police reform Tag All blog entries tagged as police reform http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:03:10 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead: City Asks Judge For Freeze On Police Reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/28/todays-lead-city-asks-judge-for-freeze-on-police-reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/28/todays-lead-city-asks-judge-for-freeze-on-police-reforms

The city asked a judge to put a freeze on her ruling that stop-and-frisk practices be overhauled and a monitor for the NYPD be installed until its appeal of the decision was heard. In the administration's request, numbers were cited showing a significant drop in the stops. Mayor Bloomberg will also begin making public weekly updates on crime statistics. Meanwhile, Commissioner Kelly announced that the number of people shot by police dropped to 18 this year compared with 22 at this point last year. In related news, the NYPD has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:50:16 +0000
Today's Lead: Council Overrides Stop-And-Frisk Vetoes http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/23/todays-lead-council-overrides-stop-and-frisk-vetoes http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/23/todays-lead-council-overrides-stop-and-frisk-vetoes

The City Council yesterday voted to override Mayor Bloomberg's veto of two stop-and-frisk reform bills known as the Community Safety Act. The inspector general bill override passed with a vote of 39-10, while the profiling bill override passed 34-15. Speaker Quinn supported the inspector general measure but opposed the profiling bill. She said she doesn't expect any conflict between the inspector general and a federal court-appointed monitor mandated earlier this month. Bloomberg vowed legal action against the profiling bill.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Fri, 23 Aug 2013 12:23:41 +0000
Today's Lead: Stop-And-Frisk Rejected http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/13/todays-lead-stop-and-frisk-rejected http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/13/todays-lead-stop-and-frisk-rejected

The New York Police Department’s practice of stop-and-frisk violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, a judge ruled yesterday in a decision that included a call for a court-assigned independent monitor to oversee several reforms.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose administration has aggressively defended the practice as necessary to keep crime at historic lows, called the decision “very dangerous.”

"We believe we have done exactly what the courts allow and what the Constitution allows us to do,” he said.

He promised to appeal the decision — but the legal fight will likely outlast his stewardship of the city and will be left to his successor. Democratic candidates for mayor largely said they would abide by the court’s decision. Republican candidates called on the Bloomberg administration to fight it.

In her decision, federal judge Shira Scheindlin found that the city’s stop-and-frisk relied on “indirect racial profiling” by targeting minority communities and that officers stopped “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” She said the practice violated the Fourth Amendment, as well as the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said called that the most disturbing and offensive part of the court’s ruling.

"That's simply recklessly untrue," Kelly said. "We do not engage in racial profiling. It is prohibited by law. It is prohibited by our own regulations. We train our officers that they need reasonable suspicion to make a stop and I would assure that race is never a reason to conduct a stop."

Like he's done in the past, Bloomberg blamed the heightened focus on stop-and-frisk on "small group of advocates and one judge," and that he'd defer policing matters to police brass over its opponents.

"The public are not expert on policing," the mayor said. "Personally, I'd rather have Ray Kelly decide how to keep my family safe than somebody who's just in the streets saying, 'Oh, I don't like that.'"

The city will now have to meet with a court-assigned independent monitor, attorney Peter L. Zimroth, to discuss the issues set out by the opinion, said Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo. As soon as the monitor includes any order, Cardozo explained, the city would then seek a stay from the Second Circuit, which would then determine the next step in the case.

Scheindlin said in her ruling that her decision wasn't a call to end stop-and-frisk, but to ensure that it can be conducted in a constitutional manner. Instead, she suggested police use body-worn cameras for a trial period in one precinct in every borough and appointed a federal independent monitor.

(Bloomberg called the suggestion of cameras "a solution that's not a solution" and a nightmare scenario for NYPD.)

Scheindlin appointed trial attorney Peter L. Zimroth as monitor. A partner with Arnold & Porter LLP, Zimroth previously served as a chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan and an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

With the appointment of the monitor and the implementation of a new, independent inspector general to oversee the NYPD and make recommendations, policing in the city could be reshaped under the next mayor.

Bloomberg repeated an argument yesterday that the additional oversight would lead to dangerous confusion among the police ranks.

"If somebody pulls a gun and you want to get home to your family, you don't have time to say, 'Well, wait a second: the commissioner said one thing, the monitor said another and the IG said another," he said. "By that time you're dead. And I'd like to see you go to the funeral and explain to the family why their son or husband or father is not coming home at night."

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) The Eye-Opener Tue, 13 Aug 2013 11:25:43 +0000
Today's Lead: Justice Dept. To Probe Bronx Police Shooting http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/09/todays-lead-justice-dept-to-probe-bronx-police-shooting http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/09/todays-lead-justice-dept-to-probe-bronx-police-shooting

The U.S. Justice Department will probe whether the civil rights of a black teen were violated when he was shot and killed by a police officer last year. A Bronx grand jury declined to charge the cop with manslaughter on Wednesday. The boy's family was unable to obtain a special prosecutor for the case. The officer had previously been indicted by another jury. That decision was overturned by a judge who said the jury should take into account that another officer said the teen was armed. The cop gave an emotional and precise testimony this time, as opposed to the last one where he appeared nervous. The teen was shot in his own home and no gun was found, only a small bag of marijuana. The officer also still faces a disciplinary review by the Police Department.


Policy Dreamin' At Manhattan BP Debate: All of them think Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Midtown East rezoning plan is moving much too fast. All of them concede they are willing to revisit the City Charter to improve land use procedures. They all want to diversify their appointments. And they want to connect the limited powers of the office they are seeking to a wider breadth of pressing issues. By Chester Soria.

