Chris Norwood: 24 Hours in the Clink
Bloomberg administration’s relentlessly enforced mass criminalization of minority neighborhoods — the shocking, obsessive and official brutalization of black women in New York City.Many “charges” that could easily be handled with a summons or desk ticket now impose an arrest that demands arraignment and “processing” through New York’s criminal “justice” system. The number of misdemeanor arrests rose from 353,649 in 2005 to 391,892 in 2010; for its minority citizens, New York City’s having the lowest crime rates in decades just meant that more pretexts would be found to arrest more of them.
Whatever the claimed reasons for arrests, the salient lesson of passage through New York City’s utterly filthy lock-ups and holding cells is that the constant seizure, routinely unprovoked, of black women on New York City streets is now absolute policy. There is no way to have some 400,000 “good,” justified arrests a year in any event and when that amount of police action is focused on selected neighborhoods there is no way to stay out of its path. The mother dashing next door to retrieve a teen who hasn’t come home on time, the housewife out buying a cake for dinner, even the young working woman asleep at home in her bed — all are subject to seizure any time, and they will mostly be black almost all the time.