Cyclists testify to SFPD bias as supervisors call for reforms

SFPD disdain for cyclists came to a head on Aug. 21 when Sgt. Richard Ernst confronted a memorial for a dead cyclist.
KRON 4 News

The cyclists of San Francisco were angry. Sup. Jane Kim was skeptical. Sup. Scott Wiener was unconvinced. Sup. Eric Mar said bikers were "pissed." Deputy Chief of Police Mike Biel said he was too, but his anger could have just as easily been attributed to the 35 minutes he spent at the stand, acting as a whipping post for frustrations with the SFPD, as it could be to the department's mistreatment of San Francisco cyclists.

Either way, the cyclists ruled the day.

During Thursday's (10/3) Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, Sup. David Campos called for a joint Board of Supervisors-Police Commission hearing regarding SFPD investigation protocol for bike accidents, but no immediate timetable has been set for the matter.

Without Police Chief Greg Suhr in attendance — his chiefly presence was required "reading to the children," as Biel noted multiple times — Biel was left to stand solo in front of both frustrated supervisors and an incensed public.

At one point, following a particularly ambiguous response from Biel regarding accident checklists, Wiener asked bluntly, "Do you think there's enough traffic cops in San Francisco? I don't see bike cops, personally."

To which Biel responded, "I'd like to see more."

In fact, there was little defense on the part of Biel — and by extension, the Police Department — when it came to the seemingly lax (at best, malicious at worst) approach the SFPD has taken toward bike accidents in the past four years.

He even echoed Mar's "pissed" comment, saying, "I was pissed too," in regards to both what Mar called the "supposed investigation" of the Aug. 14 death of 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac and the flippant attitude some in the department had taken towards cyclists in the days and weeks following. But he also stated that he didn't think there was a negative bias in the SFPD.

The board's decision to continue the conversation was bolstered by nearly 40 often-horrific testimonials regarding police treatment of cyclists in the City. And nearly all the stories could make the average person cring with the frustration, anger, and outrage they had the power to illicit.

Leah Shahum, executive director for the San Francisco Bike Coalition, told a story of a woman who was unable to make it to the hearing due to the injuries sustained in an April accident.

The woman, whom she didn't identify, was biking in Golden Gate Park with her husband and son — the son was on the back of the woman's bike — when she was hit from behind by a car, while she was stopped in the designated bike lane.

Witnesses stated that the driver was at fault. Her husband said the same thing. The police insisted on questioning the two of them more about their helmet usage — "which they were wearing," according to Shahum — than they did about the actual events of the accident. Incidentally, adults aren’t required to wear bike helmets in California.

Robin Levitt, a Hayes Valley resident, talked about the strange "culture of blaming the victim" that has seemingly been propagated in the City, and how "in Germany, it's immediately assumed that the vehicle is at fault, so drivers are safer."

(And for what it's worth, when Biel denied that same sentiment's existence earlier with the committee, supervisors didn't seem too convinced either. Mar even asked Biel, "Is there a bias or blame-the-victim attitude in the San Francisco Police Department?" which Biel promptly denied.)

And then there was Edward Hasbrouk, a former professional cyclist who has "never owned a motor vehicle." He was biking home from work one evening when his progress in a Valencia Street bike line was impeded by a double-parked car in line for a valet service.

(Wiener has called for increased police enforcement of laws against double-parking. During today’s (Tues/8) Board of Supervisors meeting, he asked Mayor Ed Lee to support the effort, noting that SFPD rarely issues tickets to double-parkers despite “its impacts on traffic, Muni, cycling, and pedestrians.”)

Hasbrouk said that after a somewhat heated back-and-forth between the valet drivers, he flagged down a police officer to help him resolve the dispute, but the officer instead made Hasbrouk "carry [his] bicycle to the sidewalk." Hasbrouk then said, "What would I have to do to get you to ticket these cars double-parked?" That comment got him arrested for felony vandalism, according to Hasbrouk. Expunging the arrest cost him nearly $3,000 and a night in jail.

