66 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. Earlier this year, Police Commissioner James O'Neill admitted that a "theft of services" arrest (the legal code name for turnstile jumping) could in fact lead to an immigrant getting deported. And earlier this month, a series of bills the City Council passed last year encouraging the use of civil summonses instead of arrests for quality of life crimes like public drinking, public urination and littering went into effect.

      Excusing criminality in a matter of deference to foreign nationals who are unlawfully present in the United States is perverse. The immigration laws have many provisions by design to ensure that foreign nationals who violate the laws of the United States in certain ways are not allowed to remain and harm the safety of Americans.

    2. The change in how turnstile jumping will be prosecuted comes at a time when the city's reliance on Broken Windows policing is under fire because of its impact on New York's low-income non-white community

      Crime has a significant effect on the entire New York City community, but especially on the low income community. Many NYC officials prioritize minimizing the effect of the law on criminals over minimizing the effect of criminals on law-abiding citizens.

    3. Vance announced in a press release this morning that his office "will no longer prosecute the overwhelming majority of individuals charged with Theft of Services for subway-related offenses, unless there is a demonstrated public safety reason to do so," starting in September of this year.

      DA Vance ignoring the possibility that people who engage in theft of public services are more likely to present a risk to public safety than those who do not.

    1. Currently, most theft-of-service cases are handled with summonses and rarely reach prosecution, according to a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg does not prosecute fare beaters, according to a spokesman for his office.

      DA Alvin Bragg continuing Cyrus Vance's policy of declining to enforce theft of public services law.

    2. “We have seen over a 55% increase of assaults on officers this year,” NYPD Transit Chief Jason Wilcox said. “The majority of these assaults began as they were engaging persons who have committed fare evasion or other quality of life violations on the trains and stations.”

      Violent incidents wherein officers are attacked trying to issue summonses to criminals engaging in turnstile jumping.

    3. NYPD enforcement is also up. Police have issued 45, 667 summonses for fare beating this year, up from 36,669 in 2021, according to an NYPD spokesperson. Other transit crimes that have been a growing issue are grand larceny, robbery, and felony assault, according to Comp Stat figures.

      Increase in summonses for fare evasion in 2022 over 2021.

    4. In just the first three months of this year, the MTA has lost $62 million in revenue from turnstile jumpers and an additional $57 million from passengers taking free bus rides, according to MTA data.

      MTA's 2022 statistics on money lost to fare evasion.

    1. A 17-year-old wanted for murder was arrested when authorities caught him trying to get through a Brooklyn subway turnstile without paying, sources said.

      This story highlights that policing turnstile jumping is not only an issue of fairness for law-abiding fare-paying MTA customers, but also a matter for the security of all New Yorkers. People inclined toward violence and other crimes are not likely to pay fares for Subways and buses. Policing the turnstile offers an opportunity to stop them for fare-beating and make it more difficult to victimize people on trains and across New York City.

    1. Fortunately, there are other ways to protect the transit system’s revenue stream and promote orderly conduct without jeopardizing the personal liberty of riders. In Washington, D.C., the city council voted to decriminalize fare evasion, overriding the mayor’s veto.

      Unclear why Washington DC, which is one of the highest crime jurisdictions in the United States and has serious financial issues, is a model to follow.

    2. The crackdown should concern New Yorkers, because fare evasion enforcement is highly disproportionate. According to the most recent NYPD data, 92% of the 481 fare evasion arrests in the fourth quarter of 2019 were of non-white riders; 60% were black. Data like that led New York Attorney General Letitia James to announce a probe of racial disparities in fare evasion stops.

      There's an unexplained assumption that people NYC-wide crime statistics should mirror population statistics. This is not the case with many crimes where enforcement disparities would have no effect, homicides being one example.

    1. Finally, non-citizens can face potential immigration-related issues as a result of this otherwise-minor charge. Though immigration questions relating to criminal arrests and convictions are very complicated, the Immigration and Naturalization Act does plainly make a non-citizen deportable for a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Moreover, theft of services (Penal Law 165.15) is probably a crime involving moral turpitude, meaning that a non-citizen could conceivably be deported or denied entry back into the United States for a conviction of this charge.

