Liars with statistics. They like what they prefer to see.
Police brass are investigating claims by a veteran captain who alleges that some NYPD commanders are misclassifying felonies to hold down crime statistics in a bid to further their careers.
Capt. Marash Vucinaj has gathered 156 cases over the past two years from multiple commands that he contends show a pattern of downgrading some felony-level crimes to misdemeanors. The crimes include thefts and attempted thefts, assaults and assaults on cops. He does not claim the manipulation extends to murders and rapes.
The purpose, he said, is to shift crimes out of the all-important index crime category — made up of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft.
- Classifying incidents where cops are injured by suspects as resisting arrest, rather than assault.
- Classifying grand larcenies as lost property and ignoring details that suggest a crime took place.
- Classifying incidents where someone purposefully shot at someone but missed as “investigate shots fired,” reckless endangerment or criminal mischief.
- Classifying incidents where a would-be thief slipped his hand into someone’s pocket or bag as misdemeanor “jostling” rather than attempted grand larceny.
- Compressing several crimes with separate victims into one complaint report.
- Failing to record crimes in the city handled by other law enforcement agencies.
High-ranking police officials sharply disputed Vucinaj’s claims of any widespread downgrading of crime. “I take serious offense at these allegations that crime reports aren’t taken right because cops shed their blood for these crime reports,” said Dermot Shea, the chief of crime control strategies.
“It goes against everything we’re trying to do to deploy our resources. We need those crime reports to deploy appropriately.”
A few days after touting and actually celebrating the record low murder rate (just 290 dead, a murder every 36 hours, hooray!), our NYPD of this/your city is under new scrutiny for downgrading the severity of crime statistics.
The creativity behind this according to Captain Vucinaj is disturbingly and conspiratorially widespread, showing an insidious sophistication that resembles the craft and skill sets of the biggest public relations firms. For example, Mayor de Faustio’s buddies in Berlin/Rosen.
Captain Vucinaj’s study revealed drawn down and peculiar reclassifying. Like shootings, targeted and crossfire, being filed as criminal mischief, basically associating sporadic gunfire with throwing eggs or toilet paper on Halloween. Shootings also qualified under the redundantly described reckless endangerment. The severity of such lethal activity got conveniently and literally lessened as long as the shots don’t hit or kill anybody.
Like how four people were held up at knife point and robbed and how three women had their wallets lifted and both were filed as one robbery because it was committed by one suspect.
Speaking of lifting wallets and also cellphones, the latter seeing a great increase because of it’s ubiquity and exposure, crime reports fell under the term “jostling” if the victims happened to robbed while asleep, bumped into and even with the perp just putting his hand in a purse or pocket, or classified as lost property instead of the standard, serious and accurate charge of grand larceny. Because your cherish personal belongings aren’t that essential you materialists, especially those fancy phones containing all your vital personal data and information.
The standout and most egregious of criminal activity is the diminishing of resisting arrest. What was previously classified as felony assault resulting from injuries caused during struggles was marked down to misdemeanor assault according to Capt. Vucinaj’s probe while working in the Transit Division. A remarkable amount of over 2,200 incidents out of over 3.500 involved a cop getting injured during an arrest with a rambunctious suspect in the span of 6 months.
Why that outstanding statistic is not revealed is not disturbing enough. But it makes a shitload of sense of why perpetrators are emboldened to go down with a fight before getting cuffed.
Similar altercations have happened in the last few months when a chump knocked over a cop after he was stopped jumping the turnstile when his train arrived, and a mentally ill man engaged in a struggle with two cops on a platform, causing one of the cops to fall down the stairs trying to apprehend him as he fled.
What’s perplexing is that these machinations are being ordered by the top brass of the precincts.More perplexing is that cops react with fervor and fury when a colleague gets shot or injured and this is going to encourage, as it has already, more skells to battle with cops and resist arrest. And it puts the cops on the street in more precarious and dangerous positions and situations, it may lead to more excessive use of force or another senseless, preventable and ultimately galvanizing fatality. The chiefs overseeing these crime spins are putting the lives of citizens and cops at more risk.
As with the standard procedure for investigating crime patterns, these markdowns gain more validation and credulity considering Deputy Inspector Peter Rose, recently promoted from captain from his precinct in Greenpoint. The same Inspector Rose who marginalized/reclassified the meaning of rape by stating that being raped by someone you know or dated is not as serious as being raped by a stranger (you can always depend on the kindness and aggressive sexual advances of those familiar with you, to misquote Tennessee Williams). Nearby in Bushwick, a woman had tremendous difficulty shaking off a stalker because the precinct she reported to kept giving her conflicting advice to avoid writing up her experience and told her flat out that she was wasting her time. An almost exact treatment by two precincts was given to a woman who was assaulted on the train because of the fact that the attack occurred when the train was moving as officers gave her conflicting excuses of where to file a complaint.
As with all great stories of the process of law enforcement and justice, there has to be a motive behind this. Maybe an ulterior motive. And it could only be, albeit cynically, is to make the neighborhoods virtually safe for habitation for market rate renting and home and condo ownership. As recent reports show a herculean percentage of whites moving into neighborhoods were crime was rampant in the bad old decades of the 70’s and 80’s like in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and Bushwick. And with the recent hyper-development in the South Bronx, Jamaica, Queens and the MIH zoning development being pushed by the city in East New York and East Harlem it is sure to get virtually safer there soon too.
It sure looks like the overlords of real estate are defining the charges, because all those nasty murders and muggings will make moneyed individuals think twice about living in these new posh burghs.
And these methods and stats seem to be in sync with sociopolitical and city planning interest from elected officials and those gadabouts in development and real estate for the (quasi-)imminent closing of Rikers Island.
Captain Vucinaj should be highly commended for his due diligence for this irresponsible white washing and fudging of the stats, and the distressing fact that Compstat, like all technology, is not, never was and never will be infallible and can be easily taken advantaged of by the minds and hands of conniving humans. And since the persecution and casting out of Detective Frank Serpico, Captain Vucinaj has unfortunately become just another victim of the perpetual Blue Wall Of Silence and the sad, maddening culture of unquestioned exclusivity and fraternity of the NYPD.