But given the SFPD's lack of pragmatism when it comes to investigating these accidents (for instance, Biel said SFPD doesn't require a continuing education for officers assigned to traffic enforcement, despite what Shahum says are complex issues surrounding a rapidly growing population of cyclists), and it's boorish behavior following the Le Moullac tragedy in August, it's high time for change.

And a joint hearing could be just the place to start.


Exactly what do you expect when the hearing is billed as a whining session for cyclist?

Gee, do you think that every cyclists with a chip on his shoulder and an inherent bias might show up and take the opportunity to bleat and moan? You think?

Talk to me when cyclists start getting $500 tickets.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

I love how all these cyclists come out and talk about how they don't have no rights and the cops are bias...Please you people rarely follow the road laws and don't hardly ever get tickets I call Bullshit on all you reckless ass cyclist. When I see you guys crash after running stop sign I laugh my fuckin ass off.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 10:15 am

The cops are bias and in both ways. Against the cyclists & for not enforcing the laws. Cops consider bikes a minor nuisance not worth their time. They feel it's demeaning to even deal with situations so they don't. Cops have got to start strictly enforcing all laws because bicycle problems are just part of it. They don't like enforcing j walkers either. So it's the cop culture that has to be changed, reminding them that it is us they work for to keep us in line. I've seen cops give a bicyclist a ticket for using a cellphone while biking so they notice. I've also seen them give a bus driver a ticket for blocking a bike lane. If you ask nicely they go to work. They aren't stupid maybe just a little lazy. So it has to come from captains going down to the street cop if anything is going to change.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

Tomato, To-mah-to

Posted by Jym on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

witnessed bad behavior by cyclists, do you think that nobody would show up? If not, would non-cyclists then "rule the day"?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

more liable for an accident as it shows a pattern of negligence and indifference. Same goes for cyclists who don;t have lights, don't wear reflective clothing, ride inconsiderately, do not stop at stop signs and light, ride on the sidewalk and go the wrong way down one-way streets.

These are all signs of the "bad behavior" that one Supervisor recently noted was a major impediment to cyclist being granted more support.

First you shoe respect, and only then are you entitled to ask for respect.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

Adults aren't required to wear bike helmets, so you can bag your blame-the-victim bullshit.

Posted by Steven T. Jones on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:22 am

mean that a jury would not take into account not wearing one as a sign of recklessness and irresponsibility.

In particular, a jury award would be elss if some of the injuries or a death might have been prevented by taking such a simple and sensible precaution.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:34 am

Is a driver not wearing a seat belt held more liable for an accident?

Didn't think so.

Posted by John Murphy on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 9:22 am

seen as imprudent, or a risk taker. I suspect if we plotted accidents against whether the driver worse a seat belt or took other basic precautions, the correlation would be non-zero.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 10:00 am

@Guest - The SFPD is there to enforce the law and investigate material facts, not make up weaseling lawyerly conjecture.

One time I was riding with a friend on Stanyan. She was in front, without a helmet, I was in back, wearing a helmet. An SUV pulled up alongside us, stopped suddenly at the Kezar Pub, and the passenger door flew open and hit my friend. The passenger jumped back in and the SUV sped off, hit and run.

This ended up in a hearing, and their lawyer made two arguments:

o Since my friend wasn't wearing a helmet, she probably didn't care about safety anyhow (pretty much the same bogus argument you're making), so the SUV-driver had to flee the scene.

o Since I was wearing a helmet that made me "menacing in appearance," so the SUV-driver had to flee the scene.

The only pattern of negligence and indifference here is towards truth and justice. Thankfully, no thinking person was swayed by this idiocy and my friend was awarded damages.

Posted by Jym on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

remains that a cyclist who does not wear a helmet regards their own life very cheaply, and therefore can reasonably be construed as taking that view about the lives of others too.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

@Guest - Not made-up, entirely true, with witnesses and records and everything. I stand by my words. Maybe you should try posting non-anonymously and see what it's like to stand by your words.

