We all know the media manipulates statistics and flat out lies when it comes to policing, but the data released annually by the New York Police Department is downright narrative busting.
A recent piece of mine explored the Chicago Police Department’s statistics around engaging criminal behavior and their use of force in such responses. Reader feedback was awesome; I have never received so many personal emails in response to a column. Suffice to say, the data did not support the BLM narrative. Not by a long shot. In fact, it was even more affirming of solid police work than I could have imagined.
It got me wondering: Are all large, urban cities handling day-to-day challenges in a similar way?
New York City is the largest metropolis in the United States. It’s not even close; with over 8 million residents, it’s twice the size of the next largest, Los Angeles. New York is also as racially diverse as one could want for an experiment to play out in real life. Roughly a third of the city can be broken down into black, white, and Hispanic demographics each, and their police force is also majority-minority. That’s always an oversight in the White Police Bad narrative.
New York has been making all the wrong headlines this year. The highest COVID-19 death rate, violent crime rates reaching escape velocity since loons began calling for a police defunding campaign, and unconstitutional travel bans. Until recently, Governor Cuomo had an approval rating of over 80%? Is the media that skewed? Don’t answer that.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is also no stranger to gross incompetence, and of the innumerable fallacies and outright lies she has verbalized, she recently suggested that the rise of crime was due to simple and understandable desires to feed one’s family. Perhaps the murders occur when two family men argue over the last loaf of whole-grain wheat.
The contemptible mayor, Bill De Blasio, has also taken measures to openly profess his support for Black Lives Matter (the movement and not actual black lives) by creating street art. Least surprising in all of this, violent crime has skyrocketed in response to constant police blaming and the subsequent downshift in active policing measures. At the time of this writing, numbers for both shooting incidents and shooting victims are up over 200% than the same time last year. Like I said, where’s the rye and pumpernickel?
I expected the statistics surrounding the police responses in Chicago to support many honest people’s assumptions around policing. I did not expect them to go nuclear on the BLM narrative. Surely different cities have varying degrees of police professionalism and training?
Maybe the narrative plays out somewhere, but definitely not in New York. Again, to my greater surprise (not because I think so lowly of their professionalism; rather, because the media portrayals are never-ending), the numbers are simply stunning. In their 2018 Use of Force Report, the most recent year available, the New York Police Department shared statistics entirely relevant to the national dialogue, covering calls for support, arrests, use of force measures taken, and victims shot and killed.
For the year, the department fielded over 6 million calls for support, approximately 179,000 of which were for “emotionally disturbed people.” Given the relationship between mental health and perceived police overreach – hence the call for more social workers – this number is not insignificant. What is also not insignificant is that, on a daily basis, police are responding to upwards of 500 calls for support per day just for the emotionally disturbed. How many news reports have come out of New York where police over-responded? How many don’t? Now you know.
In response to the 6 million calls for support, the department of 36,000 officers made almost 250,000 arrests. That means about 4% of support calls end in an arrest; in other words, 96% of police interactions with the public do not end in an arrest or other scenarios involving the use of force.
Recall that in Chicago about 85,000 arrests were made and officers discharged their weapons 43 times. The assumption here, obviously, is that most heightened encounters occur when a suspect is resisting arrest in some fashion. This mostly makes sense, given that a compliant suspect will be handcuffed without a problem.
By comparison, in New York, at a factor of three times the number of arrests as in the Windy City, officers discharged their firearms a total of 35 times. That is not a typo. In the course of responding to 6 million calls, 179,000 of which pertained specifically to mental health concerns, and in conducting 250,000 arrests, officers needed to fire their sidearm a total of 35 times.
As if the numbers could not look any better, of the 35 discharges, only 17 were related to what is considered “intentional firearm discharge-adversarial conflict incidents (ID-AC)” and in which 26 officers were involved. Remember, that’s out of a police force of over 36,000.
All told, just 5 people were killed by police in 2018 in a city estimated to have 8.5 million residents. That’s one death by police every 71 days. At the height of his incompetence vis-a-vis COVID, Andrew Cuomo was responsible for the death of a New Yorker every 90 seconds.
Our police are doing an outstanding job. More than outstanding, really, considering the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves on a good day and the insane circumstances and lack of support in which they find themselves now.
The irony here is that while Chicago and New York are overwhelmingly blue cities, and the Democrat’s messages are of police brutality and defunding, no one has a problem calling for help when the going gets rough. Which is it? You say you want them gone, but your actions are speaking louder than words.