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  • New York City Now Has Its Own Legal Parameters for ‘Disorderly Conduct’

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    Council Member Vanessa Gibson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A City Council bill that creates an alternative to the state’s “disorderly conduct” statute, and mandates lower punishment for the infraction, became law on Friday along with numerous other bills relating to protecting undocumented immigrant New Yorkers. The bill, sponsored by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, chair of the public safety committee, also adds another plank to the Council’s broad agendas of criminal justice reform and

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  • City Council Evaluates Progress of NYPD Inspector General

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    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: William Alatriste)


    Four years ago, over the veto of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the City Council passed the Community Safety Act, a landmark piece of legislation relating to policing in New York City. One of the law’s most prominent planks was the creation of the NYPD Inspector General, an independent police department watchdog that would audit NYPD practices and operations and make recommendations on improvements.

    With the nation on edge over widely disseminated videos of black men

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  • The Right to Know Act and the City Council Speaker Race

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    Jumaane Williams at a Right to Know Act rally (Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    In less than two months, the current class of the New York City Council ends its term, and eight incumbents who won reelection on Tuesday are running to lead the 51-member legislative body as its next speaker. It is an internal race influenced by county party affiliates, labor unions, Mayor Bill de Blasio, himself newly reelected, and others.

    As the clock ticks on this term and the speakership of Melissa Mark-Viverito, a de Blasio ally who is

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  • As Deaths Mount, Scrutiny of NYPD Response to ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons’

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    Mayor de Blasio & law enforcement officials (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor’s Office)


    At a recent hearing, New York City Council members discussed the effectiveness of NYPD responses to “emotionally disturbed person” (EDP) calls, the slow pace of implementation for new NYPD crisis intervention training, and the tragic outcomes of several recent interactions between NYPD officers and emotionally disturbed individuals.

    At the hearing, held Sept. 6 jointly by the Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Mental Health, Developmental

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  • Oversight Bill Moves Ahead, with Police Union Opposition But De Blasio Support

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    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Williams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A police oversight bill sponsored by City Council Member Jumaane Williams unanimously sailed through the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations on Tuesday, and is all but certain to be voted through the full City Council on Thursday. The legislation, which increases reporting requirements about and efforts to mitigate police misconduct, has the support of the de Blasio administration, but is being opposed and criticized by the city’s largest police

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  • Police Misconduct Bill Set to Move Through City Council

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    Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo: @pthny)


    After a lengthy legislative process, a bill regarding police misconduct is likely to move through the City Council this week, beginning with a Tuesday committee vote.

    The legislation (Intro. 119), introduced in 2014 by City Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat, would require the city’s Law Department to post online, and to

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  • Malliotakis Files Records Request for Mayor's Travel Expenses

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    Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (photo: Felipe De La Hoz/Gotham Gazette)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio spent his third day in Queens for his week-long City Hall in Your Borough initiative, presumptive Republican mayoral nominee Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis showed up at his Manhattan workplace to reprimand the mayor for a lack of transparency for his numerous trips out of the city.

    “I believe it's important that when we ask the mayor how much has it cost the taxpayers for various trips around the United States, or around the world, that he give the public that answer,” she

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  • De Blasio, NYPD Won’t Release Taxpayer Cost for Germany Trip

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    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD leaders (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Asked about the cost to taxpayers for his recent trip to Germany, Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated at a press conference Wednesday that expenses for himself and three aides were paid for by the organizers of a protest rally the mayor was asked to headline. As for his NYPD security detail, which did come at taxpayer expense, the mayor said, “The NYPD always provides some kind of estimate so please ask them for that.”

    But, news outlets had already been asking the NYPD for that cost estimate

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  • Calling Trump’s Big Lie What It Is

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    (photo: @NYPDRecruit)


    Upping the immigration deportation ante, a San Francisco federal judge found “irreparable harm” and ordered a national preliminary injunction blocking President Donald Trump’s threat of cutting off law enforcement funds to “sanctuary cities” that defiantly refused to comply with his deportation policy.

    Under the proposed Trump policy, cities would lose funding if undocumented and even legal immigrants are not reported to federal authorities for deportation after being charged with low-level criminal offenses, such as

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  • A New Approach to Police Body Cameras

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    NYPD's Ben Tucker with a body camera (photo: @NYPDnews)


    After many months of waiting, the New York City Police Department recently announced its proposed rules for the use of body worn cameras. The NYPD developed the policy in response to a mandate by the federal court in the  Floyd v. City of New York “stop and frisk” case. To their credit, the NYPD, with the help of the ...

  • Thousands of Low-Profile Cases Could Turn on Police Body Camera Footage

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    (photo: @NYPDnews)


    In June 2016, the Policing Project at the NYU School of Law co-sponsored a study with the NYPD to assess sentiments regarding police body cameras, part of an effort to influence department policy as body cameras become worn by an increasing number of patrol officers. The NYPD has been gradually outfitting its officers with body

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  • Pulling the Public into Police Accountability

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    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    The NYPD released its new body-worn camera policy last week. For the first time ever, the department relied on public opinion to help guide that policy. With help from the Policing Project, a New York-based organization dedicated to bringing the public voice to policing policy, more than 25,000 New Yorkers and 50 community-based

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  • For a More Accountable NYPD, Improve Information Sharing on Police Misconduct

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    Council Member Dan Garodnick, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    For decades, the New York City Police Department has had an early intervention system to identify officers prone to violence, based on their discipline and complaint history. Yet through leaks last month, we learned that the officers who killed Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham had extensive records of complaints against them. Despite so many documented

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  • NYPD Temporarily Suspends Issuance of Press Passes

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    The media at an NYPD press conference (photo: @NYPDNews)


    Members of the news media wanting to get a new NYPD press badge will have to make do without until further notice.