      Immigration consequences of fare beating. With that being said, there is no precedent decision on whether theft of public services under NYPL 165.15(3) is a categorical CIMT, and both Second and Third Circuit left the matter unresolved in non-precedent decisions. BIA has found in at least two non-precedent decisions that it is a CIMT. Does not appear to come up often in the context of removal charges.

    2. The charge for jumping a subway turnstile is Theft of Services, a violation of New York Penal Section 165.15, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

      Theft of public services statute - amenable to fare beating.

    1. Ind ividua ls a re not pe rmitted to ente r the Ne w Y ork Cit y Tr an sit subw ay sys tem or bu se s without pa yment ofthe fa re. Th is in clude s instan ce s when you r Metr o Ca rd is not fun ct ion ing pr ope rly

      Providing for $100 fine for fare evasion.

    2. No person shall use or enter upon the facilities or conv eyances of the authorit y, for any purpose,without the pa yment of the fare or tender of other v a lid fa r e m ed ia u s ed i n a cc or danc e wi th an yc ond i t i ons and r e s tric t i on s im po s ed by the authori t y . Fo r the purpos es of th is sect ion, it sha ll bec onsi de r ed an ent r anc e i nto a fa cili t y o r c onv ey an c e w henev e r a pe rs on pass es th r ough a po int atwh ic h a fa re is requ ired o r co lle cted. No pe rson s ha ll, fo r pu rpo se s of ga in ing entry into a facility,p r oc eed o v e r o r unde r an y tu r n s t il e or othe rwis e p r o c eed i n any othe r unauthoriz ed m anner th r oughan e xi t gate or th r ough o r pa s t any othe r po i nt at w h ic h a fa r e is r equir ed or c o lle c ted and i t s ha ll beno defens e to a c ha r ge of a vi o l at i on of th is s ubd ivisi on that fa re med ia, a fa re med ia sa les device o ra fa r e c o ll e c t ion devic e w as m a l func t i on ing

      NYC guidance on fare evasion.

    1. With intent to obtain railroad, subway, bus, air, taxi or any other public transportation service without payment of the lawful charge therefor, or to avoid payment of the lawful charge for such transportation service which has been rendered to him, he obtains or attempts to obtain such service or avoids or attempts to avoid payment therefor by force, intimidation, stealth, deception or mechanical tampering, or by unjustifiable failure or refusal to pay

      Theft of services statute which covers fare-beating.

    1. Meantime, Lieber says that fare-beaters cost Gotham about $180 million in the last six months. The MTA suspects that in the fourth quarter of 2021, about 7.9 percent of riders did not pay, during which time bus nonpayment was anticipated to be more than 26 percent. Both Lieber and Mayor Eric Adams have observed that a small number of evaders are stopped and even fewer are issued summonses—in no small part because the Manhattan and Brooklyn district attorneys refuse to prosecute these cases.

      Cost of fare evasion. Note that by 2022, Brooklyn DA had joined Manhattan in refusing to prosecute fare beating.

    1. By the end of the day, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo weighed in with a statement urging “all parties” to find “balance” — but declining to take a side.

      Former Governor Cuomo, who went on to sign the bail reform law, refusing to support Mayor de Blasio on the importance of policing fare evasion in 2018.

    2. “The New York miracle, if you will, began with fare evasion — fare evasion enforcement on the subway 25 years ago,” Mr. Bratton said in February 2014, when he was newly appointed by Mr. de Blasio as commissioner. “We’re still at it.”

      Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on the significance of policing fare evasion to New York City's revival in the 1990s.

    3. Mr. de Blasio, a champion of improving the lot of poor New Yorkers, has adamantly defended the police practice of using evasion of the $2.75 fare as a means for officers to check the names and warrants of those they stop, most of whom are black or Hispanic.He has been unpersuaded by critics on the left who believe the approach — pioneered in the 1990s by William J. Bratton, Mr. de Blasio’s first police commissioner — is a form of biased and overly aggressive policing akin to stop-and-frisk. And he does not think most are motivated by poverty.“A lot of people who commit fare evasion and the police encounter have a lot of money on them,” Mr. de Blasio said during a news conference at Police Headquarters on Tuesday. “I think I have a lot of validity on the question of income inequality and how we fight it, but you never heard me say, you know, open up the gates of the subway for free. That’s chaos.”

