October 1, 2013

"New York City Used To Be A Terrifying Place."

A photo essay, from last August about NYC in they pre-Giuliani years, which I ran across this afternoon as I was thinking about the electoral prospects of the left-Democrat mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio in the aftermath of Alexian Lien's motorpsycho nightmare.

Scroll down at the first link to find: "Bernhard Goetz, who shot four youths in a subway train in 1984, became a symbol for the paranoia New Yorkers felt about getting robbed or attacked."

Lien got me thinking about Goetz. Similarities and differences. Goetz had a gun and overreacted out of fear; Lien had a car and underreacted (at first). Arguably. Those are the differences.

The similarity is: A man embodies the plight of an ordinary citizen in a city gone wild. And mayors are held accountable.

54 comments:

Sebastian said...

When you're in a car surrounded by dozens, if not hundreds, of belligerent motorcyclists, one of whom has just deliberated gotten into a fender bender with you, there is no such thing as "over reaction."

LYNNDH said...

What do you mean "overreacted"?

Seeing Red said...

New Yorkers want that.

Until they don't.

They have short memories. The right people will be in place this time to bring utopia. He has all the proper credentials.


They want grit, grime, crime, it makes them feel alive. Otherwise NYC can be so sterile and like Times Square after Rudy's clean up, Disneyfied or suburbanized. That is one of the ultimate things they cannot stand.

William Chadwick said...

I lived in NYC during the pre-Giuliani Era, and whatever else one may say about Goetz, and the public's reaction to him, "paranoia" wasn't part of it. It was like there was an occupying of "youths" who pretty much felt they could get away with anything, and often did. To acknowledge that fact, and be properly on your guard, was about as "paranoid" as a Jew in the early Third Reich thinking it might be time to move.

William Chadwick said...

I lived in NYC during the pre-Giuliani Era, and whatever else one may say about Goetz, and the public's reaction to him, "paranoia" wasn't part of it. It was like there was an occupying of "youths" who pretty much felt they could get away with anything, and often did. To acknowledge that fact, and be properly on your guard, was about as "paranoid" as a Jew in the early Third Reich thinking it might be time to move.

Marshal said...

In 1984 NYC murders were 250% higher than 2012 and would peak at 440%, with other crimes similarly elevated. But concern over them is "paranoia"?

Leftism's lack of concern for the plebes is pretty revolting.

Cedarford said...

None of the mainstream news articles seem to mention it was a black biker gang (Hollywood Rulz) and there is a high chance that they targeted the man and his family for being Asian and wealthy. The biker gang is along "black hispanic" lines, and most are not from NYC proper. One arrested for mayhem was from NJ, and a badly injured biker hails from Boston, where he is an aspiring rapper and his daddy is a Reverend..

As we all sadly know, a "code" exists with the leftist and jewish progressive bosses of much of media not to mention "black" and "crime" together whenever possible. Certainly not any black racist attacks on others..

Just as we all sadly know that if it was a white biker gang that did it, and the family in the SUV was black, the same media would have started a "national outcry" and demanded, and Obama delivered on - a speech on the unacceptability of racist animal attacks on the innocent. (Guilty, apparantly, of nothing more than "driving while black"...something Obama wouldn't miss saying for civil rights impact as he called for a "national conversation on the teachable moment").

After a hiatus, I fear NYC and other metropolises with a heavy black population are on the march again for The Prize...making such cities unlivable dangerous places then blaming Whitey, Asians, or whatever.....for it again being so.

Crunchy Frog said...

Goetz had a gun and overreacted out of fear;

Did he? Perhaps his actions were entirely appropriate, even if it could not be proven so.

Instead of being buried by six, he was judged by twelve, and was acquitted on all but one charge.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Obamaville II. Chicago is already a rotting cesspool, so what's another?

Personally, I love it. Progs getting the government they want - good and hard.

David said...

Goetz over reacted?

I have heard that argument, but I'm not so sure.

The jury that tried him did not think so.

