Despite consistent opposition to New York City’s stop-n-frisk policy, police commissioner Ray Kelly’s popularity is at an all-time high.
A Quinnipiac poll notes that 75 percent of city voters approve of Kelly’s performance, with just 18 percent voicing disapproval.
It’s not just white voters (80 percent approval) who support Kelly. Black voters back him by 63-to-27 percent. Hispanic voters are even more enthusiastic, with 76 percent approval. 
While Quinnipiac didn’t confirm why voters are so enthusiastic about Kelly, pollsters cite the city’s record low murder rate. 
Fifty percent of the electorate opposes stop-n-frisk, with 46 percent supporting the policy.
Photo credit Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Despite consistent opposition to New York City’s stop-n-frisk policy, police commissioner Ray Kelly’s popularity is at an all-time high.

A Quinnipiac poll notes that 75 percent of city voters approve of Kelly’s performance, with just 18 percent voicing disapproval.

It’s not just white voters (80 percent approval) who support Kelly. Black voters back him by 63-to-27 percent. Hispanic voters are even more enthusiastic, with 76 percent approval. 

While Quinnipiac didn’t confirm why voters are so enthusiastic about Kelly, pollsters cite the city’s record low murder rate.

Fifty percent of the electorate opposes stop-n-frisk, with 46 percent supporting the policy.

Photo credit Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Another day, another subway commuter pushed onto the tracks. He was just declared dead: Asian man, 58 years old.
Like a lot of other people, I can occasionally be found leaning far out over the tracks, in hopes of spying the first lights of a distant train. It’s a thoroughly useless exercise.
And then I read about incidents like this one and I’m reminded to step back, away from that bright-yellow precipice. I imagine myself hunkering down, lowering my center of gravity, planting my feet as hard as I can. I look around, sizing up the people on my platform. Who’s most likely to want to kill me?
After a few days of this, I’ll get complacent and start leaning back over those tracks again. It’s a luxury, in a sense — a sign that we trust our fellow commuters. But for now, I figure, a little paranoia pays.
(Photo by Eric Skiff)

Another day, another subway commuter pushed onto the tracks. He was just declared dead: Asian man, 58 years old.

Like a lot of other people, I can occasionally be found leaning far out over the tracks, in hopes of spying the first lights of a distant train. It’s a thoroughly useless exercise.

And then I read about incidents like this one and I’m reminded to step back, away from that bright-yellow precipice. I imagine myself hunkering down, lowering my center of gravity, planting my feet as hard as I can. I look around, sizing up the people on my platform. Who’s most likely to want to kill me?

After a few days of this, I’ll get complacent and start leaning back over those tracks again. It’s a luxury, in a sense — a sign that we trust our fellow commuters. But for now, I figure, a little paranoia pays.

(Photo by Eric Skiff)

"Two teens beat a 70-year-old Queens man after asking him if he was Hindu or Muslim, police said Friday." [NYDN]

This happened in Corona, Queens. The cops are searching for two Hispanic males. On one hand, it’s a savage act, plain and simple. On the other hand, there’s an element of sophistication within this savagery. The stereotypical American bigot, you imagine, doesn’t stop to consider such fine nuances as Hindu vs. Muslim before initiating an all-out assault — it’s all just a whole bunch ‘o’ brown, right?

But of course, it’s not, as is made clear by the suspect profiles — “dark haired” Hispanics going after someone who’s presumably South Asian, and just as dark.

This question, "Are you Hindu or Muslim?" is so strange to encounter in a New York crime story, especially for an Indian guy like me. For anyone who has roots in South Asia, it’s the question seemingly repeated, ad nauseum, throughout all spasms of Hindu-Muslim violence.

After all, many Hindus and Muslims in India or Pakistan are ethnically identical, distinguished only by their religiously-ascribed clothing or something just as superficial. During any episode of inter-religious butchering, the question is presumably thrust at anyone who doesn’t fit into a clear category. But even rampaging mobs can be savvy, and know very well that the person being asked is willing to answer with whatever identity is most practical at that moment.

From this cynicism was born a test of sorts: if the mob doubts the veracity of the answer — suspects that the person is in fact Hindu when he said Muslim, or vice-versa — it forces him to drop his pants, and reveal whether he is circumcised (Muslim) or not (Hindu).

The body, it figured, couldn’t lie.

Pee All That U Can Pee

New York is a paradise for public urinators.

All those shadowy corners, combined with a stark shortage of restrooms and an anything-goes civic attitude conspire to rapidly lower the inhibitions of all those revelers wandering the streets with distended bladders on any given night.

Now, thanks to the folks at "The New York World," we know where public urination is practiced with near-Olympic rigor. Not the LES or Williamsburg, but Jackson Heights, Queens. There, in the 115th Precinct, police officers handed out a whopping 1,808 summonses for public urination last year.

Second place went to the 110th Precinct, next door, with a lowly 808 summonses. 

(Photo credit Molly Meenson)