NYC's Museum of Broken Windows Focuses on the Systemic Impact of NYPD Tactics

NYC's Museum of Broken Windows shows the consequences of police violence.

“It’s 1,093 detailed toe tags of every single person who was killed by law enforcement in our nation in the year 2016,” explained the museum’s executive producer, Daveen Trentman. “We know the names of Eric Garner and Philando Castile, but all of those names we don’t know and it’s really important to us to have their presence here in this space.”

The museum is a pop-up art exhibition with roughly 70 pieces of artwork that take a critical look at the NYPD and “Broken Windows policing.” The Broken Window theory was used by Mayor Giuliani in the ‘90s and argues that signs of antisocial behavior lead to more serious crimes.

“So in practice, if the NYPD goes after turnstile jumping or kind of lower level crimes then [they] will eventually prevent larger crimes from happening,” Trentman explained. “But what we know is that there’s no empirical evidence.”

The art in “Broken Window” showcases pieces like a self-portrait by Russell Craig which he painted on his court documents, including his parole and halfway house papers and mugshot. It also features a painting called “The Talk” which portrays the dialogue that parents of color need to have with their sons about surviving a confrontation with law enforcement.