By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN: December 21, 2014
On December 18, 2014, William Bratton and George Kelling published an op ed in the Wall Street Journal decrying “The Assault on ‘Broken Windows’ Policing.” I’ll be writing a broader response to their piece noting their failure to implement “broken windows” enforcement against the elite white-collar criminals who have made Wall Street one of the world’s most destructive criminal “hot spots.” In this column I point out the implications of their attempt to label criticisms of a NYPD policy they developed and favor as an “assault.” They chose the word to be inflammatory and to try to label their critics as inherently illegitimate and pro-crime.
Here, in light of the tragedy of the murder of two NYPD officers and the reactions to that murder I want to point out what Bratton and Kelling asserted explained broken windows policing was effective. “[T]housands of police interventions on the street … restored order and civility across the five boroughs.” Except, of course, for Wall Street, where crime has skyrocketed and rudeness and disorder are defining elements of the corrupt culture. But that’s my next piece.