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Articles by Aya Gruber

Crime Rates Rise and Fall. The Police Mostly Have Nothing to Do With It.

Policing expansions don’t do much to reduce crime. Instead, they manage people and communities to serve the interests of the powerful.

by Aya Gruber

Murder rates go down; people exalt policing. Murder rates go up; people exalt policing. The defund movement advocates reducing and reallocating police funds; police budgets remain high. The backlash comes; police budgets get higher. The public becomes aware that policing is violent, racially biased, and counterproductive in marginalized neighborhoods; police get more resources to “improve.”

Policing has an amazing ability to fail up. 

Last week, sexual assault victims told New York City Council’s Women and Gender Equity and Public Safety committees about the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Division’s dreadful handling of their cases. One woman said that despite providing investigators with a “comprehensive 13-page document detailing the incident,” the detective didn’t interview witnesses and her case was closed twice without her knowledge. Another woman told the council that a sergeant dismissed her sexual assault claim because she was sleeping when it happened, explaining “he has sex with his wife while she’s asleep and she’s not reporting him for rape.” Despite such testimony revealing the NYPD’s profound misogyny and a deeply rooted disinterest in solving sexual assault cases, the problem is routinely framed ...



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