Remember when the city and everyone living in it were on the verge of bankruptcy and the only people who had money lived upstate or in a small cluster of Manhattan?

    Remember when everything was grimy and had a layer of filth, when people moved to the city because they wanted to slum, when nothing worked and no one cared and the only difference between New York and Chicago was that it had taller buildings?

    If you miss that classic New York, there’s good news because Bill de Blasio is bringing it back. (cont’d) 

    • #4
    • February 2, 2014, at 4:36 AM PST
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  5. Michael Knudsen Inactive

    (cont’d) The muggers are coming back. The squeegee men are coming back. The crazy people randomly stabbing you on the subway, the gangs shooting each other over turf, the race rioters marching through neighborhoods and shouting, “Whose streets, our streets”– they’re all coming back.

    Because the polls have spoken. And it’s De Blasio time now. 

    That column stuck with me. 

    Would have been really something if any Republican candidate had had the stones to go after De Blasio when even a modicum of such vigor. 

    But oh well. It’s De Blasio time. 

    • #5
    • February 2, 2014, at 4:39 AM PST
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  6. Fred Williams Inactive

    NY attorney Ed Hayes has opined that it is a good decision to end the law suit. He forecasts there will still be stop and frisk, but less of it, and it will be “nicer” because police will be re-trained and technology will likely be part of the mix. He’s a big supporter of Bratton who is also his client.

    • #6
    • February 2, 2014, at 5:00 AM PST
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  7. Goldgeller Member
    Jack Dunphy

    But too many people may now see the status quo as the way things just are, without realizing the way things were in the Dinkins days, and the way things will be if the NYPD is hamstrung in the manner prescribed by its critics, which de Blasio seems prepared to allow. It won’t be a matter of actively surrendering their safety, but rather of waking up one day and finding it’s been stolen. · 1 minute ago

    This is a great point. Young, hip liberals move to the city, and move to Brooklyn and other areas as a result of this and now they say “oh, stop question and frisk is bad.” “New York is too commercialized, needs character (like I saw on the movies and hear in the Lou Reed songs).”

    I don’t think NY will turn into the worst parts of Chicago. But the flash mobs/robberies and the (largely non-existent) media response to them show the young vagrants testing the waters. Let’s see. 

    • #7
    • February 2, 2014, at 9:34 AM PST
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  8. Jack Dunphy Contributor
    Jack Dunphy
    Jim_K:

    NYC’s politics of crime are exceptional. Have a friend there who was a red diaper baby. Loves Rachel Maddow. Votes Left, almost always. Almost. Voted for a second term for Rudy Giuliani. Personal safety trumps ideology.

    The city is accustomed to safety now, and won’t surrender it easily. · 13 hours ago

    Edited 13 hours ago

    But too many people may now see the status quo as the way things just are, without realizing the way things were in the Dinkins days, and the way things will be if the NYPD is hamstrung in the manner prescribed by its critics, which de Blasio seems prepared to allow. It won’t be a matter of actively surrendering their safety, but rather of waking up one day and finding it’s been stolen.

    • #8
    • February 2, 2014, at 9:54 AM PST
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  9. flownover Member

    Consider that questions like the controversy over stop and frisk mean that the things worth defending in their eyes have become so limited, that it’s down to covering for the thugs . That means that all the things prior to that have been solved and are longer defensible points of ” opression by the system”. Because the system is them . Now they’re at the fringes looking for causes.

    It is quite a stretch to have to find a cause in loosening successful police procedure because it might sound “racist” . Racism is pretty much over, so they’re relegated to going after things that are obviously “common sense” . 

    The Univ of Minnesota considering that describing assailants by a description of their appearance is racist ? Eric Holder telling school not to discipline kids unless they do it in a way which reflects the race makeup of the country in general ?

    Come on folks, we know stupid when we see it. These politicians are acting stupid and they won’t get away with it for long . That would be stupid.

    cue Forrest Gump… 

    • #9
    • February 2, 2014, at 11:41 AM PST
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  10. Frederick Key Inactive

    Voters’ priorities are screwed up — they seem to be thinking the mayor’s job is to give away the goodies. When crime spikes again they’ll get serious, but meanwhile a lot of people get hurt.

    • #10
    • February 2, 2014, at 12:46 PM PST
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  11. Goldgeller Member

    Flownover you make a good point. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, but don’t know which way to take it. I feel liberals are either bored and disillusioned (or one or the other). But I don’t know which factor is more important. In terms of boredom… it goes back to what you say about “the things worth defending… have become limited.” I see that as boredom. It isn’t that they don’t want NY to be safe or defended, but there are other things that interest them– race/class/gender– that’s what excites them. So they have to interject that into everything. Otherwise its boring to them. So they deal with who gets to use what toilets, and they exercise themselves into a froth over how women look in videogames and comics (it’s getting crazy, and may have killed one kickstarter game).

    But the argument may also work for “disillusionment.” The conservative approach to policies (largely) works, and the liberal approach (largely) fails. The big issues are too big to micromanaged away. So what does one do? Focus on race/class/gender– change the question and the argument to something else. 

    • #11
    • February 3, 2014, at 1:28 AM PST
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