Posted by Jym on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

really are?

How about your full name and a reference to the case so we can look it up for ourselves?

Otherwise I am calling hoax on this one.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

forget it Jym, none of these turds has the balls or ovaries or anything god gave a cabbage

Posted by pete moss on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

jym "whatever" somehow uniquely identifies him, then all this crowing about anonymity here isn't worth a flying crap.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

Cyclist are just complaining. It is rare that motorist run red lights and do wild and crazy things. Cyclist constantly break laws. I support ticketing drivers that break them but I never see those bikers gt ticketed. They keep complaining and making us drivers tht are handicap like myself have a more difficult life. Slamming on the breaks hurt my back because a biker decided to suddenly stop. Bikes start slow and top fast. Car start fast and takes awhile to stop.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

First off by a wide margin people with disabled license plates are among the worst drivers from my experience. I can only think as a disabled person you are mad at the world and take out your frustrations with a very powerful car. Please grow up. You are disabled live with it.
A vast majority of bike riders are prudent. There are plenty that aren't. Cops have got to enforce the laws. It is quite common for cars to run red lights. In San Francisco. Red light violators cause approximately 25 percent of all injury collisions at signalized intersections. In the years from 1994 to 1999 San Francisco motorists running red lights have averaged 786 injury crashes with 1,324 annual injuries according to the Department of California Highway Patrol, State Wide Integrated Records System. Based on this average, red light violators cost the local San Francisco economy approximately $40 million each year not including property damage costs. As far as bicycles stopping fast that is not true. They go slow so weather they are moving or stopped it's only a 15 to 20 mph difference at most. If a bike braked in front of you you must still stop. If it was a problem you must have been following to closely or were going too fast. Driving a car is still a privilege even for the handicapped who depend on it. I can tell you for sure if I'm going down a hill at 25mph in a car or bike the car can easily stop quicker.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

Ok, so cops don't particularly like bicyclists. Greg Suhr showed his attitude when he decided that it's more important to read "My Pet Goat" or something, rather than attend this hearing. They're not going after enough drivers when cyclists get hurt, and the Bike Coalition wants drivers to be punished when they hurt cyclists. I get it.

And yet, I think maybe it would have been better to leave things alone on this one rather than take the confrontational approach that the Bike Coalition did. And I say this as a cyclist myself. Why? Because for all their faults (and there are many), it's also a dirty secret that folks like marcos and Steve and Leah Shahum don't want to acknowledge, that cops let bicyclists get away with *more*, not *less* in terms of flouting the traffic laws. I know. I see how other people bike, and I bike that way myself. If anyone wants to say that bikers shouldn't have to stop at every stop sign, I agree 110%. But... that's not the law right now, and good luck changing it. Fortunately, up till now, cops have sort of turned a blind eye to it. If you do it blatantly in front of them like I did when I (very safely) went through a red light, they're more likely to yell at you than give you a ticket. If I had gone through that same red light just as safely in my car, I would have gotten a $500 ticket.

The cops know this too, and the flip side is that if I get hurt or killed, the cops probably won't take it as seriously as they should, because they're probably thinking that the biker was doing something wrong.

And you know what? That's kind of a tradeoff I'm willing to make. Punishing a driver who hurts me won't make my injuries heal any faster. When you're on a bike, you just know you have to be careful to reduce your odds of getting hurt in the first place. You just assume that drivers will do stupid things. But getting $500 tickets... that *would* make my life a whole lot worse.

But now... now I fear that I won't have that tradeoff any more. Yes, cops work for us. They *should* follow orders from their civilian bosses, and if we tell them we want better investigations of bike crashes, then they should suck it up and do it and not give any lip. But that's not the way it works in real life. In real life, it works the opposite way. Because they have guns and they're dicks. They get high on their authority, and if civilians start telling them how to do their jobs (which we're perfectly entitled to do), they're not going to take it well. They'll say, "Fine! You want us to pay more attention to bike crashes? All right then. We'll just enforce the law to the letter and give bikers tickets for every little infraction we see. We'll see how you like it then." And if they start doing that, there's nothing you can do, because the law is totally on their side.

