More than 81 percent of New Yorkers issued summonses over “broken windows” infractions during a ten-year period have been Black and Latino, an analysis of city records conducted by the New York Daily News reveals.
In a first-ever breakdown of released summons statistics, the Daily News found that writing summonses is the most frequent activity conducted by the New York Police Department, surpassing felony and misdemeanor arrests combined. Since the “broken windows” policy—which means zero tolerance for small infractions—was implemented during early the 1990s, the number of summonses has increased exponentially. In 1993, 160,000 summonses were issues; in 2005, that number climbed to a peak of 648,638.
Most of these summonses were likely to be issued in Black or Latino communities, according the Daily News.
The most common offenses were consumption of alcohol (1.6 million), disorderly conduct (1 million), public urination (334,000), bicycling on the sidewalk (296,000) and operation of a motor vehicle in violation of the safety rules (213,000). Motor vehicle violations and unlawful possession of alcohol for a minor were not strongly connected to race, but violations for spitting, failure to have a dog license, public consumption of alcohol , disorderly conduct and loitering were.
In some precincts, the rate of summonses was more than 1 in 10 residents last year, such as the 25th Precinct (East Harlem North), which is 90% black and Hispanic, where there were 18 summonses per 100 residents; the 40th Precinct (Mott Haven, Bronx), which is 98% black and Hispanic (16 per 100 residents); and the 41st Precinct (Hunts Point, Bronx), which is 98% black and Hispanic, (16 per 100 residents).