Under 40 Is The New Black


When I read the NYPD’s Narcotics Division is under order to stop arresting suspects over age 40 I thought it was something out The Onion. Turns out this is real. The New York Post has uncovered some internal documents instructing division commanders to do just that. Officers who arrest suspects over age 40 for drug related offenses must submit a specialized report detailing why they did so, and can even face disciplinary action. The order was signed by Bryan McCarthy, the head of the Narcotics Division, although it appears to have come from higher up. McCarthy attempted to explain this bizarre policy:

“A previous topic of discussion has been the need to target violent offenders who are 18 to 40 years of age. It has been well established that the individuals in this age demographic are responsible for the majority of violent crime.”

I’m going to assume this is the work of Police Chief William Bratton and his CompStat system of cataloguing crime, which is completely useless unless you are running for reelection. An outside observer can plainly see the system thrives on manipulating police reporting to show artificial rises and dips in crime, which usually spike slightly before elections and slightly die down shortly thereafter.

Young males are most certainly the stupidest and most violent of any demographic on the planet. Most of the people in New York arrested for drug crimes are young black males. They’re also among the poorest groups in the city, along with the elderly, but its hard to issue people citations or arrest them if they don’t leave the house. Maybe the correlation between economic status of blacks in the city and their hyper inflated arrest rates is a coincidence. Maybe it’s not. This is a city whose Stop and Frisk policy has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt to target blacks.

This is what’s known as profiling, although cops should profile. They should profile dangerous criminals. In every neighborhood starting in The Hamptons and moving West. A kid with a gun can take out a few people. Manipulating currencies can have untold consequences. Frankly what goes on in the ghetto doesn’t often directly affect me. Let’s work big time to small time.

Watch any episode of Cops and some high school drop out with his jaw sticking out of his cruiser will tell you the police disproportionately patrol predominantly black neighborhoods because that’s where the most crime is. What they fail to understand is that the most crime is in those neighborhoods because the police are there. How many of those drug arrests stem from complaints from citizens? Few. That’s the whole point of CompStat. If the cops start focussing on protecting people the crime rate goes down because they’re making less arrests. It’s not that hard to see, but police departments have a policy of hiring stupid people for this very reason. They’re good at waving flags and wearing insignias without doing much research.

Everyone’s aware racial profiling exists. Gender profiling definitely exists because few women act violently without reason like men do. You don’t have to have an IQ high enough to disqualify you from being a cop to know that.

But I’ve never heard of age profiling. I can’t imagine why this would be a policy, but I have some theories. On one hand it seems like a step in the right direction. Stop arresting people for possession of drugs. But only if they’re over 40, because people under 40 are more likely to be committing serious crimes.

The logical step here would be to skip the drug arrests altogether and simply focus on serious crimes. But the NYPD can’t do that. Because they need the drug laws as a pretense to interrogate, harass, search, and arrest untold numbers of young black men. They need an excuse to shake people down. The need an excuse for their presence in the first place.

What if I told you older people did less time for the same crimes as people under 40 because of the inherent sympathy of judges and juries who see a longer sentence as a one way ticket to die behind bars? Old people are sympathetic. Young people, thugs and punks. We’re taught to respect our elders.

I’d posit that if you’re going to have this laughably arbitrary age based system it should be flipped around. A 20 year old kid gets caught with a crack pipe. You get him some counseling he still has a chance. If he’s still burning rocks at 50, this is pretty much his life now. Except Charlie Sheen, but the cops don’t typically roll by his pad in Sherman Oaks and on the occasion they stop by for a beer they’re not doing a pat down.

By issuing this insane policy the NYPD is blatantly admitting that drug laws are simply in place to collect revenue in the form of fines or prison time. They’ve admitted that drugs aren’t dangerous. They say they’re only dangerous for young men, but young men will be doing stupid shit with or without drugs. And Bratton knows that. If drugs were indeed a problem, you’d most certainly want to be arresting everyone involved, regardless of age.

You just showed your hand, and it’s gross. This is the prison industrial complex hard at work. I don’t know how to further explain that police departments around the country are cooperating in a conspiracy to lock up as many people as possible under disingenuous circumstances. I would just point to this policy.

If you live in NYC start dealing crack on your fortieth birthday. You’ll be a billionaire by the time you’re a hundred. Take that money and start a revolution. These pigs are foundering in their own shit.





Matt Ralston is a comedian and writer based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewRalston

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