A. Shmendrik said...

For my money, you can't beat the Russians.

donald said...

Property values will plunge and I might could get a nice place in the city after sanity returns in 20 years, so that's cool

BarrySanders20 said...

I don't see the Goetz parallel. He was not acting out of fear. It was vengeance and his own sense of justice. That is what some people supported and others were horrified by. It was cold and calculated, turning the tables on the thugs.

The motorbike thugs are more like the gang in Mad Max. Lawless and arrogant, amoral, seemingly impossible to stop. SUV dude should have spun that baby around and gone head first back into them. you could dub the sound bowling pins make upon impact with a bowling ball onto the video of that.

wordsmith said...

"Turn-style jumping"?

fivewheels said...

"Paranoia" really is a poor word choice. It's not paranoid if they really are out to get you. And the punks were.

Bruce Hayden said...

What should scare New Yorkers, and probably anyone thinking of visiting there, is that the current leader in the Mayoral race has apparently repeatedly stated that he will end "stop and frisk", etc. Gulianni and his police commissioners, implemented vigorous policing, and that is a good part of why New York City went from being quite dangerous to fairly safe in a fairly short time. Their "broken window" strategy.

The long term problem is that apparently the demographic that could elect a tough-on-crime mayor, mostly white working class, have left the city in many cases, being replaced by much more ethnic minorities, who have little trust of the police, and little appetite for the level of policing required to keep the crime and violence under control. I don't expect NYC to drop to Chicago or Detroit levels, but do expect it to became much less safe.

BTW - never lived there, but knew a lot who did, and I was appalled when one friend of my ex told us that she was mugged about once a year, and that was just the price of living there. Most of us never get mugged ever in our lives, and she considered once a year on average to be normal.

Robert Cook said...

Contra William Chadwick, I also lived in NYC during the Goetz era, (and I still live here now), and even at the time I thought Goetz overreacted and was the principle danger on the subway car that day.

There were conflicting stories regarding the events on the car, but my recall of the gist of them is that the youths were strolling through the car asking for money but were not accosting any passengers in active attempts to mug anyone. Goetz was sitting at the far end of the car, so the youths neared him after having already passed by the other passengers in the car. Goetz, having been a victim of an earlier mugging, had been carrying around a firearm for some time, either to protect himself "in case" he found himself in such a plight again, or in hopes he would have an opportunity to discharge his trauma by confronting any potential muggers with his weapon.

Goetz, by firing his weapon on the crowded train, could have seriously injured or killed any of the other passengers sitting in the car; if his intent was only to protect himself, to prevent his being mugged again, he could have shown his weapon first and warned the youths away, but he chose to fire his weapon immediately. If his intent was only self-defense, why did he stoop down and fire a second shot into the prone body of one of the youths already bleeding on the floor, (and who, I believe, was permanently paralyzed by Goetz's bullets)?

donald said...

Yeah, they were just asking. Sure.

Oso Negro said...

Memory fail, Robert Cook! One of the "youths" later admitted on TV that they intended to rob Goetz because he looked like easy prey.

David said...

Cook:

The four "youths' were not strolling through the car asking others for money. They specifically approached Goetz, surrounded him and screened him from the other riders.

One of the four young men said, according to Goetz' testimony, "Give me five dollars." This was never denied by the defense, but one of the defendants said they were "panhandling" when they asked for money. No one else testified to this part of the incident.

Goetz took the statement as a demand, and for more than five dollars ultimately. He had to choose whether to reach for his wallet or his gun. He chose the gun, and mayhem ensued.

The jury believed that Goetz was under threat, and did not convict him on charges other than illegal possession of a handgun.

There was no evidence that the "youths" (three aged 18 and one 19) were asking anyone else for money.

Now maybe Goetz should have just handed over the wallet. That's what I would have done, but of course I do not carry a gun. But a jury believed that Goetz was lawfully defending himself. Maybe it would have been different had there actually been evidence that the defendants were going through the car asking for cash. But that did not happen, nor did the defense claim that it happened.

