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Bill Bratton's Broken Windows Policing: One More Time! ____________________________________________________________________________
Below are links to news stories, long journalism pieces, and academic articles discussing Bill Bratton and broken windows policing. Some articles quote or defend Bratton; others emphasize critiques of broken windows policing and Bratton's embrace of it. Bratton has long been a supporter and practitioner of policing polices emphasizing many stop and frisks and arrests for minor offenses -- practices which reformers in New York City have sought to curb. Now that Bratton has been appointed NYPD Police Commissioner, it is worth focusing some attention on two decades of broken windows policing and Bratton's role in advancing that distinctive policy.
Bratton's Bio at LAPD http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/bratton_bio.pdf Bio at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bratton Bio at Kroll (Bratton's consulting firm) http://www.kroll.com/library/WilliamBrattonBIO.pdf
SHORTER ARTICLES (Links and some excerpts)
Dec 3, 2013. New York's Next Top Cop Could Be A Controversial Pick. Huffington Post by Saki Knafo http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/de-blasio-bratton_n_4378748.html?ref=topbar
Bill de Blasio, the soon-to-be mayor of New York, surged to prominence over the summer while promising to reform the city’s police department. He said he would scale back the rampant use of stop and frisk, the controversial practice of stopping suspects and frisking them for guns and drugs, which led to hundreds of thousands of arrests of mostly black and Latino New Yorkers on minor marijuana charges. And he vowed to dismiss the current police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, who made stop and frisk a keystone of his tenure and vigorously defended it in the press and in court to those who say that the way he has used it infringes on the rights of minorities. But now de Blasio is considering a replacement for Kelly who has arguably done more than anyone else in the United States -- including Kelly himself -- to popularize the use of stop and frisk and other aggressive tactics associated with racial profiling. William Bratton, who led the Boston Police Department in 1993 and oversaw dramatic crime reductions while leading the New York City Police Department from 1994 to 1996 and the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009, is a superstar cop and a hero to many. But some critics of the aggressive policing methods championed by Kelly say he’s a poor choice to lead the department in a new direction.
Nov 30, 2013 In Naming Top Police Official, De Blasio May Signal Change, by David Chen and David Goodman, New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/30/nyregion/de-blasios-stop-and-frisk-criticisms-hint-at-futurerelationship-with-police.html?hp&_r=0
Next week, Mr. de Blasio, now the mayor-elect, is expected to choose a successor to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and William J. Bratton, who held the post in the mid-1990s, appears to be the leading candidate for what is arguably the most important appointment any mayor makes. It is all the more so for Mr. de Blasio, whose forceful criticism of police tactics became a centerpiece of his mayoral campaign this year. He must now ready himself to oversee a department that has chafed at his faultfinding but that he will want, and perhaps need, at his side.... Mr. Bratton would bring a reputation for credibility and
success, but also a name for employing aggressive police tactics, in New York and in Los Angeles, that might be at odds with the criticisms Mr. de Blasio has voiced.
Nov 30, 2013 - Former NYPD Narcotics Officer defends Bratton's Broken Windows http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/in_new_york_city_the_perfect_storm_is_building.html In New York City, a plan to rezone brothels, massage parlors, and X-rated movies in Times Square and on Queens Blvd. was implemented under Giuliani's reign. Buttressed by the COPS funding, more money was allotted for additional officers for dealing with vice and quality-of-life offenses such as panhandling, squeegee window wipers, and the homeless problem. The COPS funding added a militaristic and professional look to police departments across the country and emphasized national incident command policies developed by FEMA. Bratton did away with the powder-blue police uniform shirts that were a 70s attempt to appease critics that believed police officers acting like Nazi storm troopers were brutalizing the citizenry with impunity.... Under Bratton, beleaguered cops that aimlessly responded to myriad 911 calls in radio cars were unshackled and through aggressive community patrols were able to attack crime head-on, unfettered by civilian complaints.... Narcotics squads increased 137 percent between 1990 to 1999 and effectively reduced drug-related homicides.... The happiest day in my police career was slapping cuffs on Al Sharpton for a warrant for disorderly conduct. Please fast forward to Mayor DeBlasio's recent remarks about Al. "Every year Reverend Sharpton is becoming stronger as a leader, is reaching farther as a leader." Mayor Lindsay will pale in comparison to DeBlasio, whose stated goal is to reign in the police, increase taxes, and to increase the size of government. The police are already reeling over recent court decisions which radically change Stop and Frisk. If Stop and Frisk goes, there goes the city. Wall Street and the real estate moguls vehemently oppose raising taxes. People are leaving New York City because of taxes.... Make no mistake -- DeBlasio's goal is to remedy inequalities that affect the lives of poor New Yorkers beginning in the cradle. To Billy Boy the plight of New York's poor reeks of the squalor and poverty of a Dickensian novel, calling out for correction at all costs.... Under the new regime, New York City police officers will approach crime with their hands tied behind their back. Gone will be aggressive enforcement. As we speak, gun arrests are down. William F. Dement is a retired Lieutenant Narcotics Squad Commander, N.Y.P.D. He was a policy analyst for former Police Commissioner William Bratton and he cowrote the crime strategies that were lauded for reducing crime in New York City.
