Thursday, August 8, 2019
Confronting police corruption was a crucial element of the New York Model
I totally support law enforcement. It's just that I hate dirty cops worse than I hate bikers who sell crack. I regularly refer to the New York crime reduction model because it was successful and I saw it in action. The transformation of 42nd Street Time Square formally known as the Deuce is literally astounding. Enforcement and gentrification was the magic wand but it was all made possible by the Mollen Commission which was created after the arrest of Michael Dowd.
To put the Michael Dowd story into perspective, everyone needs to watch the documentary called the Seven Five about police corruption in Brooklyn prior to the implementation of the New York Model. I was in New York at the peak of the crack epidemic 1985. I saw what it was like.
The Seven Five is a tell all documentary were Michael Dowd explains all about his corruption as a New York City cop after his release from prison. It is astounding. While we were risking our lives confronting the crack dealers up in Harlem and down on the Deuce, that POS Michael Dowd was helping supply them with the cocaine. They had a supermarket in Brooklyn where people would go into the back and buy cocaine by the kilo. Michael Dowd would warn them whenever the drug squad was going to search them. He even gave them police escorts to transfer money.
My point is that police corruption made the crack epidemic in New York possible just like it is here in BC and confronting that police corruption made the New York crime reduction model possible. In BC the police corruption is from the top down like Seattle not the bottom up like New York. So while I'm here I'd like to say a big F*ck you to Michael Dowd and give a solders salute to Chuck Pillon. Chuck was a hero and Down was a villain. What we do in life echoes in eternity.
When I was in New York the second time, the Deuce was just like the picture on the left. It was filled with crack dealers and porn theaters. It was a sh*t hole filled with violence. I remember having a run in with a cop once during my first trip to New York. It was on the subway in Brooklyn. We were on our way home from visiting Curtis' mother who lived in Brooklyn at the time.
I'm standing on the subway and this young cop comes up to me and gets in my grill. He shakes his head and says what are you doing here?! I respond with I'm visiting from Canada volunteering my services to help make the subway safe. He just shakes his head and exclaims these people don't care. I respond with, we care. One of the purposes of the Guardian Angels is to be a role model for society. If enough people start to care we then can make a difference. He just shakes his head and walks off in disgust. At the time I thought that was a pretty bad attitude for a cop. It made me wonder why he chose law enforcement for a career.
Now after watching that documentary the Seven Five I can't help but think that cop looked and sounded exactly like Michael Dowd. Wouldn't that have been ironic? Here's a guy who had given up. He had lost hope. As a result, he was part of the problem.
That's one thing Curtis taught us. He said no matter where you go, there are always more good people out there than bad. Sebastian and Tut would say the same thing. I found that to be true. No matter where I went - Harlem, Brixton, Belfast or the Deuce, there were always more good people than bad. Curtis would say the problem is the good people are either paralyzed with fear or have become apathetic. They think the problem is too big to solve and no one can make a difference. Curtis said what you have to do is shock the people and give them hope.
That was Curtis' specialty. I saw him do things others said couldn't be done on a daily basis.
The New York model was successful because of Enforcement. The Portugal model was successful because of Treatment. Two crucial pillars that Vancouver has abandoned. New York and Portugal are good models to follow. Vancouver is not. Vancouver's drug policy has been a complete failure resulting is record levels of addiction and record levels of drug overdoses. Lethal injection sites are clearly not the answer. Treatment and Enforcement is. It's that simple.