It was a bad day. The "youths" picked the wrong guy to surround and ask for money. If they had just gone on to rob arcade games per their original plan, this never would have happened.

Robert Cook said...

Oso Negro,

Assuming for argument's sake that is true, Goetz was still the greater danger on that train than the alleged would-be muggers. To reiterate, Goetz could simply have shown his gun and they probably would have steered clear of him; that he jumped up immediately and fired his weapon reveals he was eager to inflict violence on them without first trying to avoid it and without regard for the safety of everyone else on the train.

David said...

One more thing, Robert. When Goetz entered the car, the youths were already on it, and he made the mistake of sitting near them. THey were seated and lying on seats nearby. No strolling was involved.

Cedarford said...

Remarkable how many of those bikes are unregistered, no licenses!

As for those who talk about how "impossible" it is for police to take action against black thugs on motorcycles, much of the locales in the video on the Hudson HWY show 40 foot retaining walls on one side, water on the other. So at such points or an even better locale like a tunnel or bridge, and knowing the route the gang is taking since they post it openly, it should be easy for cops to trap the whole bunch.

Escape to the left or right blocked, you just have riot teams with concertina barbed wire laid to the front and back. Any unlicensed bikes can be legally confiscated and tossed on a fleet of flatbed trucks cops have set up.. for resale. In Nebraska..

160 thugs walking home because they all permanently lost their 6800.00++ tricked out rides sends a message. Worth an hour of snarled traffic.

For extra fun, arrest them all for conspiracy to riot and have them sit in the tank while video of their antics is reviewed for violations and hefty NYC fines are meted out. Riding on sidewalks, riding past the double yellow in the face of incoming traffic? Swoop and Squats to cause accidents? Reckless operation of an unregistered vehicle. All big fines. Make 'em have Momma pawn the 60" flatscreen to pay the fine to get them out of jail.

dbp said...

Three out of the four young men who were shot that day went on to enjoy a life of crime, conviction and prison time. The only one who stayed "clean" was the one who was crippled and brain damaged by the gun shots.

I think history shows that Mr. Goetz' instincts about these young men was accurate.

Possibly Althouse has it in for Mr. Goetz because he is a friend and protector of squirrels.

David said...

RC: "If his intent was only self-defense, why did he stoop down and fire a second shot into the prone body of one of the youths already bleeding on the floor, (and who, I believe, was permanently paralyzed by Goetz's bullets)?"

Goetz indeed fired two shots at Darnell Cabey. However, at the time of the second shot, Cabey was likely seated though possibly standing, not wounded and bleeding on the floor.

In fact Cabey was hit only by one bullet. The uncertainty was whether he was hit by the first or second shot.

The prosecution's position was that the first shot at Cabey missed, and he was hit by the second shot. The defense argued that the first shot hit Cabey. The evidence on the issue was conflicting, and which occurred is not clear.

In any event Cabey was not on the floor at the time of the second shot, was not visibly bleeding and was not shot twice. It all happened very fast, in less than two seconds.

Cabey was paralyzed, and nearly died. He and his family claimed later that he was also brain damaged, though Goetz believed that he was faking that. Cabey did bring a civil claim against Goetz and got a large judgment which he could not collect. He died in 2012 of a self administered drug overdose, which may or may not have been suicide.

Cabey lived a life of misery as a result of the incident. The other three "youths" continued to have trouble with the law and with drugs. The worst was James Ramseur, who was convicted of the gunpoint rape of a 18 year old pregnant woman. He committed suicide by drug overdose on the 27th anniversary of the subway shootings.

Youth Troy Canty disappeared some time ago. Some sources say he died in a drug deal. If so, it never made the news. Barry Allen, another one of the youths shot, has similarly disappeared, though there seem to be no rumors of his fate.

Goetz is alive and well and sometimes on Larry King. It's unclear what he has done for a living. Perhaps being a minor celebrity in New York is enough. The dude apparently abides.

Tawdry story, isn't it.

I'm kind of sorry I looked it all up.

Sigivald said...

