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by Peter Moskos

April 3, 2016

Bad Cop Good Movie: The Seven-Five

I'm finally getting around to watching The Seven Five, a documentary about the 75 Precinct in the 1980s and criminal cop Michael Dowd. Good stuff... the documentary, that is, not the cop.

I like how the movie is told through three perspectives: the dirty cops, the cops who caught them, and the criminal the cops worked for. And of course they're all really charismatic.

But what amazes me is the reputation for NYC being so crazy back then. I mean it was. Sort of. In 1990, the height of the crack epidemic (the Bronx was already burnt) New York City's homicide rate peaked at 30 per 100,000.

And the 75 Precinct was the highest homicide precinct in the city, with 126 murders in 1993. That's a rate of about 80 per 100,000.

Last year in New York City? The homicide rate was 4.

You know what Baltimore's homicide rate was last year? 55.

When I worked the Eastern District the homicide rate was 100.

Last year in the Western District, the homicide rate was 140.

Think of what that means, to residents and cops alike.

[Fun fact: The most ever homicides in any one Baltimore district? The Western in 1972. 87 homicides. (Though last year's rate was probably higher, given the population flight from the area.)]

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