And the other article Steve wrote about this, confirms exactly what I feared would happen when the SFBC decided to upset the (very rotten) apple cart.

So today I rode my bike across town. But I did so with more fear and apprehension than I usually do. Knowing that the cops are out there with vengeance on their minds, possibly hiding around the corner on the Wiggle, just waiting for me to make that right turn without coming to a complete stop at the stop sign... well, let's just say that in all my years of riding in this city, I've never felt so unsafe. And it's not a good feeling.

As a practical matter, I can now stop at every stop sign, which is idiotic and impractical on a bike. Or I can ride in constant fear. Or, I can ride less and drive my car more. Unfortunately, that's what I'll probably be doing. Thanks, SFBC.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

the cops have neither the staff numbers nor the time to do the mass ticketing of cyclists that you are fearing

they may try to make a show of it for a couple of weeks, but there's no way they could follow that through long term

Posted by racer x on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

Make the tickets expensive enough, and the program would be self-financing.

$500 a ticket sounds about right - $1000 if you are wearing Lycra.

Posted by Reality barrier! on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

FYI: Most cyclist I see and ride with don't wear Lycra. They wear what I wear: cargo shorts or jeans or office slacks. You just displayed your ignorance. You wouldn't know reality if you saw it, "Reality barrier."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 2:06 am

the worst ones, that is true.

The level of self-importance among them is stunning.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:45 am

Like those Oracle guys on their multi grand carbon fibre bikes, racing up down the sidewalk on the way from pier 90 to pier 27 when that boat race thingie was here?

Posted by pete moss on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 4:53 am

Tim and Bruce didn't give a rat's ass about cycling.

Part of that, I suspect, is that SFBG is more about supporting the downtrodden and oppressed and poor, and nothing spells privilege, affluence and entitlement more than lycra-wearing, lily-white tech workers riding a $2,000 bike.

In theory, the poor who cannot afford a car are all using bikes. In practice, they take Muni or run cheap old cars, and it's the affluent white middle-class who get all sanctimonious and worthy about riding a bike.

The bike lobby is a self-absorbed coterie of white privilege.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:00 am

...and see who actually rides bikes in this town: a broad cross-section of society.

Posted by Steven T. Jones on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:27 am

the time to watch cyclists on Market Street one morning (not all morning, but for a while) and noted their gender, race and age.

They were at least 90% white and most of the rest were Asian. I saw only one black. And, guess what, he was riding on the sidewalk.

Careful where you go with that picture of cycling as a multi-cultural thing because it is essentially affluent whites.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:37 am

You seriously believe that people who don't own cars are wealthier and more privileged that people who do? You are really lost in space.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 7:27 am

Many do but choose to bike either because they think it is quicker or because they want to look "cool".

But yes, many cyclists I see on Market St. are clearly going to well-paid jobs. The poor folks who can only afford to live on the edge of town may be more dependent on cars than the affluent guy who lives in Nob Hill.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 7:43 am

Maybe. Steven's other article seems to indicate that that's exactly what they're doing. You're saying it'll all blow over in a couple weeks? OK... we'll see. You go first. Let me know when it's safe again.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

so your scenario is simply not going to happen

Posted by racer x on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

You don't have to chase the vehicle down. You just pull the bike over and give him a ticket.

What I'd really like to see is pedestrians having the right to execute a citizen's arrest on cyclists. And detain them until SFPD arrive.

Cyclists really cannot complain. almost everyone has a story about a bike nearly running into them at an intersection or light where the cyclists wasn't looking or was ignoring the rules, sign or signal.

