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Source:  The Washingston Post

The documentary “Crime + Punishment,” through a combination of sobering statistics and lively characters who bring those statistics to vivid life, tracks the progress of a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of 12 New York City police officers who allege that the department has continued to rely on a system of arrest quotas, despite the fact that the system was officially outlawed in 2010.

Sometimes known as “broken windows” policing, that policy — under which cops can be disciplined for failing to meet a minimum number of minor arrests and/or summonses — disproportionately affects blacks and other minorities, and often leads to frivolous detainments, according to the film, which has been directed with a kind of measured dismay by Stephen Maing.

Between 2007 and 2015, for example, more than 900,000 summonses were ultimately dismissed by the courts for lack of probable cause.

So why perpetuate such an apparently ineffective policy? As Maing argues, it’s money. In one recent year, more than $900 million of New York’s budget came from summonses, fines, and arrest-related fees.

Read the story at The Washington Post.

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