The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Think An Uptick In Shootings Is About Stop & Frisk? Think Again

This Chart Begs A Ton Of Questions

Wow. What a great article. Thx for sending, PG! The first question...if the police were making nearly 700,000 stops in 2011, and just 45,000 last year...what are they doing with all that extra time?

More to the point, while we are experiencing one of those awful closing-in-on-you feelings, the City in general (there's a great interactive map in that article that I can't embed) seems to be seeing an uptick in certain precincts, but certainly not all over. Well, I suppose that would be the case in any situation where Citywide went up. Though even in the nearby precincts, until recently, the levels were pretty level. Plus, murders went down even as stops & frisks dropped dramatically.

Anyhoo, thought I'd share lest we all get caught up in some sort of frenzy about what S&F did or didn't do for violent crime statistics.


Anonymous said...

The chart doesn't prove anything. How many of those homicides were done by guns? How many of those stops were based on reasonable suspicion and not weed fishing? What is the reason for the sudden spike in shootings? The debate of SQF is a complicated one. There are some very good arguments for and against it though I err more to the side for it with the recommended changes that were outlined in the judges ruling. I'll wait until the end of the year to evaluate all of this but it's not looking good. Keep in mind, You can have 60 shootings in a span of a week and have 3 murdered shooting victims. That doesn't prove anything except shooters lack precision.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon: You must be high. The numbers are so big, the cut in stops so drastic, that what you're looking at in this chart is a massive infringement of civil liberties for next to nothing. The whole point, if I recall, was to make shootings and murders go down. It was doing neither. There is proof of that now. Yes, proof.

NOW. We have an uptick. Will it be sustained? Is it related to anything other than chance? Is it related to the fact that the Force turned its back on the Mayor, essentially turning its back on all of us, because he happens to have half-black kids for whom he fears being racially targeted?

Remains to be seen, right? But for past four years the evidence is glaring. Massive numbers of stops were not bringing down crime by any measure worth the assault on the constitution.

What bothers me is the rush in the NYC media to cite the correlation. Which even you said doesn't PROVE anything. It's complicated. But not so complicated that a moron can't read that chart.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Also anon, the only number that really concerns me is shootings, not murders. Look at year over year shooting, not week over week or over month. This is a not a sharp uptick. It was a leveling off that began an ascent northward.

Paz said...

Shootings should be the main concern, not murders. I think the NYC media will write about anything that will generate a buzz. That's nothing new. Also, stop and frisk may not be the problem, but how it was applied and used as a quota to show productiveness. If anything, the last administration abused it like hell and defended it even with these flaws. Something like 700,000 stops wasn't necessary. Like Anon said, this issue is very complicated and it shouldn't be treated as either or. Like with gentrification, there is always some good and bad that will come out of it.

Alex said...

Friends from DC have described a similar situation when neighborhoods rapidly gentrified. Crime increased temporarily as the neighborhood further "cleaned up." In the meantime, who do we turn to? My personal opinion is that the 71st is corrupt. There are swarms of cops at Wholesome (I don't blame them, the food is mostly good!), but they can't make it 100 feet down the street to Beekman and Westbury to keep an eye on the dealers who hang out there? They can't keep an eye on the activities inside/outside Ray's? WTF is up with that?

If you can park a squad car (illegally) on the corner of Lincoln and Flatbush, why not at Maple and Flatbush at random times/intervals, disrupting the ability to distribute? Show the dealers - and their CUSTOMERS - that PLG is not a "safe space" to buy. There's got to be a reason why they're so accommodating to criminal activity. Money talks louder than the community I suspect.

I do wonder, though, what will happen when 626 takes on tenants. Developer money might talk louder than dealer money, and Hudson has an interest in increasing safety. If goes without saying that I'm deeply cynical about this stuff, and at this point I could give two F's about who the 71st is investigating and (not) arresting. The focus does not have to be on locking guys up, it should be on deterring rather than harboring.

Anonymous said...

Alex, I agree completely. It's so frustrating to see the officers parked outside Wholesome every day for snack time, when just one block down, the usuals are doing their thing more or less openly. The corner of Maple has gotten even worse lately, with an ever-growing group of guys who are alternately conducting business, fighting amongst themselves, or harassing passersby. The dealing on Beekman has gotten more brazen, too. I guess the 71st is waiting for someone to get shot right in front of Erv's before they'll do anything about it.

