Michael Weinstock, a former Brooklyn felony prosecutor, said that in communities with higher poverty rates and more citizen run-ins with police, such as the Bronx and Kings County, jurors are skeptical of authorities and cases that rely heavily on police testimony are often weeded out.
“Getting convictions in Brooklyn and the Bronx are the toughest, because of distrust of the police,” Weinstock said. ”Queens is the only borough that doesn’t have any neighborhoods that live in abject poverty. Not surprisingly, the residents have greater respect for the police, in comparison to the other boroughs, and that translates to higher conviction rates.”
Weinstock said that while police testimony may be all that is needed for a conviction in some jurisdictions, it is not enough in others.
“If I were a prosecutor and I had a case that relies 100 percent on police testimony, I would have no problem winning a conviction in Poughkeepsie, but I wouldn’t want to even bring that case before a jury in the Bronx or Brooklyn,” Weinstock said.
Read the article in the New York Law Journal