Now it's payback time,, and the cops have my support.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:40 am

did you throw some massive shit fits until you got your way?

Posted by matlock on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

and wrote semi-coherent comments on this website.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 6:08 am

I also do not understand why the SFBC are being so whiney about this. In fact, I'm amazed that the Supes agreed to have a hearing about this at all. When was the last time there was a BofS hearing about treating drivers badly? And drivers probably get 100 citations for every one a cyclist gets.

We have pandered to this precious bike lobby for too long. They are basically a bunch of almost exclusively white, privileged, affluent tech and finance workers who get what theyw ant by endlessly crowing. Enough already.

If you want to ride a bike, then ride it, knowing the risks, and accepting the sometimes nasty consequences. Quit asking for special treatment. And obey the damn traffic rules.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:43 am

and it is attitudes like "fuck it, I'm going to blow through this red light" that gives the rest of us bikers out there a bad name.

the cops aren't going to give tickets for every infraction they see, especially as the numbers of bikers continues to increase, but when you do something blatant I hope they do give you a ticket. you should be accountable for your actions in the streets just the same as a driver should be

and, holding drivers accountable when they fuck up and injure a biker won't heal that biker up any faster (though having that driver be convicted would certainly help that biker win a civil suit if it came to that) but it sure as hell sends a message to drivers that they need to be more careful and aware of bikers on the streets, and that benefits everybody.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 8:12 am

Out in the Richmond and Sunset, to give you one example, there's a stop sign at every corner. And there's very little car traffic. If I had to come to a complete stop at every corner, I just wouldn't bother riding my bike.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 9:01 am

inconvenient for your personal goals?

Is that it?

What other laws do you break for the same reason? If you're broke and hungry, and see a rich man, is it OK to rob him?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 6:52 am

The Board of Supervisors needs to pass an ordinance that prioritizes enforcement of the CVC on cyclists where there is no actual harm or foul, where nobody who has the right of way is forced to cede it by a cyclists, at a level below that of cannabis enforcement. The SFPD should be required to have an aggrieved independent witness to corroborate the charges because the cops perjure themselves. The courts should be directed that it is the public policy of the City and County to apply the law in this regard.

The SFPD should issue monthly reports to the Board of all bicycle infraction citations to ensure that they are carrying out the policy of the City and County of San Francisco.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:07 am

where there is harm and foul, and where there is not.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 7:19 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... wow such CONCERN and STILL NO RESULTS? How much do you want to BET that there WILL be NO RESULTS?

Why am I so non-hopeful? Because the city has denied me services, broken the law, being non-accountable, spun reality and STILL to this day left no room for CORRECTION. Just look at these videos on youtube over the recent police investigation scandal inquired by KIM and MAR and note what I got trying to give evidence. and and and and

Now watch the videos to see what I got from the Sheriff, SFPD, OCC, MOD, HRC, Police Commission, Chief of Police, etc. Any questions ...

Yes, full of SOUND and FURY producing NO RESULT ... I mean I can not give EVIDENCE, hold DPH accountable since the Sheriff and SFPD do NOT arrest for MEDICAL LAW violation ...nor escalate to the Chief, etc. keep DRINKING the KOOLAID.

Watch the other videos and LEARN the GAME ... they DO NOT CARE. Enjoy ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 8:24 am

For all the people harping on bicycles running red lights- should we also try to ticket the THOUSANDS of pedestrians that cross streets against a red? I would argue that a cyclist who slows down enough to determine that there is no cross traffic at a red and then crosses is really no different than a pedestrian to approaches the same intersection, checks to see that they won't be run over, and then proceeds to cross against the do not walk light.

For the extremely small percentage of reckless cyclists that just blow through reds without slowing down or even looking, well they should absolutely get ticketed. These types of cyclists are few and far between however- there are so many more "reckless" pedestrians I see every day that jaywalk and force cars to slow down or stop to accommodate their selfish needs to cross a street at their own leisure regardless of the law or who they are inconveniencing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 8:48 am

Following the letter of the law in every case would make it not worth it to get on a bike in this city. You might as well wait for the bus.

