Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cops, crimes, and the working class

....the truth is large numbers of working people — especially in the Black and Latino community — prefer preventive policing, and for good reason.

Few in New York want to go back to the decades when the cops sat around the donut shop, ignoring crime in the Black and other working-class communities. The only times people there saw the cops was when units like the Tactical Patrol Force, an elite gang steeped in corruption, busted down doors with virtual impunity to rob drug dealers and brutalize any residents who got in their way, in the early 1960s.

It wasn’t until the rise of the mass mobilizations for the overthrow of Jim Crow segregation and the urban rebellions that shook the North that the cops felt compelled to patrol and prosecute crimes committed against people in the Black community.

Working people know police brutality firsthand and don’t like it. They also live with crime and gang violence. They want to know their children will come home safe from school each day and they want to be able to go out and not worry about being mugged or worse.

....opponents of police brutality who call for an end to broken windows policing miss the point. The cops carry out whatever form of policing they are ordered to protect and serve the interests of the propertied owners and their profits and to keep working people in our place, treating us with disdain. Their job is to defend the rule of capital, not to solve crimes against working people. As the class struggle heats up, they will break strikes and repress demonstrations.

But working people are not indifferent to the impact different policies and stances have on their day-to-day lives, and their struggles can have an impact on them.

Murder rate declines
Broken windows was implemented in New York subways in 1990 and in the city at large in 1994. Murders in the city peaked with 2,605 in 1990 and have declined almost every year since. The shift to cops patrolling in communities of the oppressed using preventive police policies — under the impact of the rise of the fight for Black rights — is a factor.

Stop and frisk is a different form of preventive policing, based on violation of the constitutional right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure. Under stop and frisk thousands of people, mostly Black youth, were stopped, most of the time for no legitimate reason, searched and then sent on their way. In a small number of cases, weapons or drugs found, or planted, led to arrests....

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