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Broken Windows, Broken Lives: The Danger of the NYPD’s Quota-Driven System

New York, NY (January 9, 2018) – The Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic partnered with the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) to research and produce a report that exposes the harms of the New York Police Department’s discriminatory and quota-driven broken windows policing practices to communities of color. “Broken Windows, Broken Lives: The Danger of the NYPD’s Quota-Driven System” documents how broken windows policing targets people of color through aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses in communities of color, as evidenced by significant and unjustified racial disparities in arrests.

Broken windows policy has widespread collateral consequences for low-income New Yorkers of color who are often entrapped in the criminal justice system through unnecessary arrests and subsequently face barriers to housing, employment, and education. The report also notes that the NYPD’s broken windows policy is incompatible with the ideals of NYC as a sanctuary city for immigrants. Legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants can face deportation for broken windows offenses, demonstrating that Mayor De Blasio’s identification of NYC as a sanctuary city is a meaningless categorization so long as broken windows policing persists.

The report was authored by Teri Meyer, Rachel Yood, Giselle Sedano, and Mehar Najeeb. It was supervised and edited by Professor Chi Adanna Mgbako and Bob Gangi.

Photo credit: Nick Allen/Creative Commons


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Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
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Jeanmarie Fenrich
Director of Special Projects - Africa, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice

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