Lunch Links

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
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19 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    re NY’s pot expeditures- I’d be willing to bet that the city feels this is money generated for the police and then they factor in the fines as ‘generating revenue’. I’d love to know what the total is for the amount collected for fines.

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “New York City spends $75 million per year arresting people for pot possession, even though pot for personal use has been decriminalized in the city.”

    Cops have been locking up hippies (who pose no particular threat) at least since Jesus–it’s in their blood.
    “Decriminalization” is more of an abstract idea than functioning law or right–
    kind of like the 4th Amendment. When’s the last time anyone got his
    case dismissed for no “Probable Cause.”

  3. #3 |  TomG | 

    re NYC’s $75 million fighting simple possession of pot by (mostly) young people – my own first thought is, what’s the annual violent crime rate in NY? Robberies, burglaries, murders? How can NY justify spending so much money trying to keep plants out of the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens when so many other problems exist for the police to focus on?

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “New York City spends $75 million per year arresting people for pot possession, even though pot for personal use has been decriminalized in the city.”

    Cops have been locking up hippies (who pose no particular threat) at least since Jesus–it’s in their blood.
    “Decriminalization” is more of an abstract idea than functioning law or right–
    kind of like the 4th Amendment. When’s the last time anyone got his
    case dismissed for no “Probable Cause.”

  5. #5 |  Justin | 

    Re: cRack found in crack

    What is a leafy green substance supposed to mean? Lettuce?

    Sounds bogus to me.

  6. #6 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    “The deputy called for another officer to assist and searched Foster’s car after he agreed to allow it.

    Guess he hasn’t seen the Flex Your Rights vids.

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    In NY it’s a civil citation (100 bucks first offense, 250 second, 5 days in jail third) for possession of 25g or less.

    But! It’s a misdemeanor with 3 months in the slammer for having any amount in public view.

    So what the pigs do is randomly frisk people (of whom 90% are minorities, go figure) for weapons, then ask them to empty their pockets. They can’t legally TELL them to empty their pockets without PC, but if the guy does it, and there is a joint there… it’s public view and that pig gets an arrest credited to them.

    Explain to me again why I should have any respect at all for cops?

  8. #8 |  MassHole | 

    Busting people for weed is EASY. That’s why there are so many arrests in NYC. Wanna make the day go by faster and pad your stats? Bust someone for weed, take them downtown and book’em. Even better, do it near the end of your shift to get some overtime. Who cares if the charges are dropped. It’s no sweat off the cops back. Until the cops see negative consequences for BS pot busts, this will continue.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    Re: Nuclear Power. There have been some good voices of sanity over this entire mess in Japan. While there is a risk from nuclear power, the alternatives also have a lot of risks that we just seem to get used to. The BP disaster killed a number of people, contaminated a huge area, and messed up the local economy. Hundreds of people die each year mining coal, and coal plants emit mercury and other nasties.

  10. #10 |  Juice | 

    Life expectancy in the U.S. again hits an all-time high.

    Obamacare?

  11. #11 |  Andrew S. | 

    # #3 | TomG | March 17th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    re NYC’s $75 million fighting simple possession of pot by (mostly) young people – my own first thought is, what’s the annual violent crime rate in NY? Robberies, burglaries, murders? How can NY justify spending so much money trying to keep plants out of the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens when so many other problems exist for the police to focus on?

    The NYPD is actually trying to justify the amount of money they’re spending by saying that it’s led to a decline in the violent crime rate. Really.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2011/03/drug-policy-alliance-report-nyc-pot-possession-busts-cost-75-million-a-year

    “Police properly enforce laws as they apply to marijuana possession and sale. Advocates who want to legalize either should make their case to the state Legislature. The advocate’s report was biased and incomplete. It ignored both the very high incidents of violent crime that plagued the city when low level offenses were enforced far less vigorously, and the steep decrease in violent crime that occurred when less serious offenses, like marijuana, were consistently addressed. The first graph in their report shows 30 years of marijuana possession arrests in two bars: one for the period 1981-1995 and the other 1996-2010. It depicts a very large increase in the latter 15 year period. What’s missing, of course, is a depiction of crime during the same periods. During the 1981-1995 period, there were 9,552,082 index crimes in NYC. During the 1996-2010 period, there were 3,824,490 index crimes—a 60% decrease, representing nearly 6 million fewer victims. During the 1981-1995 period, there were 26,083 people murdered in NYC. During the latter period (1996-2010) there were 9294 murder victims—a 64% decrease representing 16,789 lives saved.”

    Of course, we don’t know what the real violent crime rate is in NYC, considering their history of skewing those numbers…

  12. #12 |  Pete | 

    I read an article about the $75 mil spent on arresting people for simple possession in NY. Well, several articles, several of them linked from here over the past many moons.

