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by Peter Moskos

September 19, 2014


The real headline of course, the one you don't see very often, is that crime is down.

So says the BJS. Though I'm skeptical of the NCVS, since it reported a 40 percent increase in the previous two years, which, quite frankly, as I wrote, I do not believe. (The UCR showed an every-so-slight drop during the same time). So this "drop" in crime may be a bit of a statistical correction.

Still, "crime isn't up" is always nice news, since people always assume the world is always going to hell in a handcart (which seems like an awfully slow and old-fashioned way to get somewhere, these days).

Meanwhile, in New York City, despite the claims, or should I say desire, nay, let's go all out and say despite the knowledge, dreams, and aspirations of police unions and many police officers, crime in New York is basically steady.

Yes, shootings are up 6 to 7 percent. Homicides are down. Other crimes are basically steady. (Now PBA and SBA, please stop, as you've so often done in the past, trying to harm the city that most of you don't live in).

Oh, how it must pain conservative ideologues to see that even without strong conservative leadership, crime isn't going through the roof. Now let's not forget that in the 1990s liberals knew that crime couldn't go down. It did. Now conservatives have been certain for about two years now that crime would go up. But it hasn't. At least not dramatically and definitively. (And we're now through the second summer after the demise of stop and frisk, which was what I was waiting for.)

Imagine this: the city is still safe even with a commie mayor, Al Sharpton as police adviser, extra and probably unneeded police oversight, unfair accusations of murder when criminals die resisting arrest, and unnecessary stop and frisks all-but stopped.

See it's not about ideology. It's about hard work. It's about an intelligent police department and intelligent police officers using discretion and doing their job. I know haters (on both sides) are gonna hate, but instead of seeing impending doom, why not take credit for a job well done?


Dave- IL said...

"Now PBA, please stop, as you've so often done in the past, trying to harm the city that most of you don't live in)."

Awwww snap! Thank you for that zinger. People need to point that out often. If you are policing a city that you hate or that you feel is beneath you, that is part of the problem.

When you view people on the street as "insurgents," it is easier to justify going overboard. For example, it seems logical to respond to a passively resisting guy--who may have been selling loose cigarettes--by immediately moving to a rear choke instead of controlling his arms first. But wrist locks and escort techniques are for pussies, right?

PCM said...

Wrist locks are for the academy. I'm sure somebody has used them effectively. But I've never seen it. Not on a non-compliant person.

And Garner was not passively resisting. He said, "it ends today!" and actively resisted before getting jumped (jumped too soon, in my opinion).

I wasn't there, but I don't think it was necessarily to bring him down at the that moment. But as soon as one person makes that call... my opinion (and the opinion of cops who were actually on-scene) doesn't matter.

Dave- IL said...

Well, I don't have the upmost confidence in these techniques either. You definitely don't want to rely on anything too fancy in a real fight, since fine motor skills will degrade. Nothing works all of the time.

IF Garner had to be taken into custody for this offense--would a summons have been sufficient?--I still maintain that the first step should have been to control the arms (so he could not use them as weapons). There were plenty of cops there, so two could have move in to do this. If he bucks, then knee strikes to the lateral thigh can take the fight out of someone quickly. If you need to prone him out, make sure to avoid doing things that lead to positional asphyxia (basically anything that keeps his diaphragm from expanding).

I suppose you are right that he crossed into active resistance. He did tell them to take their hands off of him and he did seem to slap one officer's hands away. But I still maintain that the choke was ludicrous. If you think about it, why would you reach up on a dude that tall anyway? It seems there would be a leverage problem.

Look, I don't even agree with prohibiting the use of these maneuvers. If officers are properly trained to use them, they have their uses. A carotid choke (in PPCT type training its called a vascular neck restraint)could be a better option than others (say, smashing someone's skull with a mag lite) in a truly dangerous situation. I think they could be especially useful in a ground survival situation. But in this case I think it was way out of line to go for any kind of choke.