      Former Mayor de Blasio making a terrific point about the importance of policing fare evasion, an issue he understood despite not always acting in accordance with his correct statements.

    1. nd another population that both our mayor and governor have spoken passionately about protecting would stand to suffer greatly as a result of a new enforcement policy: immigrants. Immigrants who have even minor contact with the criminal justice system face far more drastic consequences. Under the Trump administration, an arrest for jumping a turnstile or even a criminal summons could result in deportation, family separation, and destroyed lives.

      If a foreign national who is in the United States without legal authorization does something stupid and is required to appear in Court as a result, he or she may be more likely to come to the attention of immigration authorities. As an initial matter, the solution is to not violate the immigration laws of the United States. However, if one chooses to violate the immigration laws, he or she ought to avoid doing things like jumping turnstyles. Many Americans likely avoid taking certain liberties that they do in the United States when they are traveling in foreign countries.

    2. Poor black and brown people should not take the fall for the sins of politicians who have allowed the MTA to become a laughing stock. Arrests won’t solve the MTA’s problems, but they could devastate New Yorkers.

      It is unclear to me how the MTA's own incompetence exonerates people from stealing public services. I am confident that fare beaters, black, brown, white, or anything else, are stealing public services because the MTA is a train-wreck. Both issues contribute to the current mess in the NYC Subway system, but they are not otherwise related.

    3. Years of grappling with the ripple effects of Broken Windows policing have shown us that arrests are not the way to deal with minor offenses, like riding your bike on the sidewalk, having an open container of alcohol, smoking marijuana, or jumping a turnstile. An uptick in enforcement would reverse the recent positive trend of fewer fare evasion arrests. Through October, police have made 5,236 arrests for fare evasion. That is still 5,236 arrests too many, but it represents a 66 percent drop compared to the same period last year.

      Not prosecuting crimes is a positive trend, apparently. This disregards how NYC transformed itself in the 90s and 00s under the leadership of Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, and how that success was maintained at least when former Mayor de Blasio wisely chose William Bratton as NYPD Commissioner.

    4. An analysis of New York Division of Criminal Justice Services data from the last four years by the Marshall Project shows that nearly 90 percent of people arrested for turnstile jumping were black or Hispanic. Given the NYPD’s history of targeting people of color for arrests and summonses for low-level offenses, let’s call the new proposal to crack down on fare evasion what it is: a plan that would funnel thousands more black and brown New Yorkers into the criminal justice system, and to scapegoat people of color for the decades of underfunding and mismanagement that are responsible for the MTA’s current problems.

      This must be it. There are no alternative explanations such as the possibility that certain crimes may be disproportionately committed by people who share one characteristic and not another (see NYC homicide statistics). Moreover, it is unclear to me why the writer is lumping "black and Hispanic" people together since, if this is purely a race-based claim against the NYPD, there may be different statistics for these two very broad groups.

    5. Police resources must be spent on working with the community and identifying the types of behaviors that cause the most harm—not physically harmless fare evasion.

      This disregards the fact that there is a high correlation between "behaviors that cause the most harm" and "fare evasion," lest the author would suggest that of people who commit crimes on transit, a meaningful number of them pay the fare.

    6. The MTA claims that fare evasion is robbing the agency of $215 million a year, though how it actually reached that number is lacking in clarity and validity. The transit authority appears determined to pin the blame for its precarious financial position on poor black and Latinx people who, history tells us, will suffer the most from any increase in fare evasion arrests.

      This bizarre passage appears to argue that if more people of certain races or ethnicities are arrested or cited for a specific crime, the crime itself and the enforcement thereof is presumptively illegitimate - without any consideration of whether the arrests and citations may correlate to the number of actual offenders.

    7. The MTA and NYPD pledged last week to crack down on fare evaders. The MTA’s plan is to send agency executives and NYPD officers to subway stations and bus stops across the city. The executives will stand at subway turnstiles and on busses to create body blockades to bar anyone trying to get in without a Metrocard. More armed police officers at subway stations make an already harrowing commute for New Yorkers even more intolerable, and for many, will serve to add unnecessary fear into the way they start or end their day.

