NYPD and Community Policing

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Violent crime rates have risen since the summer began, and Commissioner Ray Kelly has commented that community leaders are not doing enough to curtail the spike. New York City District 45 council member Jumaane Williams (representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, and Canarsie in Brooklyn) and District 8 council member Melissa Mark-Viverito (representing the Upper East Side, Spanish Harlem/El Barrio/East Harlem, Manhattan Valley, part of the Upper West Side and part of Mott Haven in the Bronx) join us to discuss the issue, along with NYPD policing.


Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jumaane D. Williams

Comments [40]

Michael Paone from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY

How the hell can you have a conversation about crime, gangs, and gun violence and not mention poverty once? Forget all this bickering about what the media will cover, poverty and horrible economic conditions are the real taboo.

To put it bluntly, fuck having a rally, vigil, or a speak out. Criminal and gang behavior runs deeper than what a lecture can reverse. That might feel good emotionally and relieve some tension, but there are some serious economic and social conditions that need to be reversed. Gangs are a family structure and a fundamental identity for young people engaging in that culture. I'm not saying addressing these things publicly isn't important, but the conversation never seems to go deeper. People need employment, and a secure identity that doesn't center around violence.

To quote DaShawn "Jiwe" Morris, Blood member and author, from the Brick City TV documentary about Newark, NJ:

"Because, guess what? Blood's not goin' nowhere. Gang members, gang sets, neighborhoods, turfs--ain't goin' nowhere. As long as you've got poverty, as long as you've got welfare, long as you've got crack, long as you got projects, and motherfuckers that can't get jobs--you're gonna have gang members."

Ray Kelly called used the word myopic. Yes, but the whole dialogue is myopic if it doesn't mention adverse economic conditions.

Jul. 26 2012 12:20 AM
TNC from QNS

The solution is pretty basic:

1) Finish high school (graduate)
2) Get married before having kids

Family life is where our values come from and whether we like it or not, the sort of values significant percentages of "people of color" are learning are self-destructive and sociopathic. It's not "capitalism" or "the system" or "the man" or whatever other shibboleth people want to blame. Take a look in the mirror. Raise your kids right.

Jul. 16 2012 07:42 AM
Police Chief David Couper from Madison, Wisc.

Community policing is essential, necessary, even mandatory in a democratic society. It must be more than a program or strategy of policing; instead, it must be the WAY of policing. See learn more about it and other things necessary to improve our nation's police take a look at my new book and blog, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” and my blog at where I discuss these and other current police improvement issues. Good luck and may we all experience great policing!

Jul. 13 2012 12:10 PM
Joe the Plumber from Bronx,NY

What gets me is that 1 of the first things done after getting the job is
2 take a pledge 2 up hold the Constitution.Then get learned on how 2 circumvent it or just disregard it all 2gether.They say they want 2 keep N.Yorkers safe.I say when do they say do not leave your homes then go about
and start 2 Search it?.

Jul. 12 2012 12:54 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Fuva - we'll agree to disagree.

Jul. 12 2012 11:05 AM
B from East NY

Beatrice from Brooklyn you are absolutely correct in our fear for your son. My biracial son was stopped and frisked on a highschool field trip while dressed in school uniform complete with khakis white dress shirt and tie. It was my belief that he was an easy target for harassment because he was not a thug and would not protest.
We are criminalizing youth and have not done enough to end youth unemployment so as to give the kids something to do rather than walk te street.

Jul. 12 2012 11:02 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Sheldon, still think they should have attended -- perhaps only to stress their advocacy for a full, transparent investigation.

Jul. 12 2012 11:01 AM

We've removed and edited several comments. Please refrain from personal attacks, and do your best to keep the conversation civil, productive, and relevant to the conversation taking place on the air.
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Jul. 12 2012 10:56 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Fuva - that's the point, we don't know if she was wrongfully shot or not, that is why politicians should not have attended her funeral. They picked sides by doing so, like Dinkins paying funeral costs for that drug dealer that got killed by the cops.

Jul. 12 2012 10:52 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, how about a segment on community efforts to stop crime? We don't hear enough about them & how they work (& which approaches work better than others). And it could also look at how they can work with police--too many people talk about policing & community programs as if it were an either/or choice. Is anything like the Interrupters program being used in NYC?

And to the moderator: Are expressions like "loud black big mouths" (John from office), "dummies" (gary from queens), & "devils" (oscar from ny) really acceptable on this page? If they are, I can only imagine what's in the comments you do delete.