November 28, 2013. Rudy Giuliani endorses ex-commissioner Bill Bratton to run NYPD, NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rudy-giuliani-de-blasio-bill-bratton-run-nypd-article-1.1532216
Rudy Giuliani knows who he'd like to see as the city’s next police commissioner: He’s already hired and fired him. The former mayor threw his weight behind Bill Bratton on Thursday... It was widely acknowledged Giuliani felt the commissioner was becoming
too much of a celebrity receiving all the credit for the city becoming safer. But Giuliani made it clear his feelings about Bratton — who served as the LAPD’s police chief from 2002 to 2009 — had changed.... "Would he make an excellent police commissioner? Of course he would. He already has," Giuliani said. The former mayor also had kind words for Chief of Department Philip Banks, who is said to be on the short list of potential commissioners. "He's a terrific candidate,” said Giuliani. “You have a choice between someone that's newer and has a bunch of new ideas like Chief Banks — who's an excellent choice — or someone like Bill Bratton who's been in New York and Los Angeles.”
NOV 27, 2013 Bill De Blasio Is Probably, Maybe Going to Hire Bill Bratton to Run the NYPD. New York Magazine http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/11/de-blasio-nypd-bratton.html?mid=twitter_nymag DeBlasio has met with a handful of people for the job, including NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and Deputy Police Commissioner Rafael Pineiro. He's said he and Bratton have "a great deal of agreement on the core issues," but that as of last week no decision had been made.
Nov 24, 2013. Bill Bratton Expanded Stop And Frisk When He Ran Los Angeles Police Department. By Jennifer Fermino, NY Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bratton-article-1.1527258 Bill Bratton, a leading candidate to become Bill de Blasio’s top cop, dramatically expanded the use of stop and frisk when he ran the LAPD.... In 2002, the year Bratton began his tenure at the Los Angeles Police Department, cops conducted 587,200 stops of pedestrians and drivers. Six years later, that number skyrocketed to 875,204 stops — a 49% spike, according to a little-noticed May 2009 report from the Harvard Kennedy School. As in New York, where critics like de Blasio have accused the NYPD of racial profiling, the stops focused heavily on minority groups. At its peak under Bratton in 2008, 23% of all individuals stopped by L.A. cops were black, the Harvard study found. African-Americans made up about 9% of the city’s population at the time. Non-Hispanic whites — who accounted for around 30% of L.A. residents — were stopped 15% of the time. And Hispanics were stopped 48% of the time, which roughly corresponded with their percentage of the city’s population.
September 15, 2013. De Blasio Wants To Replace Ray Kelly With Bill Bratton, ‘The Father of Suppression Policing’, by Rania Khalek. http://raniakhalek.com/2013/09/15/de-blasio-wants-to-replace-ray-kelly-with-bill-bratton-the-father-ofsuppression-policing/
Bratton’s legacy still haunts communities of color today, as was demonstrated when the Oakland City Council voted to hire Bratton as a consultant earlier this year. Oakland city residents, particularly those of color, protested the vote, fearing that Bratton would bring stop and frisk to their city. “Bratton is the father of suppression policing,” Oakland resident Jay Donahue 4
told the Oakland Tribune at the time. “He destroys black and brown communities.” De Blasio is right to criticize Kelly for his “overuse and abuse of stop-andfrisk.” But what on earth makes him think Bratton will be any different?
Sept 5, 2013. Bill De Blasio believes in the 'core notions' of broken-windows policing. Capital New York, by Azi Paybarah. http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/09/8533504/bill-de-blasio-believes-core-notionsbroken-windows-policing
"Look, I am someone who does believe in the core notions of the 'broken windows' theory," Bill de Blasio said on Thursday afternoon, at a campaign stop on the Upper West Side. De Blasio didn't reference Giuliani by name, instead crediting the program to former police commissioner Bill Bratton, who de Blasio has previously floated as a possible commissioner in his administration. De Blasio said Bratton was "someone I sought advice from repeatedly." The "broken windows" theory, which promoted by originated at the conservative Manhattan Institute, advocates for aggressively policing low-level, quality-of-life crimes as a way to combat the overall crime rate, and was widely credited for making the city safer in the mid-1990s.