"Overreacted out of fear"?

Well, "fear" of being robbed (as they later admitted their plan was) by a group of young men.

Shooting them is not an overreaction in that context.

It's the proper reaction, when trapped on a subway car with them.

Jupiter said...

"Goetz had a gun and overreacted out of fear;"

Overreacted?

"You don't look so bad. Have another!".

Sounds just about right to me, and not all that fearful, either.

jr565 said...

Did Goetz overreact?

Maybe when he said "You don't look so bad have another" (even though I'm not sure that was actually a true story). But those kids were going to rob him. They simply picked the wrong guy to f with.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
There were conflicting stories regarding the events on the car, but my recall of the gist of them is that the youths were strolling through the car asking for money but were not accosting any passengers in active attempts to mug anyone.


Please. It was 4 guys. who had screwdrivers on them. Who I'm sure did not say "Give me five dollars,PLEASE" when they "asked" him for money.

And look what happened to all 4 after they got out of prison:
In March 1985, soon after being released from the hospital for the treatment of his gunshot wound, James Ramseur falsely reported to police that two men hired by Goetz had kidnapped and attempted to kill him,[72] but was not charged in this hoax. In May 1985, Ramseur held a gun while an associate raped, sodomized and robbed a pregnant eighteen-year-old woman on the rooftop of the Bronx building where he lived, and in 1986 he was sentenced to 8⅓ to 25 years in prison. According to the New York State Department of Corrections[73] inmate search site, Ramseur served his sentence and was released in July 2010. Ramseur was found dead of a drug overdose, in an apparent suicide, in a Bronx motel room on December 22, 2011, the 27th anniversary of the incident on the No. 2 train.[74][75]

Barry Allen committed two robberies after the shooting, the first a 1986 chain snatching in the elevator of the building where he lived.[60] The second arrest, in May 1991, brought him a sentence of three and a half to seven years for probation violation and third degree robbery. He was released on parole in December 1995.[73][76][77]

After a number of minor arrests for petty offenses, Canty was ordered to undergo an 18-month drug treatment program at a rehabilitation center, which he completed in 1989.[77][78] He was later charged with assault, robbery, and resisting arrest in an altercation with his common-law wife in August 1996 but was not convicted and did not serve time.[79]

What luck. Goetz just happened to pick 4 random panhandlers who went on to have further lives of crime after this incident. What are the odds?
And why did they have screwdrivers? Because they were going to use them to rob video game machines at the local arcade. A bunch of punks.

And how many panhandlers do you know that operate in packs of 4? Who surround people before demanding five dollars.

jr565 said...

Barrysanders wrote:
don't see the Goetz parallel. He was not acting out of fear. It was vengeance and his own sense of justice. That is what some people supported and others were horrified by. It was cold and calculated, turning the tables on the thugs.

He didn't act out of fear? That was four thugs to one scrawny Jewish guy!

jr565 said...

You don't look so bad. Have another may not have actually been said by Bernard Goetz at all.

"Whether Goetz actually said the words "You don't look so bad, here's another" aloud, or only thought them, is still a matter of dispute. He has subsequently denied on several occasions making the statement.[31] In his closing summation to the jury, prosecutor Gregory Waples conceded:

In all probability, the defendant uttered these words only to himself and probably not even mouthing the words, but just saying them in his own mind as he squeezed the trigger that fifth time"

David said...

Robert Cook: "To reiterate, Goetz could simply have shown his gun and they probably would have steered clear of him . . . "

I would replace "probably" in your sentence with "possibly." Probably means more than 50%. How much more? Why should Goetz take a 49% risk? 25%? 10%? Any risk at all. He didn't start it.

He was surrounded, very close in, by four young men who were in fact menacing him. As I said, I would not have chosen his path, since I don't carry guns. But why should he assume the risk?

He shows the gun and they jump him. Four strong young men. How is that going to turn out?

MadisonMan said...

I'm kind of sorry I looked it all up.

The rest of us were spared that duty. Thank you.

