The NYPD Probably Didn’t Stop All That Crime

Here’s the popular consensus: In the mid-nineties, New York City finally got tough on crime. By using the ground-breaking CompStat computer system, cracking down on misdemeanors and criminalizing social situations (like hanging out with other people in parks or hallways), as well as instituting its controversial “Stop and Frisk” strategy, crime fell. It went down a jaw-dropping 40% in three years. Bill Bratton (pictured above), its intrepid police commissioner, was hailed as an innovator and savior. The legacy of Mayor Rudolph Giulliani was forever intertwined with the “broken windows” policy, which then spread to cities worldwide. Being tough on crime meant arresting anyone (mostly poor people) for the slightest of infractions. And that’s how New York City came back. More »

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