Jan 14, 2013. Bill Bratton: There Will Always Be Stop and Frisk. Capital New York http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/06/8530960/bill-bratton-there-will-always-be-stop-and-frisk
No matter what the New York City Council or the federal courts do to curb stopand-frisk, the New York Police Department will still utilize some form of the controversial tactic, said former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton after a breakfast hosted by the Manhattan Institute this morning....
Nov 19, 2011 - Who is Bill Bratton http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/19/1038204/-Who-is-Bill-Bratton ... when I think of Bill Bratton, I think of the police violence captured on film during the Los Angeles May Day protest in 2007. For those who missed the story, thousands of peaceful protestors marched to MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007 for a rally in support of immigration amnesty. Families attended together; there were seniors and babies in attendance at the Park and there was a holiday feeling to the gathering. Until someone on the streets surrounding the Park threw a bottle at a line of police officers. Commanding the dispersal of the crowds, in English to a mostly Spanish speaking population, the police immediately began to sweep through the street, into and through the park, using tactics of Bill Bratton. They didn't arrest the protestors so much as they beat them and shot them with rubber bullets. The press was there covering the event. From Democracy Now: The Los Angeles Police Department is coming under increasing criticism for violently crushing a largely peaceful immigrants rights march on Tuesday. Police with riot guns fired 240 rounds, shot tear gas and clubbed protesters and
journalists gathered in MacArthur Park. At least ten people were injured including seven journalists. Pedro Sevcec was broadcasting live for the Spanish-language television network Telemundo when police knocked over his monitors and lights and hit his staff with batons. Sevcec told the Los Angeles Times a police officer grabbed one of his cameras and threw it more than fifteen feet to the ground. He said police pointed a riot gun at his face, hit him with a baton and forced him out of the park. Bill Bratton publically stated that the police response was inappropriate and steps would be taken to correct the breakdown in command. In a scathing report last year, LAPD officials blamed the flawed police response on a series of fateful decisions by police commanders that escalated hostilities and resulted in a widespread breakdown in behavior by officers. None of the lieutenants or captains were fired. As of Feb 5, 2009 the LA Times reported that "The City Council on Wednesday agreed to pay nearly $13 million to people injured or mistreated in a May Day melee in MacArthur Park, bringing to more than $30 million the money spent over the last two weeks to settle lawsuits alleging LAPD misconduct."
Nov 13, 2013. If Bill Bratton Returns to the NYPD, He'll Be Trailing Conflicts of Interest Like Toilet Paper on an Old Man's Shoe. By Darwin BondGraham, VVoice http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-11-13/news/william-bratton-nypd-conflicts-of-interestbill-de-blasio-kroll-motorola-shotspotter/full/ In several radio interviews leading up to the November 5 election, mayor-to-be Bill de Blasio mentioned William J. Bratton, whom he called a "very key adviser," as a top candidate for New York City's next police commissioner.... But Bratton's possible return to public office in New York is complicated by his other career as a private sector consultant and corporate board member. After leaving public office the first time in 1996, Bratton took on lucrative consulting jobs. When he again retired from public service in 2009, Bratton joined the boards of several companies that sell technology, surveillance gear, and other goods to police forces, including the NYPD. These companies include Manhattan-based Kroll Inc., Motorola Solutions, and ShotSpotter Inc... The Voice asked the New York City Conflict of Interest Board whether Bratton would have to resign from his corporate posts and sell off stock holdings if he were to accept nomination for city office. Though the board never comments on cases either hypothetical or actual, a COIB attorney pointed to procedures undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.
August 2011. The U.S. Is Still Recovering from ‘Supercop’ Bill Bratton’s Policing, Colorlines. by Jamilah King http://tinyurl.com/3qrlat9
Bratton’s brand of policing is premised on fixing things that have the potential to break, and then making them look pretty. He began his career in his hometown of Boston before going to New York and Los Angeles, and is a strong proponent of the “zero tolerance” approach to fighting crime.
That approach, known among researchers as the “broken windows theory”, argues that in order to beat big crime, you’ve got to start small, and early, before relatively petty infractions balloon into violent crimes, or mass rebellions. In New York, the approach was credited with drastically reducing the city’s murder rate. But not before critics accused officers of widespread police harassment of young black and Latino men for petty infractions like loitering, truancy, public noise and jumping train turnstyles. In 1994, Bratton’s first year as police commissioner in New York, juvenile arrests jumped to over 98,000 from just over 20,000 the previous year. In November of 1995, Newsday reported: "The NYPD’s ‘quality of life’ sweeps were jailing an average of 280 young people a day for activities like drinking a beer in public, playing loud music, not having proper identification, loitering, and ‘sneaking onto the train. Four of five arrests in that first year were for nonviolent offenses such as disorderly conduct and drug possession, and half were for violations so minor that they did not require fingerprints."