      I will venture that most New Yorkers are more concerned about lawless behavior on subways than by the presence of uniformed police.

    8. The authority’s latest excuse is that poor people who jump turnstiles are responsible for the MTA’s financial woes. The MTA and the politicians and bureaucrats who control it should take responsibility for their own actions -- and inactions -- that have led to the city’s mass transit decline. Instead, the MTA seems to want to pit New Yorkers against each other.

      The MTA, for all of its faults, is not "pit[ting] New Yorkers against each other by highlighting fare evasion." Those who are stealing public services are pitting themselves against law-abiding New Yorkers through "their own actions."

    1. “Fare beating places a burden on law-abiding transit customers who do pay the fare, including low-income citizens who despite financial challenges, still respect the rule of law and their obligation to pay their way,” wrote Lhota. “Further, it seems reasonable to expect your policy will increase fare beating, not only in your jurisdiction, but elsewhere, emboldening fare beaters in subways and buses across the city.”

      Former MTA Chairman Lhota was correct to note that fare-beaters burden low-income New Yorkers by stealing public services and contributing to subsequent fare increases. However, the unfairness applies regardless of income and regardless of whether one uses the MTA at all.

    1. In the context of public schools, it would make sense for the City to consider merging student IDs with travel Metro Cards... well it would if the City wasn't moving away from Metro Cards. Issue would be extending the solution to private schools. However, in this case, the issue is just general NYC incompetence.

    1. “If we start saying it’s alright for you to jump the turnstile, we are creating an environment where any and everything goes,” the mayor warned. “It’s a crime. Now, you could defer prosecution, you could people in programs, you could do all sorts of things, but let’s not ignore it, and that’s what’s happening to our subway system.”

      Mayor Adams was correct to the extent that he noted that turnstyle jumping is a crime and should not be permitted - however, he has not used all of tools at his disposal to police the Subways against the opposition of the District Attorneys.

    1. At least fifty-six New Yorkers have been pushed onto subway tracks over the past two years. Subway crimes have more than doubled, so far, this year, compared with the same time last year. According to MTA board member Andrew Albert, another major issue is turnstile jumping. 99.99% of people that are committing crimes in the subways did not pay their fare. If we can stop that at the turnstiles, we've not only helped the MTA bottom line, but we've stopped crime in its tracks.

      This is a very important point. Policing fare evasion is not only a financial issue or a fairness question, it is a matter of public safety. It is true that not every person who engages in theft of public services is violent, but as Andrew Albert notes, violent felons are overwhelmingly likely to not pay MTA fares.

    1. Now, though, Vance’s office is voicing its displeasure with the fact that the NYPD has continued to arrest turnstile-jumpers. But how can Vance deter people from farebeating through diversion or dropped charges, and see if this approach yields better results for everyone—particularly the public—if police never arrest fare evaders in the first place?

      This is a very interesting passage. It highlights that the NYPD is free to enforce the law and make arrests notwithstanding the efforts of District Attorneys to rewrite the law through the refusal to prosecute laws that they do not like. Former DA Vance's "displeasure" highlights that the NYPD and Mayor are not helpless - and that they can put pressure on lawless District Attorneys by continuing to enforce the law. The refusal of the Mayor and the NYPD leadership to use the tools in their toolbox has been a driving force in the increase in fare-beating.

    2. Deterring people from stealing from the MTA keeps mass transit safe and improves the lives of everyone who rides.

      Well said.

    3. The DA’s reasoning is that this misdemeanor charge—called theft of services for transit—can carry a punishment of up to a year in jail. The misdemeanor conviction, so the argument goes, victimizes otherwise law-abiding people too poor to afford the subway fare, burdening them with a criminal record as they seek employment or housing.

      Theft of public services, like other kinds of theft, does have the potential to "burden" offenders with a criminal record.

    1. Some transit advocates say a far bigger factor in the agency’s projected deficits is riders fleeing the system because of poor service.

      One reason that people are fleeing the trains is because a lack of law enforcement contributes to making the trains something to avoid.

    2. "The problem is people are not paying,” MTA Board Member Larry Schwartz said. “And that is not fair to the people that are paying."