Stop and frisk isn't the answer, but regular patrols and enforcement are.

Caucasian Please said...

What the chart does not say is

Point 1 - There may be a period of time necessary for homicides to manifest itself after a change of policy, i.e. thugs realize there is going to be a greater or less risk at carrying a gun. Things may have been worse if we did not have stop and frisk.

Point 2 - The demographics of the city are changing and thugs can't do the same stuff in certain places like they used to because some pigment-challenged individuals won't put up with that.

I would like to see a chart which breaks down the city by census tract area, race, income, single parent households and crime. Then you can see what's up.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Deterring is the key. We need to make it uncomfortable for dealers and customers alike. Although I don't appreciate that 626 is going to change the landscape of the neighborhood, I do agree however that it's going to be a game changer, where safety and crime is concern. They have invested heavily in this building and they are not about to loose their money.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

No, Caucasian. A ten-fold decrease in stops trumps your ridiculous caveats.

And you completely miss the point. Nearly 3/4 of a million stops is unconstitutional and unwarranted, particularly when part of the point of CPR (remember, on the side of the cop cars?) is "respect." There is no respect, or legality, in stopping someone on the basis of their color.

To be clear, I also have no problem with them stopping known criminals over and over if there's reason to believe they're dealing or packing. But that's clearly not what was happening. The system was set up to create fear. And in my book, fear begets fear begets anger begets more fear. Trust begets trust. And trust is the proper basis of a civil pluralistic society. That and the equal enforcement of laws. Under the law. Embodied by the Constitution.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Equality? Freedom from undue suspicion? Right to privacy? Ring a bell?

And you wonder why no one ever comes forward after a crime is committed. There is much, much more going on here than an uptick in shootings. And how we proceed and how we react will set a stage that will last much longer than this silly blog.

Oh, and yes the demographics are changing. But not as fast as you, apparently, would like. Your point 2 is effing offensive on numerous levels. But given your screen name, not surprising.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon 11:30. Your comment made me do a double-take. What your saying has been parroted many times. But is it true? What precisely do you think 626 will do to make the area safer? Private security guards? More cameras?

I'm sure they'll make 626 itself adequately safe for its residents; that they can control. But what do you think it will do to the surrounding area that will change statistics? I'm not being argumentative. I really want to know what the plan would look like, or whether we're making assumptions that simply aren't true.

For instance, everyone talks about the renaissance on Franklin Ave above EP. But it's been plagued by violence and robberies more than ever. The influx of affluence, and whites, has done little to curb the crime.

Like to hear what y'all have to say.

ctrldwn said...

I would guarantee you if most of these cops who were conducting these stops showed the respect and courtesy to the people they were stopping, the same way that we, the civilians show to them, the criticism of stop and frisk wouldn't be as harsh as it is today. Whenever you read the personal stories of countless people who were stopped by an officer, it's mostly negative. The officer was verbally abusive. The officer was argumentative. The officer roughed him up. The officer lacked courtesy. Piss the wrong officer off and he'll plant packet of weed or something worse on you and there goes your freedom. There was no probable cause for most of these stops. These were flaws that the NYPD top brass KNEW were there at the time but never bothered to redress these flaws and instead, they touted how this program saved lives. It's possible criminals thought twice about carrying guns because the risk of getting stopped was high but that was small compared to the gross violations of people who were stopped for just being black or latino. And that still didn't stop all gun crimes or crimes were guns were used. So really, 500,000 to 700,000 stops since 2006 didn't make much of a difference when you look at it.

The were calls from some in and outside the department to mend it and the Bloomberg administration didn't do it. Even Bill Bratton, the top cop who worked with Giuliani before said many of these stops were unnecessary and he supports stop and frisk IF done right. Our borough president Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain said we should have mended the program because it was so flawed that it created more problems than it helped. Ray Kelly didn't bother to mend it. It was a quota system. Frisk some odd number of black and latino men a because a small percentage of them commit the most gun crimes.