    And in the latest one they get a quote from a police official who basically says (paraphrased) “Well look at the decrease in violent and more serious crimes we’ve had the past decade – it’s a direct result from stepped-up investigation and policework involving more minor crimes.”

    Except, the law on small amounts of pot in NYC is that it’s fine to possess, just don’t flash it in public. They’re tricking people into pulling it out of their pockets, without telling them they don’t have to, and banking on the fact that the people don’t know they don’t have to. It’s not entrapment – not quite… but it is damn near encouragement to turn something that is not a crime into something that is a ‘crime’. (And that, only because it’s written down on paper somewhere.)

    Meanwhile we get other articles telling us watch commanders are telling their guys to downplay reports of real crimes, try to file that rape as simple assault, try to file that grand theft as something else, let’s massage the statistics.

    I don’t know what’s really going on with NYPD, but from the outside looking in it looks rotten as hell.

  13. #13 |  DarkEFang | 

    Based on what I know about NY Compstat, those $75 million worth of pot busts are probably all downgraded from armed robberies, rapes and murders.

  14. #14 |  DannnyJ119 | 

    Once the cops realize how many people have this crack in between their buttocks, they will be strip searching us all!

  15. #15 |  BSK | 

    To anyone who thinks the cops can’t tell the difference between their ass and a whole in the ground, I submit…

    “Deputy: Strip Search Finds Crack Between Buttocks”

  16. #16 |  BSK | 

    Change “ass” to “collective asses” and “whole” to “hole”. Dagnabit.

  17. #17 |  Andrew Roth | 

    It’s time to replace Ray Kelly as NYPD Commissioner and really shake up the brass. Based on what I’ve seen of NYPD beat cops and read about the department, I’m pretty sure that most of the contempt for the Fourth Amendment is coming down from on high.

    Honestly, some of the stories about due process violations at the NYPD have surprised me. The beat cops I’ve seen and occasionally spoken to do not seem nearly officious or contemptuous enough to go on stop-and-frisk rampages of their own volition. Their attitude generally appears to be live-and-let-live, in noticeable contrast to beat cops in many other jurisdictions (especially on rural municipal forces).

    There are at least a few thugs on patrol in the NYPD–I’ve heard enough stories to believe that–but there seem to be many more mellow, decent officers. The problem is that few officers anywhere have the courage to openly defy Unconstitutional orders from their commanders, and those who do are often demoted, harassed or fired, so they’re in a bind. If their commanders put them under pressure to meet quotas, good cops have little latitude to cut harmless civilians any slack. (One novel solution to this in the San Diego Police Department, described by Norm Stamper, was to cruise cemeteries and copy names from headstones onto report forms. Stamper suggested that officers who did this were just lazy and unethical, not concerned about anyone’s Constitutional rights; maybe so, but the effect for the citizens who didn’t get harassed was the same. And as far as the cops were concerned, the dead couldn’t talk back; in San Diego, they couldn’t even vote!)

    NYPD’s fudging of Compstat figures seems to be driven almost entirely by the brass. Beat cops are getting their orders to underreport crimes from watch commanders, and watch commanders are under pressure from their precinct commanders; the question is just how high the rot goes.

    Here’s why: precinct commanders in the NYPD are under weekly pressure from the Commissioner and his staff to get their crime numbers down. Ever since the implementation of Compstat, the narrative has been that if a precinct commander lets his crime numbers get too high, he’ll be reassigned to some hellhole like a night watch command in the South Bronx. This narrative was openly promoted by Mayor Giuliani and a number of officials in his office and the NYPD to assure people that the police would henceforth be held accountable for their performance. Fudging the numbers is an easier way for commanders to avoid reassignment than tackling crime increases that are driven at least in part by social factors beyond their control. If commanders are put under pressure to keep their numbers down and are not punished for fudging their numbers, they can be expected to fudge.

    The other apparent flaw with the punishment-by-reassignment model is that it would seem to put a bunch of duds in charge of high-crime precincts that already had a dearth of competent leadership.

    My suspicion is that Commissioner Kelly knew about the underreporting scandal all along and had political motives for not taking action. I also suspect that Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t take either this scandal or the various stop-and-frisk scandals very seriously. If he does, heads should be rolling at the NYPD by now.

  18. #18 |  Andrew Roth | 

    A caveat on my comment #17: NYPD probably needs someone from outside to clean up its mess. The only person with an NYPD background whom I’d trust is Bill Bratton, and he was an external hire the first time around. I’m sure that there are current NYPD commanders who would do a fine job, but the likelihood of more coverups and corruption is just too high for an internal promotion, and the NYPD has a history of promoting the wrong people to high positions.

  19. #19 |  Pam in Taos | 

    “crack in the crack”

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