      That allowing fare-beating is unfair to paying, law-abiding commuters should go without saying.

    3. The NYPD also has eased enforcement, issuing civil summonses to the majority of turnstile jumpers instead of arresting them, focusing instead on more serious crimes.

      It was an error by the NYPD to allow the District Attorneys to dictate policing priorities.

    4. They say fare-beating increased after the Manhattan District Attorney last year stopped prosecuting most cases, a response to concerns that black and Latino violators were being disproportionally singled out.

      The Manhattan DA"s policy to ignore NY law and to de facto legalize fare evasion based on strange premise that there is a cosmic rule that the race/ethnicity of criminal offenders for a particular offense must reflect NYC demographic statistics. No explanation for why this is so was provided.

    5. NYPD numbers show more than 10,000 fewer arrests for fare-beating since January, compared to the same period last year, a decline of more than 66 percent.

      Move by DAs to refuse fare evasion cases led to sharp decrease in enforcement.

    1. Cuomo, who effectively controls the MTA, thanked the authority for the resolution and called for the "strictest penalties possible" for such criminals.

      Former Governor Cuomo was correct here - which makes it all the more depressing that he went on to make his request impossible by signing the bail reform law shortly after this was published.

    2. “The difficulty is unless we characterize this extraordinarily narrowly, we’re going to end up sweeping in people and make it almost certain they’re going to return to the life of crime because they won’t have any transportation options,” Jones said. 

      This concern is misguided. David Jones prioritizes criminals and fare-beaters in expressing concerns about preventing criminals from using the Subways with impunity. The primary concern should be the safety of the law-abiding tax-paying citizens in New York City.

    3. Feinberg also helped usher in a new resolution Monday that called for an authority-wide ban on criminal recidivists.

      Banning recidivist fare-beating offenders from the Subway is unlikely realistic - key is having police monitoring the entrances to Subway stations.

    4. The MTA estimates that it lost about $225 million in potential revenue from fare evasion in 2018. But critics argue the authority’s method for tracking fare dodging — monitoring specific stations and buses and applying that data more broadly — is flawed and that the board’s focus on the crime is a distraction from more pervasive management issues.

      Debate over MTA fare-beating statistics.

    5. “I would like to see us capture this behavior on camera and then posting it publicly, whether on our YouTube channel or what,” said Sarah Feinberg, a fairly recent Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointee who chairs the MTA board’s Transit Committee. “That is important to me because when people are publicly embarrassed by this kind of behavior, it helps address it.”

      A good, but not sufficient, idea for discouraging fare-beating in NYC subways.

    1. Perhaps realizing that harassing poor people and charging them with hundreds of thousands of misdemeanors is a suboptimal use of government resources, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced last year that his office would limit its prosecutions of fare evasion to repeat offenders. For everyone else, turnstile jumping is a civil infraction—akin to a parking ticket—that carries a $100 fine and does not otherwise involve the criminal-justice system. You wouldn't glean any of this from this bit of quasi-propaganda, though, which limits itself to the sort of gratuitous public shaming that serves only to outrage viewers at home without providing any useful information of note.

      That this was written in 2019, prior to the rapid deterioration of the MTA post-2020, is remarkable.

    2. Inside Edition's treatment of the subject also calls to mind the notorious "broken windows" theory of policing, which posits that evidence of unaddressed minor criminal activity signals to would-be criminals that cops will tolerate more serious crimes, too—and therefore that cracking down on things like turnstile jumping, graffiti, and public urination will prevent such crimes from occurring in the first place. The broken-windows theory was pioneered by former New York City Transit Police commissioner Bill Bratton in the early 1990s, and became the city's dominant law-enforcement philosophy after newly elected mayor Rudy Giuliani promoted Bratton to NYPD commissioner in 1993. There is, in other words, a gross history in New York City associated with the stigmatization of fare beating; it will probably not surprise you to learn that although the efficacy of broken-windows policing is, at best, debatable, its discriminatory impact on low-income people and communities of color is not.

      Broken windows policing is the "notorious" theory which drove New York City's revival under former Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s.