    The department’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI), which handles the issuance of the credentials, has not been accepting applications for new cards for weeks, and has not definitively said when it will begin taking appointments again. The passes are designed to allow reporters to cross police lines and enter certain police-protected events and buildings.

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  • City Makes Slow Progress in Effort to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

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    City Council Member Rory Lancman (photo: Micah Institute)


    In 2016, 159 people were exonerated in the United States after being wrongfully convicted for a crime they did not commit, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Fourteen of those wrongful convictions took place in New York, the

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  • Bill de Blasio’s Police Accountability Problem

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign account recently posted a Twitter message touting the NYPD’s neighborhood policing initiative. “New York City is proving to the rest of the country that respectful, compassionate neighborhood policing drives down crime & makes us safer,” the tweet from @BilldeBlasio read.

    In a response symbolic of a problem de Blasio is facing as he heads into his re-election year, Lumumba

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  • City Council to Examine NYPD Oversight Board

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    CCRB Chair Maya Wiley & Mayor de Blasio in 2014 (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    The Civilian Complaint Review Board, a key provider of oversight of police conduct in New York City will be subject to oversight itself at a Friday hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety. It will be the first of its kind during the current administration wherein the CCRB is evaluated by the Council outside of the annual budget process. The hearing comes amid controversy over NYPD transparency with regard to officer

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  • Eleanor Bumpurs, Deborah Danner, and Finally Fixing Our Emergency Response

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    (photo: @NYPDnews)


    Heartbreak and outrage at another deadly police shooting - this time concerning Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old woman with a psychiatric disability. Police, responding to a call about an "emotionally disturbed person," entered her apartment and when the woman became agitated and combative, an NYPD Sergeant killed her.

    It is all achingly familiar. In 1984, Eleanor Bumpurs, who was also a disabled elderly black woman in the Bronx, was killed with twin shotgun blasts in similar circumstances.

    In the wake of Bumpurs'

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  • Crime Under Mayor De Blasio, The Long View

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    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD officials (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This September was the safest September in the more than two decades that the NYPD has been keeping statistics of the seven major felonies through its CompStat system.

    Announcing that fact on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD officials, including new Commissioner James O’Neill, again touted crime numbers largely heading in the right direction.

    The press conference came one week after the first Presidential debate between

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  • Council to Hear Bill Mandating Publication of NYPD Patrol Guide

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    City Council Member Garodnick, in NYPD hat, & colleagues (photo: William Alatriste)


    A bill introduced by City Council Member Dan Garodnick to require the NYPD to publish its patrol guide online will be heard for the first time by the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety next week. The hearing, set for Thursday, September 15, follows shortly on the recent controversy over the Right to Know Act, a package of police reform legislation that Council Speaker Melissa

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  • Increase in Rape Reports Given Little Attention Amid Celebration of Crime Drops

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    Mayor de Blasio at a press briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    “You’re going to hear some numbers that are striking,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio as he began an August 4 press conference on the city’s latest crime statistics. “2016 saw the fewest shootings, the fewest robberies, the fewest burglaries, the fewest

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  • Procedural Move Could Lead to Vote on Right to Know Act

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    A Right to Know Act rally


    Last week, City Council Members Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso sent out a joint statement in which they addressed the ramifications of the impending retirement of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. “With the departure of William Bratton,” the statement reads, “we are reminded that administrative agreements are every bit as short-lived as commissioners themselves, coming and going in the moments we least expect.”

    The Council members were referring to an agreement between

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  • Working with The Next Police Commissioner

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    City Council Member Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: Jeff Reed)


    Given where we are in the policing discussion in this city and country, and the acknowledgement of how deeply systemic the problems lie, focusing on the departure or hiring of any one Commissioner has always simplified a complex problem. I have never known a time when people were not calling for the removal of an NYPD Commissioner as the solution to policing issues in our city.

    It was right for many of us to express concerns when Commissioner Bill Bratton was chosen,

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  • Bratton Departure Comes with Silver Lining for De Blasio

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    Bratton, O'Neill, de Blasio at City Hall (photo: Ben Max)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t want Bill Bratton to leave his post as NYPD Commissioner, but his departure comes with a thick silver lining. And just because de Blasio would rather Bratton stay than go doesn’t mean the mayor doesn’t see it.

    As de Blasio stood smiling and shaking the hand of soon-to-be Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill on Tuesday at City Hall, the mayor may have exhaled an inaudible sigh of relief. While we don’t yet know what kind of

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  • Change of Commissioner Spotlights De Blasio’s Record on Police Reform

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    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office


    Many believe that the biggest responsibility of the Mayor of New York City is to keep people safe and Bill de Blasio has largely done that, in no small part by letting his lightning-rod police commissioner, Bill Bratton, call the shots on public safety policy. The mayor has focused on pre-kindergarten and affordable housing while Bratton has governed the streets, helping bring crime down to historic lows. At the same time, Bratton has led an evolution of sorts

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