May 23, 2019
In April 2016, the NYPD, in concert with the FBI, ATF, DEA, and Homeland Security, descended onto the South Bronx, arresting scores of people in what was described as the largest "gang takedown" in city history. Preet Bharara, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, praised what became known as the Bronx 120 raid as a victory against dangerous criminals—and the media largely parroted that narrative. The problem: Fewer than half of those arrested were ultimately alleged to be members of the targeted gangs, and most of the 120 were not convicted of violent crimes. City University of New York criminal law professor Babe Howell has spent the past three years investigating the raid and the actual charges that resulted. Today she joins us to describe what she learned.