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
Goetz could simply have shown his gun and they probably would have steered clear of him;


The left is awfully accepting of risk to life, so long as it's yours. Of course if you'd died they'd probably feel bad. Not enough to remember your name of course. But I'm sure in theory they'd rather you didn't die. Think how that would comfort the family you left behind.

Alan said...

All I can say is that the answer to Chicago's problem is stop and frisk and a police chief and mayor with the balls to take the slings and arrows. Its not a mystery, it just takes guts and the mayor is the key. NYC will backslide into the miasma if this clown is elected.

Robert Cook said...

"One more thing, Robert. When Goetz entered the car, the youths were already on it, and he made the mistake of sitting near them. THey were seated and lying on seats nearby. No strolling was involved."

I remember reading reports at the time that the youths had entered the car and strolled through it asking people for money. If Goetz wasn't on the car for this, so be it. As I said, there were conflicting reports in the papers at the time, and I am just saying what I recall from the time.

Yet, the question remains as to who was the public menace on that train. The man discharging a firearm in a confined space filled with people strikes me as the obvious choice. Goetz could have displayed his firearm without firing it if he felt himself in danger, but he shot them because he wanted to, heedless of the safety hazard he posed to the other passengers.

David said...

Robert Cook, I realize that some of my arguments are indeed similar to the arguments that those wanting to restrict concealed carry would make. Certainly the Goetz incident would have turned out differently if he did not have a gun. But differently in what way? And if the difference is just "hand over the wallet" what is the continued societal effect? I choose not to carry a gun. I have little experience with guns and now is not the time to gain it. Does that mean that nobody should be allowed to carry a gun? Must all make the choice that I have made, which is not to have a gun on my person?

Violent crime is down dramatically and gun ownership is up in the last 15-20 years. Correlation or causation? Certainly there are many factors beyond gun distribution to the law abiding in the reduction of violent crime. But how much does it weigh? Very hard to know, especially since most of the arguments are preconditioned by the gun ideology of the proponent.

And the ultimate question, why should an individual be deprived of the right to defend him or herself? Suppose Mr. Lien had been killed? It was lucky that he was not.

Personally, I favor gun distribution to the law abiding. Then individuals can decide how much they want to take responsibility for their own physical defense.

William said...

I travelled off hours on the subway in those days. There were always two or three menacing looking kids walking through the cars. Maybe they were reconnoitering or maybe they just got off by making people nervous. The cars were all scarred with graffiti. You were definitely in their territory. The last car was known as the smoking car. They would have a cigarette or joint there and then proceed to walk to the front car. I don't know what they expected to find on their walk through the cars, but that's what they did......There was a palpable sense of fear in the subways. The only people who travelled by subway off hours were poor people's who were going to crappy jobs and the fare beaters. I never saw a black woman clutch her purse more tightly when a cop got on the train, but they surely did when those kids were on their patrol.....,. ........I suppose there's a gimlet eyed, Clint Eastwood way of responding to danger, but neither are muggers famous for their moderate use of violence. There are some situations where you're just about bound to overreact.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Modestly, as my proposals are, needly, New York needs reckonema.

The Reckoning Enema will be great fodder of, by, and for the flyovers.

Like 9/11.

David said...

The worst part of this story is four wasted lives.

On a December day in 1984, Darnell Cabey, James Ramseur, Troy Canty and Barry Allen have nothing much to do. They arm themselves with a few pathetic screwdrivers, get on the subway and head downtown and rob coins from arcade games. They are so lazy and stupid that they won't even front the few bucks it takes to appear legit while they are playing the games and robbing the arcade. So they hit up a guy who gets on the subway looking "soft" for a few bucks.

Bernard Goetz is not soft. He has been there before and is quite hard and clear about it. He has had enough of this shit and is not going to take any chances (or so he thinks.) He is also afraid, and with reason, though not as afraid as the four young men should have been.

He shoots them. Quite amazingly all four survive, but Cabey is paralyzed from the waist down as soon as the bullet hits. The others are wounded but more lucky and recover.

