In December, soon after NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot while posted in their patrol car near the Tompkins Houses in Bed-Stuy, NYPD officers started slowing down the rate of low-level crime arrests, in part due to safety concerns, but also because many officers were upset with de Blasio (see booing and back-turning).
Today, open data activist and Pratt Professor Ben Wellington took it a step further, publishing his analysis of a wide-range of violations issued across the five boroughs in November and December of last year. "The common wisdom was that most of the slowdown was targeting quality-of-life issues, and not safety oriented infractions," he wrote.
His findings show that, in reality, violations for dangerous behavior like speeding, backing unsafely, and failure to stop at a signal also took a hit from November to December. Here's the breakdown:
via I Quant NY
Wellington also analyzed per-precinct violations, to see how the percentage of violations decreased by borough. And here's where things get headline-y:
Staten Island had a drastic drop in summons compared to other areas. In fact, the precinct with the greatest drop was the 120th precinct, the very precinct where Eric Garner was killed as a result of a police chokehold. That precinct saw an astounding 81% reduction in moving violations in December when compared to November.
According to Wellington's analysis, Staten Island saw a 69% decrease in violations from November to December, followed by Queens, with -52%. The Bronx saw the smallest percentage decrease, at -41%.
In early January, as anecdotal evidence began to suggest that the slowdown was ending, we received multiple tips that the very same "quality of life" violations that had been rolled back for about a month, were back in full force. Days earlier, it was reported that NYPD leaders were preventing officers from taking vacation leave or lunch breaks until summons numbers increased.