Jul. 12 2012 10:49 AM
B from East NY

As a mother and resident in east NY it is my belief that stop and frisk is purely racially motivated. We are criminalizing our children of color with stop and frisk. They are being socialized to fear police and being treated like criminals. Simple marijuana possession results in a trip to tue precinct and even central booking in handcuffs. In Boston white college students are smoking marijuana in public with the only fear of a monetary fine. What happens to our children when they are in the system. They have to compete with these college kids and end up chronically unemployed. Ray Kelly is not out of touch- he knows exactly what he is doing- creating a force that is racially motivated regardless of the officer's race. It sickens me to see the police stop and frisk and better yet stop and search cars which is the new tactic in east NY to aggressively police men of color. The academy should be a training ground for respect and dignity not racial profiling. And I am white by the way

Jul. 12 2012 10:49 AM
B from East NY

As a mother and resident in east NY it is my belief that stop and frisk is purely racially motivated. We are criminalizing our children of color with stop and frisk. They are being socialized to fear police and being treated like criminals. Simple marijuana possession results in a trip to tue precinct and even central booking in handcuffs. In Boston white college students are smoking marijuana in public with the only fear of a monetary fine. What happens to our children when they are in the system. They have to compete with these college kids and end up chronically unemployed. Ray Kelly is not out of touch- he knows exactly what he is doing- creating a force that is racially motivated regardless of the officer's race. It sickens me to see the police stop and frisk and better yet stop and search cars which is the new tactic in east NY to aggressively police men of color. The academy should be a training ground for respect and dignity not racial profiling. And I am white by the way

Jul. 12 2012 10:41 AM
Nick from UWS

@Bernard From The Bronx: A great comment, and I thoroughly agree with you. We need to have as many suits DAILY being led out of Goldman Sachs in cuffs by SEC cops as we do stop and frisks. But as usual, money talks and bs walks.

Jul. 12 2012 10:31 AM
Sebastien from Philadelphia


I moved from New York to Philadelphia and wanted to quickly point out that Philly & NY are different in very significant ways.

1. Philly is incredibly poor. The crime rate/murder rate is directly proportional to the intense poverty in the latino/black community in philadelphia which is also very very large in relationship to the general population.
(it is much more similar to New York of the 80s then the new 'disney' new york.)

2. Pennsylvania & Philly are open carry jurisdictions so not only is there illegal gun crime there is also a lot of legal gun crime.

3. Although the commissioner is right that mostly black/latino men are the source & result of the violence, having a largely suburban & white police force dominating the policing of heavily black and latino crime zone is going to only create racial tension. If the police department was more sensitive to this situation in placing its officers, perhaps there would be a reduction of the communities revulsion to stop and frisk.
Why would you further alienate communities which are already feeling victimized by not being conscious of the historical and sociological facts of its constituencies?
That is just stupid and dumb policing.

In an information era where your advertising is so focused to know what you are thinking about right this sec and presenting you related ads; there is NO excuse for the police department to not use all the information they can to minimize friction and animosity with the different communities it is meant to police.

thanks for your great show BTW.

Jul. 12 2012 10:31 AM
gary from queens

I listened for 20 minutes to hear what Brian's guests-----who claim to supportsome level of stop-frisk-----to offer their SPECIFIC enforcement suggestions/reforms. But i heard nothing.

Did they even write to the Commish with their ideas? these people are demagogues who hate the police and now they have an issue to beat them up with.

And no one on this blog has rebuted me on point. Just assumptions that I'm racist and raising irrelevant collateral issues. what a waste of time this is.

Jul. 12 2012 10:30 AM
Leo from queens

Excellent point Alex from Brooklyn. Kelly's main concern and the mayor's main concerns is about manipulating the statistics while not addressing the underlying crime problems.

Jul. 12 2012 10:29 AM
oscar from ny

Wake up ppl...the issue here is guns..the mayor wants to take away our weapons so later on we wont be a force...he disguises it like hes trying to help..the mayor works for the devil...when the war in here stsrst you wont have guns to help defend makes us think hes papa smurf but in reality hes gargamel..dint trust this guy...
os: how come yu can carry guns in texas...ny is going to be the first state thats going to war in our streets..ppl hide your guns from these devils that are coming to kill is

Jul. 12 2012 10:28 AM
OBI from Bronx, NY

Lets cut the BS, we all want safe streets but we complain about those who are doing the dirty work of keeping the streets safe. I am a young black man that work everyday in South Bronx and I support the stop and frisk method . 800+ guns taken off the streets in one year , common !!!

Jul. 12 2012 10:28 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Sheldon, nah. If she was wrongfully shot, then it needed to be highlighted -- without, of course, excusing her BS.

Jul. 12 2012 10:28 AM
Leo from queens

you are making sweeping characterizations about people of color who have the same fears and desires as everyone else - to live in safe communities where they can work, save and provide a safe, healthy environment for their kids to be educated and be in a better position then they are.
The commissioner is trying to blame those who are trying to make a difference when he has gone out of his way to create tension between the citizens of this city and his repressive force.