The NYPD had the tools to fix these flaws but they just didn't want to do it. They always wait for the shit to hit the fan before they are forced by law or by the city council to change a certain aspect of their policing tactics due to widespread abuses. If anything, they ruined the program because of their own arrogance. It happened during the 90's with the street crimes unit and it happened with s&f. Now with this uptick in shootings, any talk ramping up s&f will be shot down. Even if you have reforms in place with very strict guidelines, no ones wants to hear it. I don't blame them.

Rebecca said...

Statistically stops have been trending down since 2012, but I think there is a direct correlation to the 'PR campaign' to trumpet the achievement that happened when our new mayor stepped in. Prior, it was a quieter reduction but it's been loudly broadcast/advertised over the past year, which almost invites people to realize they can have less concern over what they have on their person at any given time, so now, when tempers flare, guns are there.

Add to that what's going on here and in other places around the country, where there's such unrest. Nationwide, police are afraid or unwilling to police, and people are in a significant period of unrest, and we have a bad cocktail. This uptick in violent crime, this disillusionment in and by the police is not unique to us, to Brooklyn or to our neighborhood. It's a national trend.

I'm still thinking this through but...if they reinstated stop and frisk in zones where certain crime rates rose above x percent, and if they could manage it more like the TSA where at least some of the selection process is guaranteed to be random, AND, as someone earlier said - conduct the process more politely/respectfully for ALL parties, I'd be intrigued. Do I like stop and frisk? Do I think it's right or fair to have a profile based program like that? Absolutely not. But I live in a statistically high crime rate neighborhood and I'd be fine with accepting the possibility that I might also get stopped and searched if it meant that people might be less prone to carrying guns or other contraband on their person due to the possibility of getting caught. I'd consider it a tradeoff for a safer neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

ClarksonFlatbed I would start with putting another Wholesome in the commercial space at 626. That would do it.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Alex's comment that neighborhoods experiencing rapid gentrification experience temporary upticks in crime -- it looks to me like the neighborhood map doesn't really support that theory. The neigborhoods with more homicides this year seem relatively scattered. If there is a pattern, gentrification doesn't appear to be the driving force. That said, the map is only for homicides, so for crimes like muggings (which are probably more likely to be correlated with gentrification) there could still be a link.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon 2:15. You do realize there have been shootings right next to Wholesome Gourmet, yes?

I'd like to know what exactly you think a Wholesome in the commercial space at 626 will do. More light? Busier business? Different customers? And what does it have to do with the fight that erupted at D'Avenue anyway? You think it would have "calmed them down" to have well-lit grocery across the street?

Look at where the shootings are happening, Anon. Some in the light of day, some on busy streets with open businesses catering to gentrifiers. I'm not sure you're thinking this through. I'll give you another shot if you want to take it. (not literally of course)

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Rebecca: You're not gonna get stopped and searched. That's the whole point. It's not fair. They take one look at you and say "she's not doing nothing wrong." You could be carrying a teddybear full of crack and they'd never stop to wonder.

I suppose if we were living in an airport, we would accept that every single person has to step through the metal detector. But we're not. And there has to be a healthy suspicion you're carrying something before you get stopped and frisked. That's why I'm fine with it - when the cops know the guy is bad news.

I get the fear. I've felt it too. But snaring 100 law-abiding citizens to get one crook is not the answer.

And I'd remind you, too, that it's pretty rare they find a gun. A smart felon is hiding his guns somewhere to grab when they need them. Sure you'll get lucky once in awhile. But what about following the constitution? You can make a stop and frisk as friendly as you want. But it's still humiliating. And the humiliation adds up.

Just yesterday, Ali, one of the bottle collecting guys, was being stopped and frisked. I don't know if he did something wrong, but they let him go without a ticket or anything. What for? Anyone will tell you he's a nice guy.

I've been stopped plenty of times for riding my bike illegally or driving illegally. But walking around or hanging out? Never. Maybe we need to do a bit more sensitivity training on this one.

Rebecca said...

Yup that's my whole point too. If I 'could' also get stop/frisked I'd be fine with it being a tactic that was used in a broader way. I think fair should be fair. That's all I was saying. I do believe that the psychological effects of the 'possibility' of being stop/frisked decreases activity, but as with so many things...there's no way to quantify that.

