It was reported that the NYPD has changed its procedure for dealing with the general public. This change in policy came after the shooting deaths of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on December 20th perpetrated by a deranged man from out of town. In a move to try to reduce volatile interactions between police and civilians, the NYPD brass passed down the word to only make arrests if absolutely necessary among other directions. This new inaction by the police has caused a dramatic drop in arrests in New York City.
Overall, low-level arrests have plummeted by 66% for the week of December 22nd in comparison with this time last year. According to the NY Post:
Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.
Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
While some may see this as an improvement, this hands off approach to policing that the NYPD has adopted is flawed. For one, the virtual work stoppage seems to be a continuation of the department’s protest against Mayor Bill de Blasio for his comments made about the Eric Garner case. NYPD officers uniformly turned their backs on de Blasio at the press conference after the NYPD shooting and while he delivered the eulogy delivered at Officer Ramos’s funeral.
The NYPD stopping work may also be a signal for real criminals to get a little busier. It makes sense if they know police aren’t out arresting people.