Approx Reading Time-10A retro flair imbues Richard Jackson’s Long Reads this week, with NYPD abuse of minorities, MJ’s chimp, Bubbles, and forced sterilisation techniques.


The NYPD is kicking people out of their homes even if they haven’t committed a crime – Sarah Ryley (ProPublica)

This is a fine example of how a good intention can turn into something malignant. Nuisance abatement orders are used by the NYPD against people to preserve order. Originally intended to be utilised against anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, the law has now come to be used against people who haven’t committed a crime. Much of the usage is down to the NYPD’s officers’ discretion and, as you might have fearfully assumed, yes, it is used almost exclusively in minority neighbourhoods.

Because nuisance abatement actions are civil proceedings, defendants have no right to an attorney. The tenants and homeowners interviewed by the Daily News and ProPublica were elderly, ailing, poor or unable to speak English and, thus, ill-equipped to navigate the legal maze on their own.


Michael Jackson’s pet chimp, Bubbles, is living out his twilight years in Florida – Dyllan Furness (Miami New Times)

Michael Jackson was the complete package for a musician; a brilliant songwriter and singer, and an electrifying presence on stage. He was also bonkers – owning a pet chimpanzee (named Bubbles) isn’t even the weirdest thing he did.

Dyllan Furness tracked down Bubbles after the Jackson family were forced to get rid of him due to his increased aggression (perhaps because he was a wild animal). They sent him to the non-profit Center for Great Apes in Miami with other celebrity apes, where he is now living out his twilight years.

The article provides a great picture of the animal’s personality, although it would seem that the effect living with Michael Jackson had on Bubbles is quite sad – he is emotionally stunted around other apes and dislikes attention.


When doctors took “family planning” into their own hands – Marcela Valdes (The New York Times Magazine)

This article concerning forced sterilisation of Mexican women in America in the ’70s is as disgusting and disturbing as you would imagine. But what really makes it twisted is that the educated doctors who were performing these actions never considered that what they were doing was wrong – it gives pause for concern.


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