But also, who said anything about fear? Maybe it's true, but ultimately I'm a pragmatist and I don't recall using that word.

Sensitivity training AND 'don't check facebook while you're on street patrol duty...or at least if you're gonna do it don't be so obvious about it' are both things I'd love to see increased focus on.

Anonymous said...

Major developers lobby hard to the city to protect their investments through safety. This is standard practice but not publicly discussed much because it can be a dirty game. Easentially, prioritize protection based on where the money is. Why wouldnt this happen? It makes too much sense.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Um, yer statement might be true, sometimes. You're saying that the precincts are complicit when asked to do the bidding of major landlords. Maybe. Sometimes. Better not get caught though. The News would have a field day.

But you say "this is standard practice." You seem to know a lot. Then you say "why wouldn't this happen? It makes too much sense."

So which is it. You know it to be standard practice? Or you're speculating because it seems obvious?

The developer who built 123 on the Park spent tens of millions. I ride by there and I see no sign that improvements in safety have been made. Most of the buildings around have the same crews hanging out. I don't see any beat cops. Areas around it are desolate, dark and mugger-traps if you ask me. Anyone from 123 care to comment?

I think that it's quite likely that neighborhoods that become wealthier have more CITIZENS getting involved and calling in complaints. And sure, some developers will do their best to get some more police presence. Getting the criminals to move on probably takes more than a phone call from David Kramer though.

So for the most part, I'm quite certain you're talking out your ass.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Rebecca: So fear isn't part of what's driving you comments and actions? What is it then? Vengeance? :)

The sensitivity training was for people like you and me. Not for the cops. God knows they need it, and I hope they get it, though I'm not holding my breath. The rest of white America seems not to understand at all what black America is dealing with on a daily basis. Why else would they be so content to watch black mens civil rights get trampled in the name of a few less shootings? If in fact, that's really what's been driving the drop in murders all these years. Check your statistics. Some Cities that have stepped up police stops have seen much higher spikes in crime. There are other local issues driving this, and when I find the right book on the topic I'll be happy to share. Actually, maybe you have a good one for us?

Thus...well, I don't need to tell you what it's doing to the American psyche.

Anonymous said...

The wealthier a neighborhood gets, the safer it gets. I dont know what youre arguing. Im sick of all this neighborhood's violent bullshit. Viva la gentrification.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Your apathy is a big part of the problem, Anon. If you don't care about innocent people being wrongly detained, then I don't even give a shit about you or your gentrification rallying cry.

It's fucked up man. Selfish, fucked up, and the root of the race problem in this country. Hope you're proud of your status fuckin' quo.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

In other words, you're not the kind of new neighbor I'm happy to welcome to the 'hood. There are plenty of, dare I say a majority of, wealthier residents moving in who DO give a crap about the rest of their neighbors. If your attitude is get 'em all out and don't discriminate which ones, then NYC really has gone to the shitter.

The point of the article, and of most of the comments, was whether the data indicates a correlation to S&F. Not just a little S&F mind you. More than TEN TIMES what is currently being employed. And trust me, they're still locking up bad guys. They haven't completely laid down on the job. I rode by a bunch of hard-working cops on my ride to and from a Community Board meeting. Tonight.

Which...was the Public Safety committee. Guess how many CB9 board members OR members of the community were there?

One. Me. And 8 applications for liquor licenses.

Wonder why I'm feeling cynical about all this tough talk and bullshit assessment? It's all there in the numbers, bro. One. Just one.

Anonymous said...

Stop and Frisk seems to have been intended to use as a tool when truly needed, when they know for certain somebody in a neighborhood is a bad guy and are trying to get them off the streets. But the NYPD using it too widely and wantonly, because they don't actually know anybody in any of the neighborhoods. The answer to everything is smarter better recruits for NYPD. But that means not paying them what is it here in NYC for PD rookies, $24,000 a year? Would you risk dying on the job for that pay?

Billy said...

Anon June 18, 2015 at 12:02 AM comes from the bullshit school of glibertarianism. We are going to see a lot more people like him/her and their ilk parading on the streets of Flatbush Avenue when 626 is completed. Ugh.