And by fun, I mean things like public drinking or making a little noise or smoking a little pot, or whatever it is you do for fun. I don’t do any of those things for fun, of course. For me fun is lying on the floor with my dog and watching Game of Thrones while trying to massage the carpal tunnel syndrome out of my hands. You know, YOLO, or whatever.
However, for those who do partake in a little of the old disorderly conduct—and who doesn’t every once in a while?—there is now a handy map which shows where in NYC you are most likely to get a so-called “pink ticket.” A “pink ticket” is the kind of minor infraction—unreasonable noise, public drinking—that results in a ticket and summons but not an arrest. The New York World put out several different maps that show where in NYC you are most likely to get ticketed for things like public urination (Jackson Heights) or reckless driving (Upper East Side) or most bicycles on the sidewalks (Williamsburg, duh.)
However, this map is not just a handy guide meant to demonstrate where you should or should not break the law. This map also highlights the huge disparities in what segments of NYC’s population receive these types of tickets. And, you’ll never believe it, but frequently it’s minorities who are targeted! Shocking, I know. After thoroughly examining the ticket data, the New York World discovered that “The analysis shows the majority of summonses that end up before a judge are handed out in NYPD precincts where most of the population is non-white. Out of the 76 police precincts in New York City, 32 are at least 80 percent black, Hispanic and Asian. Those precincts account for more than three in five of all NYPD summonses.”
The New York World compared the data between two Brooklyn precincts and the extremely disparate results were startling. “The 67th precinct in Brooklyn, where Riddick received the summonses outside his apartment, is 99 percent black and Hispanic, and in 2011, police there issued more than 1,000 summonses for disorderly conduct. In contrast, the 78th Precinct in Park Slope, which is 67 percent white, just 16 summonses for disorderly conduct went to the criminal courts last year.”
Well, is anything going to be done about this? Actually, yes! A class-action lawsuit has been brought “which seeks to end what the plaintiffs charge is an illegal quota system that forces officers to churn out tickets by the thousands — and ultimately preys on black and Hispanic city residents as targets.” Of course, the likelihood that this case will be tied up in the court system for years to come is high, but at least it’s a start. In the meantime, check the map carefully before having too much fun out on the streets. You don’t want to get a ticket. And if you live in an area like Park Slope or Windsor Terrace, it kinda looks like you don’t have much to worry about! Enjoy.
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