Ramseur is unrepentant and acts the punk at the trial of Goetz, damaging the prosecution in the process. He soon goes on to be part of a disgusting rape and is sent to prison. Prison is not going to help him in the least, and on release he is unemployable, addicted and hopeless. To make some kind of point, he kills himself in a scurvy motel on the 27th anniversary of the original shooting.

Canty and Allen celebrate the good fortune of their survival with a few moderate crimes. Nothing like Ramseur but more than coins at arcade games.
They also go to jail, and Allen is sent to rehab.

Rehab is about as helpful to Allen as prison was to Ramseur. Allen and Canty eventually sink from sight. When the anniversaries of the case come round, they are nowhere. Can't be found. No one knows what happened. No one misses them. Maybe they are dead. Probably. But no one cares very much about their fate, except maybe as a lost human interest interview.

By 2012 only Cabey and Goetz are still alive. Goetz is remembered by name. He's 65 years old and still in New York (Kew Gardens) and is on TV once in a while. Mostly he has a low profile. He's still slim, the look that made the four young men think he was soft. But his nose has grown bulbous and fat, and no longer seems to be on the right face.

Probably most people would not recognize Cabey's name. But news comes that the last of the assailants is dead at age 50--a drug overdose and likely suicide. Cabey. People recall the name. Cabey, who has been paralyzed from the waist down from the time he was carried out of the subway car.

Was he still alive? Wow.

Goetz, who owes a $43 million civll judgment to Cabey but has said that he never paid a dime, is asked about Cabey's death.

"Seems like he might have been depressed," Goetz says.

A lot of people had to fail Cabey, Ranseur, Canty and Allen to bring them to their stupid escapade on the subway car in 1984. And of course they failed themselves. They were "punks" for sure, but they weren't born punks. They were born to a pathological environment where love and guidance were in short supply, schools could not educate them and cheap crime and cheap ideas seemed an easy path. They lacked the character and resources to overcome all these terrible messages.

Could at least one of them turned around if they had not crossed paths with Goetz? Who knows? The encounter with Goetz was a major wake up call, but they did not wake up. Probably they could not wake up. How do you wake up when the people purporting to support you say you arevictims, not fools. Not sad doomed rootless fools.






.

David said...

Robert Cook, there were conflicting reports in the papers, but the actual facts came out in a carefully conducted trial. The facts I set forth here were not in dispute, except for the ones I specifically noted were disputed.

Who was the public menace on the train?

Well, you had four people bent on the crime of robbery, or at least bent on it once they saw the "easy mark" Goetz.

And you had an otherwise peaceable guy already committing the misdemeanor (in those days) of an unpermitted gun.

I would say they were both public menaces in some form or another. I'm not sure I can parse the "greater" menace but I am clear on who the initial aggressor was in the incident.

It seems clear to be that if the youths had not tried to rob Goetz no bullets would have been fired.

Also under today's law, Goetz more likely would have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter. At the time of the incident, New York law permitted armed resistance to a robbery. Now there must be imminent danger of great bodily harm. It's not enough to be resisting a robbery if you do not fear bodily harm.

You will probably see this as an improvement. I am not so sure.

gk1 said...

Hah, I love reading liberal goobs like Cookie when Ann throws out this kind of bait. He reminds me of Jimmy Breslin on "Crossfire" contending the 4 yutes Goetz shot where walking around with sharpened screw drivers in their pockets because "who knows they may be going over to a friends house to fix his car". To paraphrase Orwell, there are some ideas some incredibly stupid you have to be a liberal to believe them.

Locomotive Breath said...

If only Goetz had been assailed by a single black youth and if only had he had waited until that single black youth had him on his back giving him a beating while sitting on him. Then Goetz could have pulled the gun and shot the youth and everyone would have agreed that it was self defense. Or maybe not.

Robert Cook said...