You are using the same tactics being used by the commissioner - knock down and discredit the 'uppity' black guy and Latina speaking out because they obviously don't have the integrity and morals that a white man like Kelly or Bloomberg have.

AGAIN, IF people of color were violent, the crime rate in this city should be 4-5 times what it was in the 60's and 70's instead it's what it was in the 50's despite the fact that the city is more diverse and is a majority minority city

Jul. 12 2012 10:28 AM
bernard from bronx

So let me get this right: it's fine to stop any number of black and brown men in the stop and frisk program because a large percentage of gun deaths are committed by black and brown men. Would the same logic apply to other crimes committed by mostly white men?

Jul. 12 2012 10:26 AM

Stop and frisk is unreasonable search and seizure, period. As such it's a crime, every instant of it. If it's shown statistically to stop crime, that's only because it isn't counted as a crime itself, while for those who suffer it first-hand and know it for the violation it is experience it as a further poisoning of the cooperative relationship the police should rather be cultivating with communities in order actually to effectively police them.

Jul. 12 2012 10:25 AM
john from office

Sheldon, because he knows who voted for him. Imagine a Mayor Wiliams??

Jul. 12 2012 10:25 AM
Alex from Brooklyn, NY

if Kelly would care, why does he ask NYPD to dodge writing up Police-Reports?? Kelly never deals with true data, he manipulates the data for his benefit.

Jul. 12 2012 10:25 AM
Amy from Manhattan

If the police applied the stop-&-frisk policy in a more individually targeted way, it might be equally effective. It's not that stopping & frisking is always wrong, but it's done much more than is necessary (1,000:1 ratio of stops done to guns found).

And Commr. Kelly says he *hopes* it's done in a respectful way? Isn't he the one who can *order* that it be done that way? From everything I hear, it's not.

Jul. 12 2012 10:25 AM
Nick from UWS

These people are completely dreaming. There is no instrument known to science that is sensitive enough to detect the interest that guys who carry guns on the streets have in "Stop The Violence" marches or whether the media covers them. Sounds more like the organizers of "Stop The Violence" marches have bruised egos because they're not getting the attention they want.

Jul. 12 2012 10:24 AM
fuva from harlemworld

People: Please, please name the black/latino persons who are not outraged at the rate of crime in our communities. I mean, who are they?

If you really think addressing the issue requires the on-sight demonization and criminalization of an entire population, without community participation, then you don't understand the problem to begin with.

Jul. 12 2012 10:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

How does Mr. Williams justify attending a funeral for Shantel Davis, a career criminal who was shot by the cops? I'm not saying that she deserved to get shot - her death needs to investigated BUT, it was wholly inappropriate for elected officials to attend her funeral. It sent a chilling message to law-abiding citizens.

Jul. 12 2012 10:19 AM
Philip from Brooklyn

Yesterday's NYTIMES article on the Philadelphia Police department's efforts to reduce stop and frisk spoke about a possibly more relevant issue of the threatening and disrespectful interaction of that police organization with those that were stopped. As a resident of high crime neighborhoods in Brooklyn for the past thirteen years, and having been a victim of break-ins on a number of occasions, the idea of an engaged police is welcome in our and all neighborhoods. Contrary to some of the unfair complaints about the NYPD being too focused on stop and frisk - it does appear tat they do have a multivalent approach to reducing crime by simultaneously trying to engage gun control, limiting straw purchases in southern states, and suing gun shops that break state and federal gun laws. It is a good discussion, but reducing stop and frisk is not the answer but a more respectufl engagement of those that are policed appears to be warranted.

Jul. 12 2012 10:19 AM
Nick from UWS

This guy is dreaming. What do you think is more effective, a "Stop The Violence" march, or police officers physically confiscating guns 24 hours a day? People who use physical force only understand physical force.

Jul. 12 2012 10:15 AM
KD from Clinton Hills, Brooklyn

Commissioner Kelly could not be more right. I am a person of color and I am extremely tired of the so-called "leaders" of communities of color. When they start speaking to the dysfunction in our communities with the same energy that they speak against the police, they may gain some legitimacy in my eyes. Not holding my breath however.

Jul. 12 2012 10:15 AM

We've removed a few comments. Please remember to refrain from personal attacks, on the guests and on your fellow commenters.
Thank you,
-BL Moderator-

Jul. 12 2012 10:15 AM
Jackson from Harlem NYC

He is correct. There is an elephant in the room that we as a community (no just our elected officials) don't want to discuss. We commit too much crime in our community and nobody wants to address it except the police. Someone has to have balls to ask "Why do Black people kill each other?" Maybe then we can begin to figure out how to stop it.