So up till now the cops had a lackadaisical attitude toward both investigation of bike accidents, and to enforcement of traffic laws against bikes. Some think that they can change one, without affecting the other. We'll see, but color me skeptical. I think that the SFBC picked a fight they can't win. Maybe in the long term, but in the short term, I think bicyclists will suffer more.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 9:09 am

that the law should not apply 100% to cyclists?

The fact that it might slow you down isn't the problem - it's the point.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 10:06 am

Cyclists should have to follow any laws that are in place. However, the notion that all vehicular laws should just blanket cover all vehicles on the roads, including bicycles, is a very antiquated one.

If cyclists are forced to follow all the rules of the road (which I agree they should be), then the laws need to be updated. For example, forcing bicycles to come to a COMPLETE stop and putting their feet on the ground at all stop signs when there is zero traffic at the intersection is just plain ludicrous. Anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle in town knows how silly this is, as it's extremely non-pragmatic and even arguably MORE dangerous to do so (bike will spend considerably more time inside the intersection starting from a standstill).

A bicycle stopping at a red light and then proceeding when it's clear is no more dangerous to society than a pedestrian stopping at a red light and then proceeding when it's clear. If the argument is to ticket all violaters who do this, then pedestrians cannot be overlooked in this equation- they would need to be held to the same standards.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

signs. Why come to a complete rest when proceeding at 3 mph thru the sign allows plenty of time to see if the roads are clear?

Technically cars should go into neutral and apply the handbrake when coming to a stop but nobody does that either.

The problem when you start "sliding" on the rules is that there is no saying where the slippery slope will lead you.

So EITHER all traffic obeys all rules OR we all use our judgment including cars. Which do you prefer?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

The very fact that for you, the question was meant to be rhetorical, the answer obvious, shows the difference between the mindset of a rigid authoritarian and one that allows for more nuance and flexibility. For me, the answer is equally obvious, except it is the opposite of yours.

Absolutely, cars should be allowed to do California rolls in cases where it's prudent. Even run red lights after looking. There's no sane reason why you should sit at a stoplight on a deserted street at 3 AM. And speed limits should be guidelines, depending on road conditions. Actually, in that last case, they technically are. You can legally go faster than the posted speed limit if conditions warrant. At least the way the law is written. In practice, cops ignore the law... but that's a different matter.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

breaking. It's OK to take the most innocent of transgressions and claim that it's OK to use your discretion and occasionally break that rule.

But where does the line get drawn and who gets to decide that? You? Me?

The problem, particularly in a country like the US where people are from all different races, cultures and places, is that there is very little consensus on right and wrong. That is why we have so much law and litigation in the US - we need that to compel behavior because otherwise nobody will agree.

So if you're going to say it's OK for a bike to, say, ride the sidewalk, then it also has to be OK for me to walk in the bike lane (and I do sometimes, when the sidewalk is congested).

And if it's OK to roll through a red light, then it's OK for everyone, and pretty soon you might as well get rid of red lights, or at least not even try and enforce them.

That's why I support a "zero tolerance" broken window approach to the rules, even when it affects me adversely as well.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 6:51 am

I guess it's just a difference between our mentalities. Beyond that, there are also facts. Zero tolerance and broken windows has been shown to be a failure in terms of reducing more serious crime. But again, for authoritarian types, zero tolerance isn't about reducing more serious crime. I think they believe in zero tolerance for the sake of zero tolerance. Having a simple moral code like "the law is the law" gives these folks a certain comfort.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 8:20 am

cesspit of crime and then a "broken windows" policy of LE was introduced, where even minor crimes like littering and loitering were targeted.

You can take your children there now and not worry a tad.

Of course, you probably preferred the old Times Square but that's not the point here - crime is now a fraction of what it used to be directly because of zero tolerance policies.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 8:33 am

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