I worked in a hotel in near LaGuardia Airport (in Queens) during those years, while living in Manhattan. My commute was 90 minutes--two trains and a bus, each way--and I worked every shift: morning, evening, graveyard. I traveled the subways at all hours for eight years, more often than not traveling home after midnight or heading to work before dawn. I virtually never felt fear in all that time, one or two minor incidents aside.

I was held up at gunpoint at my job once about 2:00 a.m., and mugged about 5:30 a.m. in my own neighborhood on my way to work, so my lack of anxiety in traveling the city was not borne of naivete as to the possible risks. Rather, my lack of anxiety had to do with my awareness of how unlikely were my chances (or any individual's chances) of being a victim of crime at any given time.

Yes, NYC was more dangerous in those years, but the supposed fear felt by the city's residents has been exaggerated, become urban myth. People went about their daily lives, going to work, going out, and I don't recall any atmosphere of dread or of living in a pitched battle with the forces of evil.

One certainly had to be careful in certain parts of the city, and at certain hours, and those who lived in the poorest parts of the city probably did feel fear as a constant undercurrent, but the notion that Goetz did what everyone wanted to do or needed to do to fight back against the predators is untrue.

J Lee said...

One of the disconnects in the gun control/crime control issue when you take New York, its current mayor's maniacal attitude towards banning guns, the likely future mayor's attitude against 'Stop and Frisk' and New York's levels of crime versus other cities like Chicago is that you can't have Bloomberg's vision of gun-free utopia without extreme leniency on allowing police to stop and question subjects, which upsets both liberals and libertarians, albeit for different reasons.

Goetz had his gun because New York's police in the mid-1980s had a far more passive attitude towards crime control than what would be brought in by Rudy Giuliani and William Bratton (previous-and-current NYPD Chief Ray Kelly had started a little of it under Dinkins, who was forced to toughen his crime stance in the re-election year of '93, but didn't go as far with the pro-active policing as Giuliani and Bratton). The results has been a drop of nearly 1,800 murders a year in the city from the peak levels of the Dinkins years, but 'Stop and Frisk' does have some constitutional questions.

,,,and it's the only way Bloomburg's world works, and he knows it. If you won't like the citizens protect themselves via owning guns, you have to give the police the ability to do the job, or you end up with Dinkins' New York, or Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. The fear many inside and outside New York have with de Blasio is that he's perfectly fine with continuing Bloomberg's war on gun possession, but is looking to gut the second half of the agreement, and remove the tools the police need to do the job of providing security the unarmed citizenry can't do.

The difference between now and the era of Goetz's attack or the Dinkins years that followed was most Democratic politicians running the city simply said there was no way to get New York's crime levels back down to those of the 1950s and early 60s, so don't even think about doing something crazy like not electing a Democrat to City Hall the next time around. A de Blasio who goes back to pre-Giuliani policing and gets pre-Giuliani crime levels won't have the luxury of that excuse in 2017.

David said...

Robert Cook, I lived in NY only for a year, and it was in the late 1960's when crime was not as big an issue. The subways were my main transportation, and at all hours. I would say that I was wary but not fearful.

Of course I was also lucky (or not unlucky) as were you. The incidences of mayhem on the subway were quite rate. But even in my short day, the incidence of petty crime and intimidation for fun was significant. People don't want to live with that cloud over them, and I interpret the outpouring of support for Goetz as a reaction to the drumfire of small menaces, not a widespread fear of mortal injury.

You seem a resilient fellow. You were also in those days a young male. Punks and fools prey on the weak, and by their definition you were not weak enough.

William said...

Cook didn't live in a state of fear. Denial is the word that springs to mind........Perhaps fear is too strong a word, but there was a definite sense of dread in the air. The subways were an unpleasant way to travel and lots of people spent time and money avoiding them. The people who felt most at home on the subway were the homeless, the panhandlers, and dead end kids. It was their world, not yours.

Douglas said...

