Following the death of Eric Garner, some are now pushing for changes to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s “broken windows” strategy.

The theory suggests that if you stop minor crime, it will prevent more serious offenses.

But the New York Times reports some community leaders are now wondering if police are spending too much time going after petty crime.  Garner was initially confronted by police for selling untaxed cigarettes, before an officer put him in a chokehold.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says it’s time to re-evaluate the strategy, because the city is a lot safer than the last time Bratton was commissioner.

“This is a good moment,” he said, “to re-evaluate what comes after ‘broken windows,’ now that the windows are no longer broken.”

Bratton has been reluctant to change his policy, saying Garner’s death would not result in a change in focus.

“It’s a key part of what we’re doing,” he said

He believes that disorderly behavior will proliferate quickly unless it’s confronted by police.  Bratton left open the possibility that police could use less force in the future.

But with the number of arrests climbing for minor offenses, those who called for changes to stop and frisk could now turn their attention to the “broken windows” strategy.

The NYPD made 394,539 arrests last year.  That’s tens of thousands more than in 1995 when there were three times as many murders.


Source:  New York Times

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