Drug Arrests

Vice has a fascinating look at how drug arrests have plummeted in the decade from 2009 to 2019:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/dy8k97/how-new-york-quietly-ended-its-street-drug-war

Just this visualization (below), showing the massive drop in the number of NYC drug arrests in 2009 to 2019 (red line) and the number of drug convictions from 2009 to 2019 (white line) is stunning:

The question of why this is happening, and the article makes clear that this is not simply a drop in arrests/convictions of marijuana, it represents all drugs and all arrests. Ultimately, activists, and pressure on city hall, city council, and the NYPD itself has led to this ski slope drop in arrests/convictions.

The article notes that:

the decision to curtail the mass arresting and jailing of non-violent drug offenders was a deliberate move by the authorities in response to prolonged pressure from activists and outraged New Yorkers—in particular from the communities most impacted by them. 

It’s also important to note that NYC is somewhat of an outlier. The rest of the US continues to focus on small scale possession and sales with the exception of some cities, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and St. Louis. However…

… the latest FBI national data shows that despite increasing cannabis legalization, drug arrests have stubbornly refused to fall. More people are being arrested for drugs in the U.S. than for any other reason. In 2009 there were 1.6 million drug arrests, which dipped to 1.4 million in 2015 but went back up to 1.5 million in 2019. Many cities still have the stop-and-frisk tactics they adopted from New York more than a decade ago. 

The article notes that by the late 1990s, as the street violence started to fall, pedestrian stops resulting in body searches just kept on spiralling. Instead of guns and crack, officers were mainly picking people up for low-level cannabis offenses, criminalizing tens of thousands of non-violent New Yorkers. Between 2002 and 2012, according to a joint report by the DPA and Marijuana Arrest Research Project, the NYPD made 440,000 arrests for cannabis possession, which took up more than one million hours of police time.  

And, to no one’s surprise, young Black men are still being arrested for drug offenses at significantly higher rates than young white men.  

These disproportionate arrest figures are not just about police bias; they are about structural racism, a reflection of the consequence of embedded social exclusion. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers are twice as likely to live in poverty, or live in near-poverty, as white or Asian New Yorkers, and there’s a harsh reality to the drug business: People who are locked out of the mainstream economy are more likely than others to resort to the drug trade to get by. What’s more, people living in poorer neighborhoods are also more likely to be picked up by police, who target these areas.

New Cafe?

Is a new cafe/bakery going to open in the old Jahlookova site?

We’ve seen work going on here, and heard chatter about a new cafe on Madison…

Build The Block Tonight

Join the 25th Precinct’s Neighborhood Coordination Officer for our area, tonight at 6:30 PM. We’ll meet in Ginjan Cafe (Park/125).

% of Students Living in School Zone (By Race/Ethnicity)

From: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/wwl-plan.pdf

Drug Bust in East Harlem Linked To A Yacht ‘Dope Joint’

The New York Times reported 100 years ago that a man living at 215 East 118th Street, the building with the bold red front door, below:

was dispensing drugs without a medical license.

The article goes on to note that there was a yacht moored off Harlem on the East River that served as Dope Joint.

For more on pre-WW1 America and cocaine, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is a fascinating silent film that alludes to (and illustrates) drug use among America’s cultural elite:

Purchasing a Home And What The Bank Looks At…

Last month Chase Bank attended our HNBA meeting and Kevin Cruikshank went over a whole range of housing options and what a bank will look at if you apply for a mortgage on any one of these properties.

Classic Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a New Home

Harlem World has a good, quick article on 8 checkboxes anyone on the market for a home should consider

“Remember there are always other fish in the sea, or should we say homes in the neighborhood. The perfect place will come along eventually, it’s just going to take some time! Don’t give up, stay strong, and remember there will be a happy ending!”

Does Your Water Taste… Different?

Have you noticed that your water tastes different recently (say in the last week or so)? If you have, you’re not alone. We contacted the DEP to see what’s up using this form:

https://portal.311.nyc.gov/

Which is the web version of calling 311 for those of you who’d prefer to not talk to an operator.

We got a call back this morning that said that about a week ago, the DEP switched NYCs drinking water from Delaware and Catskills watersheds, to Croton water. This switch will be in effect for approximately a month.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwater/html/drinking/reservoir.shtml

The DEP has (of course) tested the water and it’s all good, it just comes from different sources, and thus has a slightly different taste.

You can, if you want to spin this in a positive way, think of this as the historic taste of NYC water. When the Croton Aqueduct system finally brought water to NYC in the 19th century, this is what New Yorkers would have (more or less) tasted in 1842.

Since then, Delaware and Catskills water has become more dominant in our taps, and that water/taste has usurped the original Croton water/taste.

Cheers.

Federal Drug and Weapons Arrests

This just came in from the commanding officer of Harlem’s 28th Precinct:

Subject: Narcotic operation arrests in the 28th precinct

Greetings Harlem residents and Stakeholders,
On 12/2/20 an on-going investigation culminated with (14) Federal indictments for drug dealing and associated violence and weapons possession. The area in and around W.122nd St – W.124th St. Lenox to Adam Clayton Powell Avenues will receive some relief from the drug trade that was operating in that area. The concerns that were conveyed to the NYPD were not made in vane and these indictments and associated arrests are a testament to the work and commitment invested in effectively addressing and resolving the issue.

Often targeting the “low hanging fruit” only provides for instant, temporary relief for a few days before these individuals return and the condition continues. This operation targeted subjects on all levels of this drug dealing hierarchy, and thus will have a definite impact on its operational abilities. The prosecution of these cases will rest with the Federal Court system.

The enforcement and maintenance of this location will continue so that the benefits of this operation are long lasting.

Thank you.

Deputy Inspector André M. Brown

New York City Police Department

Commanding Officer, 28th Precinct

PH.-212-678-1604

CBS News Coverage of Oversaturation and the Explosion of Illegal Drug Dealing in Our Community

CBS News had a great piece last night on how Harlem and East Harlem are oversaturated with substance abuse programs which has attracted unprecedented numbers of illegal drug sellers who prey on the men and women seeking treatment.

Harlem residents showed the CBS reporter evidence of illegal drug sales and use – all concentrated around unsupervised addiction programs that are supposed to help New Yorkers get off drugs.

The President of MMPIA, the co-founder of The Greater Harlem Coalition, and others all showed the reporter video evidence and presented him with the data from FOIL requests to backup their claim that New York is dumping programs in Harlem and East Harlem that they don’t locate in other whiter and wealthier communities.

When asked for a statement, the Mayor’s office gave a non statement, and failed to answer why Harlem and East Harlem have more than their fair share of substance abuse programs.

To see the full video:

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting Next Week

The next 25th Precinct Community Council meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday, November 18th at 6:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86235160120?pwd=dXNTVnNkbTJ1RGk5NktnSnNlTkpHQT09

Meeting ID: 862 3516 0120
Passcode: 252020

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