Monday, January 26, 2015

The NYPD, Broken Windows, Collars for Dollars and Control of the Poor

Continuing the topic of Police Departments the discussion now focuses on what is the role of Police Departments have in society.

Contrary to popular belief and the motto's stenciled on squad cars, Police Departments were not created to 'Serve & Protect' and keep the peace but, to exert control over the poor and working class. The creation of the Modern Police Force in the United States coincided with increases in immigration, the Industrial Revolution, and the end of Slavery. As such Police Departments were tasked by the Ruling elite to keep the American Working Class, immigrants and minorities in check.

The 1% actually sees only two legitimate "Constitutional" Roles for the US Government, a military for expanding and opening up Foreign Shores for exploitation and the quelling of Domestic Dissent and control of the Poor by the Police

As the work slow down by the New York Brats in Blue has shown not much changed on the home front.

Apparently, the NYPD thinks their slow down is helping them win in their Political Struggle against Mayor Bill de Blasio. As a Police Officer I'm disappointed by their acknowledgement their arrests, notices to appear and citations were not to 'Serve & Protect' but, for the purpose of revenue collection and social control.

It's more than a tacit admission, it's a bold statement the Broken Windows Policing doesn't reduce serious crime but, transforms Police Officers into revenue streams.

The Broken Windows theory, a hypothesis first appearing in 1982 that clamping down small crimes will help keep down more serious crime, while compelling is not supported by the evidence of the last 30 years.

Broken Windows, though it still has its' adherents (namely Rudy Giuliani), has been undercut by an actual analysis of the data. Jens Ludwig and Bernard Harcourt in their 2006 thesis Broken Windows: New Evidence for New York City and a Five City Social Experiment posited the "Broken Yankees Hypothesis" wherein the number of NYC homicides decreases with the increase in Yankees Championships.

Additionally, the elimination if Lead in gasoline has been credibly linked to an overall decrease in crime.

But, that's the point, whether or not the rank and file of New York's Whiniest know it, they weren't created to 'Serve & Protect' and modern police practices are designed as a powerful social control to keep the established Plutocratic Hierarchy in place.

And the Working Classes in their place.

Review the iconic image from Occupy UC Davis, where non-violent "criminals" were treated savagely but, Wall Street criminals guilty of far worse offenses not only avoided this treatment but arrest and prosecution almost entirely,
Now, recall the overall crackdown on Occupy Wall Street and other sister demonstrators by Police Departments Nationwide was cheered and supported by 100% of conservatives. While later, 100% of conservatives supported recalcitrant lawbreaker Cliven Bundy and his army of insurrectionists with their plans to murder Law Enforcement Officers and use women and children as human shields, while Bundy and his other Cattle Barons annex US land for their profit.

In Joseph Wambaugh's first novel, The New Centurions, we follow 3 titular centurions conducting police work in the Civil Rights era in Los Angeles. As demonstrated by several chapters in Wambaugh's novel, the cops spend most of their time gleefully busting homosexuals and prostitutes as part of Vice Squads.

Wambaugh's later works especially The Blue Knight better captured the ennui of Police Officers but, Centurions while honestly reflecting the day-to-day grind of police work, is rife with Reactionary themes, including the "liberal" Officer getting shot mid-way through the book and being killed in the Watts Riots because he's too soft and Wambaugh's most racist 'I don't see black or white just assholes' speech presented by a "black" Officer.

But, another theme running throughout Centurions, is the belief in an early form of "Broken Windows",
"But today the 'dont's' are dying or being murdered in the name of freedom and we policemen can't save them. Once the people become accustomed to the death of a 'don't', well then, the other 'dont's' die much easier. Usually all the vice laws die first because people are generally vice-ridden anyway. Then the ordinary misdemeanors and some felonies become unenforceable until freedom prevails." - The New Centurions, pg. 86
The problem is once theories like, Broken Windows, Stop & Frisk, and the War on Drugs become conventional wisdom, accepted and entrenched in organizations as Reactionary as Police Departments they are difficult to dislodge.

The post Mike Brown death response by the Ferguson Police was the at least as egregious as Brown's killing. Faced with discontent over the situation the response was the force. It was a typical Police response, when faced with push back and perceived challenges to authority.

But, once you have gone with the full forceful response there are no other options than to further ratchet up force until the situation spirals out of your control.

But, well before the August 2014 killing of Mike Brown, the people of Ferguson have complained that like many poor neighborhoods they are faced with constant harassment and mistreatment by the Police as small infractions and petty violations are punished by fines, fees and costs.

And, once again, therein lies the real reason Police Departments were created for in the first place; Control.

Under the guise of Law & Order, poor and working class people are exposed to constant harassment, "Collars for Dollars", and criminalization for infractions which really aren't crimes. Because it controls them.


One Fly said...

Yes and on the way to this point few said boo over the years and like the situation in DC there ain't no going back at least that's the way I see it.

One Fly said...
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