August 14, 2011 - Bratton says: Criminal Element should fear police http://www.smh.com.au/action/printArticle?id=2555624 Mr Bratton has run police forces in New York and Los Angeles, winning both plaudits and criticism from his ''zero tolerance'' approach. Speaking in New York, Mr Bratton, 63, said police forces should be more assertive in their dealings with offenders, leaving no doubt that crime would always meet a firm response. ''You want the criminal element to fear them, fear their ability to interrupt their own ability to carry out criminal behaviour, and arrest and prosecute and incarcerate them,'' he said. ''In my experience, the younger criminal element don't fear the police and have been emboldened to challenge the police and effectively take them on.''
Oct 14, 2009 - Long Knives Slice Up Bratton, By Patrick Range McDonald, http://www.laweekly.com/2009-10-15/news/long-knives-slice-up-bratton/full/ It’s a mark of the disarray and crisis within Los Angeles City Hall that Police Chief William Bratton, one of the most famous cops in the world, riding high on an era of low crime and sometimes absurdly over-praised accomplishments, is leaving town on October 31 on an exceedingly sour note, publicly attacking members of the City Council as they attack him back.
Apr 29,2009. Bratton: L.A. Is as Safe as 1956: Except the chief is manipulating numbers and acting like a politician By Patrick Range McDonald Wednesday, LA Weekly http://www.laweeklyom/2009-04-30/news/bratton-l-a-is-as-safe-as-1956/full/
April 2006, Bratton's `broken windows', LA Times, By Bernard E. Harcourt http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/20/opinion/oe-harcourt20 Everybody agrees that police matter. The question is how to allocate scarce police dollars. Should cops be arresting, processing and clogging the courts with minor‐disorder offenders or focusing on violence, as well as gang and gun crimes, with the help of increased computerized crime tracking? The evidence, in my view, is clear: Focusing on minor misdemeanors is a waste.
March 27, 1996. Bratton Announces His Resignation From NYPD http://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/27/nyregion/bratton-resignation-overview-bratton-quits-policepost-new-york-gains-over-crime.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm
October 7, 1994, New NYPD Uniforms -- Military Look http://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/07/nyregion/well-dressed-officer-navy-not-powderblue.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm The change in shirt color will be the most conspicuous of several changes intended to give the 31,000-member force a crisper, more professional look, more like a military organization. The new uniform will include hash marks on shirt sleeves and longevity bars over breast pockets. __________________________________________
LONGER AND MOSTLY ACADEMIC ARTICLES
"Broken Lives from Broken Windows: The Hidden Costs of Aggressive Order-Maintenance Policing" by K. Babe Howell, New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Vol. 33, p. 271, 2009 http://marijuana-arrests.com/docs/Broken_Lives_From_Broken_Windows_Babe_Howell_2009.pdf
Professor Howell's article is the indispensible source for understanding the serious consequences of the NYPD's many misdemeanor arrests for marijuana possession, trespassing, and other minor offenses.
Bernard Harcourt, Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing. Harvard University Press, 2005 http://www.amazon.com/Illusion-Order-Promise-Windows-Policing/dp/0674015908/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
Full study and critique of broken windows policing
April / May 2002. Policing Disorder: Can we reduce serious crime by punishing petty offenses? by Bernard E. Harcourt, Boston Review http://marijuana-arrests.com/library/Policing_Disorder__Harcourt__Boston_Review.docx [Long excellent]
1998 Critique of Broken Windows Policing - Michigan Law Review - Bernard Harcourt http://www.popcenter.org/problems/panhandling/PDFs/Harcourt_1998.pdf [Very long; Law review article]
Oct 17, 2005. Is Broken Windows Policing Broken? A Debate With Bernard E. Harcourt and David E. Thacher http://www.legalaffairs.org/webexclusive/debateclub_brokenwindows1005.msp [Long, interesting, smart reasonable authorities on both sides.]
2004. Order Maintenance Reconsidered by David Thatcher http://tinyurl.com/q4w9r8a
pdf version: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/dthacher/files/OrderMaintenance.pdf [34 page law review article]
1999. Robert J. Sampson & Stephen W. Raudenbush, Systematic Social Observation of Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods, 105 AM. J. Soc. 603 (1999). http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3226951/Sampson_SystematicSocialObservation.pdf?sequence=2
_________________________________________________ This document and other materials can be downloaded at: http://marijuana-arrests.com/Bratton-and-Broken-Windows.html _________________________________________________________________________________
Harry Levine and Loren Siegel The Marijuana Arrest Research Project http://marijuana-arrests.com/
Harry Levine Sociology Department Queens College City University of New York December 5, 2013