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by Peter Moskos

March 10, 2015

Shootings up in NYC

Shootings are up 20 percent this year. Bratton is blaming marijuana. I doubt it. But maybe. I'm certainly willing to consider the idea. Most liberals, I find, never ever consider the idea that their advocacy might have unintended consequences, like more young black men getting murdered.

That said, Bratton pointed to drug dealers getting killed. That was illegal last year and remains illegal this year. So I'm not certain how not arrested people for small scale marijuana possession really changes anything. (For public safety or Broken Windows, that is. It certain matters for the guy getting arrested or not.) If the increase is as Bratton describes it, these killings seem more like old-fashioned Prohibition killings than decriminalization killings.

But... it could be that criminals are more brazen in response to less aggressive policing. And maybe some robber smoking a joint last year would have gotten stopped by the po-po. But not so in 2015. I'm not saying that is the reason. But it's possible.

Here's the story in the Times. Worth reading if you're into this kind of thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a longtime observer of the issues of racial disparity in the CJ system (and a participant in one of the most comprehensive community studies examining racial profiling in a small community where the 3x arrest disparity of blacks was not attributed to racial profiling by police), I recommend the new book on Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs. Apparently in Newark, the marijuana trade is still very dangerous...and sometimes lethal. I suspect this is true in other communities, both large and small. Maybe legalization will ultimately make the trade risk-free, but I'm thinking dealers will just 'amplify' the marijuana they sell, making it desirable and illegal...and thus once again, worth killing over--business as usual. Hope I'm wrong.