We used to view incremental changes positively, but what our eyes have told us over the years, and what our knowledge of relevant research has taught us, is that such tweaks or modifications of practice don’t lead to substantive changes on the ground. Diversity, implicit bias training, body cameras, community policing and City Council legislation don’t change the harsh and central truth re NYPD practices. Carried out under a law-enforcement approach dubbed “broken windows” policing, they target poor New Yorkers of color for minor infractions that are virtually ignored in white communities.
We at PROP have become convinced that the NYPD’s unjust policies not only violate our country’s central founding principle of providing equal justice and opportunity for all its people, but also that the Department’s racist practices are so entrenched, and so long-standing, that only fundamental and far-reaching changes can really end abusive and discriminatory policing in our great city.
They also outline some solutions:
- Abolishing “broken windows” policing.
- Eliminating the quota system for evaluating officers’ performance that emphasizes only their punitive interactions with New Yorkers and that, in effect, incentivizes bad policing.
- Dismissing Dan Pantaleo and all the officers who engaged in the reckless and irresponsible arrest of Eric Garner.
- Reducing the budget, personnel, resources, and power of the NYPD, the guiding principle being in part the time-honored shibboleth that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” applied to the unchecked power of the NYPD.