Jul. 12 2012 10:12 AM
Leo from queens

The councilman was arrested because the police officers present at the parade where he was arrested were racist and could not believe that a black man could be a dignitary. He was arrested for trying to go into the dignitaries area of the parade.

Yet drug trafficker and money launderers are lauded by this administration as Upstanding pillars of the city

Jul. 12 2012 10:12 AM
Beatrice from Brooklyn, NY

I'm the white mother of a young biracial son. As he nears adolescence, I am more worried about the prospects of him being stopped & frisked or accidentally killed by the police than I am of him being shot by another teen.

Jul. 12 2012 10:12 AM
gary from queens

"Strong community relations"?!!

Brian, take that as a que to start inviting adults in the community who favor stop and frisk as a necessary evil in saving lives!

As expected, there is a level of diminishing returns with respect to retrieving guns through stop and frisk.

That's because the target youth and others who commit crimes with guns----virtually all black (over 90%)----wish to avoid the likelihood of getting frisked while carrying a gun.

That was the aim of stop and frisk----to lower the level of gun violence. Arrests for carrying was not an end unto itself.

Yet dummies or race demagogues (or both) keep citing the lowering levels of arrests for gun carrying. And liberal moderators of talk shows never refute that talking point. Which is why debate counterpoint is the best way to ensure a balanced education of the issues.

Jul. 12 2012 10:12 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Gary, you posit a false dichotomy. But, nothing new with you.

What's so off-putting about Kelly's ignorance is the arrogance.

For one thing, 'stop the violence' marches and town halls happen ALL THE TIME. (The one in Bed Stuy yesterday was planned BEFORE Kelly's ignant comments.)But they are marginally effective because this problem runs deep and requires many many more resources to solve. Which gets to what Kelly and too many others fail to grasp: Fighting police malfeasance and fighting the ills of intergenerational poverty and opportunity inequality ARE TWO DIFFERENT BEASTS, with the former being much easier to address than the latter...The visibility of anti-SAF actions reflect this.

In general, Kelly -- like too many others -- knows very little about this community. It's HE who's myopic.

Jul. 12 2012 10:10 AM
Leo from Queens

The police commissioner is being disingenuous and trying to blame others for the fact that his repressive tactics are failing since they really don't deal with crime and are more about repression and discrimination. There are MANY policing tactics, INCLUDING stop and frisk that can be used to address crime. But not the way he has implemented them. There is also community policing which was hailed for helping to reduce crime since it allows officers to know the areas they police and builds confidence and trust between the police and those in the community looking out for crime.
The solution for increasing violence (AND LETS REMEMBER that even though City is now a Majority MINORITY city, the crime rate is comparable to that of the 1950's) is more community involvement; prevention; providing jobs and training and other activities for young people and teenagers.
The commissioner's characterization that these community have violence problems is misleading. There is violence, but not as the levels are before and community and elected leaders have been trying to address violence and providing the means by which we can keep kids out of trouble. But they have been shutout from any input by the NYPD and by this administration. Education and after school programs have been gutted and the schools are now under the control of the NYPD where there is no effort to protect kids from being recruited into gangs. Many parents are intimidated because the police don't want to hear about violence.
Instead we are seeing a thriving growth of organized crime in Prostitution, gun and drug trafficking. This is something that community leaders and citizens cannot tackle - especially when they know that the police is involved in allowing organized crime to thrive in the City.
He is out of touch and a racist bigot who is not helping this City - whether you are white, black or brown, poor or wealthy. He is fostering distrust, racism and lack of accountability.

Jul. 12 2012 10:09 AM
John from office

Brian, you could not find another guest, other then Mr. William, whose claim to fame is getting arrested to get air time??

Ask your learned guest about the 3 blacks shot to death in Queens with an AK47, while they sat in a car in Southern Queens. Where was the outrage??

Brian, you will give this guy the usual Brian interview for all loud black big mouths, YES SIR YOUR ARE RIGHT.

Jul. 12 2012 10:05 AM
gary from queens

Ask Mr. Williams if he would rather live in Ralm Emanual's Chicago, where the shooting deaths of young blacks is at an all time record.

(Hint to Brian: CBS Evening news led with that story two nights in a row. You now have sufficient cover to discuss how a Obama appointee cannot protect the black kids in Obama's adopted home town)

I understand the way Ralm resolves the problem is to sit down with Scott Pelley in an interview and beg street gangs to stay away from little children---"dont go near them."

In other words, just kill each other. That's fine. You guys are 13 already and cannot be helped. And we wouldnt want to use Kelly's method of stop and frisk, because that would make me look like a racist, even though it would save lives of people in my city.

Jul. 12 2012 09:49 AM

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