Nothing drives crime rates like poverty and unemployment. Kids who grow up in communities where most adults are working in at least living-wage jobs and who can envision a future that includes the possibility of a living-wage job for themselves do not tend to join gangs or get involved in gunfights on the streets. But ask the government to fund after-school programs for kids or job training programs for their parents and agencies will insist that funds cannot be found.
Meanwhile, if Kimani Gray had lived longer and had, hypothetically, been convicted of an actual crime, the same government would have had no problem forking out $200,000 a year to house him in a juvenile detention facility. Nor do you ever hear anyone quibbling about the millions of dollars spent each year sending huge numbers of police officers into neighborhoods like the one where Gray ended up being shot dead by two of them.
The point is moot for Kimani Gray now, but if there is to be any hope of preventing senseless-seeming deaths like his in the future, there has to be concerted effort to address the core problems in troubled communities like the one where he was killed, rather than spending limitless sums policing them and punishing them.
— Sadhbh Walshe - The Sad Death of Kimani Gray and Society’s Bad Choices (via anarcho-queer)
Women who report domestic violence are exposing themselves to arrest under a new NYPD directive that orders cops to run criminal checks on the accused and the accuser, The Post has learned.
The memo by Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski requires detectives to look at open warrants, complaint histories and even the driving records of both parties.
“You have no choice but to lock them up” if the victims turn out to have warrants, including for minor offenses like unpaid tickets, a police source said.
“This is going to deter victims of domestic violence … They’re going to be scared to come forward.”
The directive tells detectives that when they are investigating cases of domestic violence, they should run a search that cross-references all NYPD databases.
Beside warrants, a person’s criminal record and history of making criminal complaints should be checked, the directive says.
A source said that even if detectives wanted to take pity on someone who was battered by a spouse, they would feel pressure to make an arrest to avoid getting in trouble with superiors.
“We have every right to arrest that person at that moment,” the source said.
FTP FTP FTP FTP FTDetectives FTP FTP FTP FTP
Pissed off about how condoms are used as evidence of prostitution in New York?
Full info about the no condoms as evidence campaign in NY here.
This message brought to you by the Red Umbrella Project, a peer-led org in NYC that amplifies the voices of people in the sex trades through media, storytelling, and advocacy programs.
I mean, this is is just unconscionable and stupid.
I’m going to call my friends who work at the NYCDHMH (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) and ask them if they co-signed this shit
Some history on DOH involvement - in 2010 thy collaborated with the PROS Network to do a study on condoms as evidence in NY, but then they refused to release the study. At PROS, our coalition actually made the decision to do the study over so we could have usable data (more about what happened with the report in this NY Times piece). And last year we were informed that the NY Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene OPPOSES the bill to ban the use of condoms as evidence. Yes, you read that right - the DOH opposes a bill that would protect the health of populations that are vulnerable to HIV infection. The only plausible reason for this is that they feel they cannot go against NYPD Chief Ray Kelly. Despicable.
THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.”
But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so.
That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly. Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”
The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. In 2011, hundreds of drug cases were dismissed after several police officers were accused of mishandling evidence. That year, Justice Gustin L. Reichbach of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn condemned a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the department’s drug enforcement units. “I thought I was not naïve,” he said when announcing a guilty verdict involving a police detective who had planted crack cocaine on a pair of suspects. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.”
Remarkably, New York City officers have been found to engage in patterns of deceit in cases involving charges as minor as trespass. In September it was reported that the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were stopped and arrested for trespassing at public housing projects, unless prosecutors first interviewed the arresting officer to ensure the arrest was actually warranted. Jeannette Rucker, the chief of arraignments for the Bronx district attorney, explained in a letter that it had become apparent that the police were arresting people even when there was convincing evidence that they were innocent. To justify the arrests, Ms. Rucker claimed, police officers provided false written statements, and in depositions, the arresting officers gave false testimony.
Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record. “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained.
All true, but there is more to the story than that.
Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.
Demonstrators face-off against police during a protest against the shooting of Kimani Gray, March 13, 2013 in the East Flatbush neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Numerous arrests were made during the police crackdown on this protest.
16-year-old Kimani Gray was shot and killed by police on March 9, provoking unrest in the neighborhood.