IMHO, this incident can properly be laid at the feet of Judge Scheindlin, mayoral candidate Bill Blasio and the NYC Council. Why didn't the cops break up this biker party before this tragedy happened? Why didn't the NYC Police Department send 50 cruisers out to round up the bikers, frisk 'em, check their licenses and registrations, push 'em around a bit, and send them on their separate ways with instructions not to drive in packs like that through NYC? Why? Because the cops, not being stupid, knew that they would be tagged with unlawful harassment of minorities, blah, blah, blah.

According to the Hon. Scheindlin and next-Mayor, Blasio, the police can't lift a finger unless they observe a crime or someone reports a crime. A menancing, large group of bikers out for a ride? You can't do anything about that unless you actually observe them breaking the law or a report dribbles in hours later about how they've beaten some poor fool half to death.

I thought it would take a couple of decades for NYC to sink back into anarchy and lawlessness. That's how long it took the last time. For whatever reason, the current descent into anarchy seems to be accelerated.

Congratulations, Judge Scheindlin, et al.-- this what you wanted, and now you have it.

Robert Cook said...

"I thought it would take a couple of decades for NYC to sink back into anarchy and lawlessness. That's how long it took the last time. For whatever reason, the current descent into anarchy seems to be accelerated."

There is hardly a state of anarchy or lawlessness in NYC at this time. If this is how you see it I must assume you don't live here or you have a hypersensitive reaction to (and unrealistic ideas about) the levels of harmony or discord one may expect to reasonably find in a large city filled with people. New York is an extremely safe and peaceful place right now.

David Davenport said...

Yes, NYC was more dangerous in those years, but the supposed fear felt by the city's residents has been exaggerated, become urban myth. People went about their daily lives, going to work, going out, and I don't recall any atmosphere of dread or of living in a pitched battle with the forces of evil.

One certainly had to be careful in certain parts of the country ... but the notion that Goetz did what everyone wanted to do or needed to do to fight back against the predators is untrue.


Try this:

Yes, Vichy France was more dangerous in those years 1940-44, but the supposed fear felt by the country's residents has been exaggerated, become Anglosphere triumphalist myth. People went about their daily lives, going to work, going out, and I don't recall any atmosphere of dread or of living in a pitched battle with the forces of evil.

One certainly had to be careful in certain parts of the country, and at certain hours, and those of a certain ethnicity did feel fear as a constant undercurrent, but the notion that La Resistance did what everyone wanted to do or needed to do to fight back against the predators is untrue.

CatherineM said...

Robert Cook - it's not a myth. Just seeing the graffiti ruined subway cars told people, "You don't want to be here...this place belongs to the criminals."

Robert Cook said...

"Just seeing the graffiti ruined subway cars told people, 'You don't want to be here...this place belongs to the criminals.'"

I can't gainsay what the grafitti said to you, but that's not what the graffiti said to me. I certainly prefer the subways cleansed free of the graffiti, but I did not see the graffiti as warnings that "this place belongs to criminals."

The graffiti was simply among the many age-old manifestations of humankind's perennial desire to impose ourselves on our surroundings, to make signs recording our presence at a specific place and time in the world.

Douglas said...

My mother rode the subway from the Bronx to Hunter College when she was a teenager in the 40s, no problem, day or night. By the time I lived in NYC (81-94), it was dangerous riding the subways after dark, and some subway lines were always dangerous.

NYC today is not in a state of anarchy. But the Hell's Angels-type incident a few days ago would not have happened before Judge Scheindlin. The police would have proactively broken up the gang before trouble happened. As someone once said, "You don't need a weatherman/ To know which way the wind blows."

Matthew Sablan said...

"If his intent was only self-defense, why did he stoop down and fire a second shot into the prone body of one of the youths already bleeding on the floor, (and who, I believe, was permanently paralyzed by Goetz's bullets)?"

He did no such thing. Cabey was not bleeding on the floor; he was only shot once. "That the fourth man, Cabey, was shot only once was a fact not made known to Goetz or his attorneys until shortly before the trial."

Whether Goetz acted badly or not is up for debate; whether he shot a bleeding man on the ground is not. You may have lived in NYC, but you need to refresh yourself on the facts.