    3. Generally, paying for the use of goods and services is something people should do. The problem with Inside Edition's stunt, however, is that it frames fare evasion as the root cause of the system's problems, dramatically noting that the practice cost an estimated $215 million in 2018. This narrative omits, for example, that the MTA expects to face a billion-dollar annual deficit by 2022, and that its president has warned that the system will go into a "death spiral" unless state lawmakers find $40 billion to invest in its crumbling infrastructure. It breathes no word of Governor Andrew Cuomo's staunch refusal to consider raising funds via, say, the imposition of a "millionaires tax" on the city's wealthiest residents.

      The MTA's chronic mismanagement is one of the "root causes" of the MTA's problems, but the decision of the New York State and City governments to permit large-scale fare beating and stick law abiding citizens with the bill is also a root problem - certainly much more than questions about the top tax rate.

    4. The confrontations the show chose to air are laced with exactly the sort of things you'd expect from busy New Yorkers who are suddenly confronted by a giant television camera over $2.75: a mix of irritation, incredulousness, and outright scorn. After careful consideration, I have determined that the award for best response shall be shared by the woman who calmly asks, "Are you going to arrest me? Are you going to give me a ticket? So what are you going to do?" and the man who says, "You guys aren't cops, right? Okay, excuse me," and then walks away from the microphone in the middle of the reporter's sentence.

      It says something about this author at GQ that he thinks the real problem in a report on mass theft of public services in NYC Subways is reporting on it.

  2. Feb 2022
    1. (((Howard Forman))). (2022, January 21). NYC update (GREAT news heading into weekend) Cases down 43% with positive rate 7.3% (Manhattan 6.2%). Lowest rate since December 15. Hospital census down 13% back to levels of January 2. All trends (except deaths) favorable. Thanks to everyone who has helped get us here. Https://t.co/MLmptWLxKv [Tweet]. @thehowie. https://twitter.com/thehowie/status/1484608013885480962

  3. Jan 2022
    1. (((Howard Forman))). (2022, January 24). NYC update Positive rate 6.6%. Cases fewest since 12/13. Hospital census lowest since 1/1/2022. Hospital admits lowest since 12/22/2021. All indicators (except deaths) declining rapidly, but still well above pre-Omicron levels. Expect more swift progress this week. Https://t.co/IhKlwEEkXp [Tweet]. @thehowie. https://twitter.com/thehowie/status/1485719209359421452

    1. Kayla Simpson. (2022, January 3). The COVID data coming out of NYC jails is...beyond staggering. Today’s report shows a 7-day avg positivity rate of 37%, w/502 ACTIVE INFECTIONS. With a ~5K census, that means that nearly one in ten people in DOC has an ACTIVE infection. Crisis on crisis. Https://hhinternet.blob.core.windows.net/uploads/2022/01/CHS-COVID-19-data-snapshot-2020103.pdf [Tweet]. @KSimpsonHere. https://twitter.com/KSimpsonHere/status/1478114046360657926

  4. Dec 2021
    1. Jay Varma. (2021, December 16). Um, we’ve never seen this before in #NYC. Test positivity doubling in three days 12/9—3.9% 12/10—4.2% 12/11—6.4% 12/12—7.8% Note: Test % is only for PCR & NYC does more per capita daily than most places ~67K PCR/day + 19K [reported] antigen over past few days (1/2) https://t.co/PhxsZq55jn [Tweet]. @DrJayVarma. https://twitter.com/DrJayVarma/status/1471485885447389186

  5. Mar 2021
  6. Aug 2020
  7. Jul 2020
  8. Sep 2019
  9. Jul 2018
    1. Mayor de Blasio and his administration have made progress in meeting their goal of building 200,000 affordable units over the span of a decade, as 21,963 new units were added in 2016, the most in 27 years. However, there continues to be a shortage in East Harlem. Out of the nearly 20,000 affordable units, the city brought to all five boroughs, just 249 units have been built in East Harlem, according to a new report by the Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD). To better accommodate these residents, the city plans on expediting the construction of 2,400 units of affordable housing over the next few years, as DNA Info reported.
  10. Jul 2016
    1. “You’re giving me dumpster sorceress,” one of my friends says. I look a mess, to be honest. But that’s OK. New York is never bigger than it is on nights like these, when the streets are empty but the lights are on. There’s plenty of time. There’s plenty of space.