Op-Ed: Preservation Can Contribute To Affordability by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

GothamVotes: A Conversation With Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn by Chester Soria

PLUS: Don't forget to check our site devoted to the historic 2013 elections: GothamVotes2013.com

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Fri, 09 Aug 2013 12:15:23 +0000
Today's Lead: Council To Vote On NYPD Bills http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/06/25/todays-lead-council-to-vote-on-nypd-bills http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/06/25/todays-lead-council-to-vote-on-nypd-bills

Yesterday the Council voted 41-8 in favor of bringing two NYPD bills to a floor vote, bypassing a committee where they were being held up. This is the first time such a "discharge vote" has been used since 1989. One bill would create an independent monitor for the department and the other would allow individuals to sue over stops resulting from bias. The Council could vote on the bills as early as tomorrow. Former Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau spoke in opposition to the bills at a rally yesterday. Queens D.A. Richard Brown and Staten Island D.A. Dan Donovan also attended. The monitor bill is expected to get enough votes to override a mayoral veto, while the other is less certain.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Tue, 25 Jun 2013 11:44:13 +0000
Today's Headlines: Bloomberg Staunchly Defends NYPD Policies http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/01/todays-headlines-bloomberg-staunchly-defends-nypd-policies http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/01/todays-headlines-bloomberg-staunchly-defends-nypd-policies

Mayor Bloomberg delivered a passionate speech yesterday defending his police policies and lashing out at critics. He lambasted civil rights groups and the media for not showing outrage at the recent murder of a boy in the Bronx. He signaled out the NY Times in particular for publishing an article opposing stop and frisk days afterwards. The paper's rebuttal was that the editorial and news gathering sections are separate. But they did however mention the shooting in an op-ed. The victim's mother supports the policy. Bloomberg also panned legislation in the City Council that would create an independent monitor for the NYPD and another addressing profiling. He argued that outside agencies wouldn't share sensitive information if another department could gain access to it and that it would somehow sow confusion among the ranks of who was in charge. The mayor also claimed that the second bill would bar the use of skin color in descriptions of suspects, which the bill's co-sponsor points out is not the case.


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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 01 May 2013 12:06:23 +0000
Today's Headlines: Administration Rebukes NYPD Inspector Idea http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/27/todays-headlines-administration-rebukes-nypd-inspector-idea http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/27/todays-headlines-administration-rebukes-nypd-inspector-idea

Yesterday Police Commissioner Kelly spoke for the first time about the idea of creating an inspector general for NYPD. “I think putting in another layer of so-called supervision or monitoring can ultimately make this city unsafe," he said. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg commented on the mayoral candidates' ability to keep the city safe: “What we don’t know is what they will actually do to reduce crime. We don’t even know if it’s a goal.” Mayoral Candidate William Thompson said Tuesday he wants an inspector who would report to the commissioner. In related news, three cops who have stopped-and-frisked an unusual amount of people will offer their perspective on the practice at a trial over its constitutionality.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:27:13 +0000
Today's Headlines: NYPD Inspector General Likely http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/20/nypd-inspector-general-likely http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/20/nypd-inspector-general-likely

Speaker Quinn, the frontrunner in the mayoral race, said a council bill to create an Inspector General's office for the NYPD likely has enough votes to override a mayoral veto. The office would be able to issue subpoenas, interview witnesses, and look broadly at police procedures and policies. Individual misconduct cases would still be handled by Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Quinn said talks were also progressing on three companion proposals to set new stop-and-frisk rules. A bill to create an NYPD monitor was introduced in June, but Quinn kept it from a vote. Bill de Blasio, a Democrat also running for mayor, said the monitor needed to have a budget independent of the mayor and City Council. Quinn would still retain Commissioner Kelly, who is opposed to the monitor.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:54:55 +0000
Headlines: Stop-and-Frisk on Trial; Attack Ads with Murky Ties http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/17/headlines-stop-and-frisk-on-trial-attack-ads-with-murky-ties http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/17/headlines-stop-and-frisk-on-trial-attack-ads-with-murky-ties

Testimony began today on a class-action suit against an NYPD program that allows police to stop-and-frisk anyone in the halls and stairwells of private buildings enrolled in the 20-year-old Clean Halls program, which gives them permission to do so. The New York Civil Liberties Union and six black or Latino plaintiffs from the Bronx say the stops are unconstitutional and unwarranted. They claim the police have unlawfully stopped more than 1,000 minority residents for trespassing in those buildings. The Bronx District Attorney’s office has been tossing arrests made under the program unless the arresting officer was interviewed. Meanwhile, the department issued a directiveordering cops to document when an assistant DA refuses to take a case so it can be reported to and tracked by the legal bureau.

mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:20:13 +0000
Headlines: Kelly wants grand jury probe of shooting; GOP ahead in Senate races http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/09/headlines-kelly-wants-grand-jury-probe-of-shooting-gop-ahead-in-senate-races- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/09/headlines-kelly-wants-grand-jury-probe-of-shooting-gop-ahead-in-senate-races-

Commissioner Kelly has called for a grand jury investigation into the fatal shooting of a driver by police last week on the grand Central Parkway. The officer is said to be 'anxious' to testify in order to clear his name. It is routine for prosecutors to bring fatal shootings by the police before a grand jury. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is ultimately in charge of empaneling a grand jury and is investigating the shooting already. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg says appointing an inspector general to oversee the NYPD would bring crime back to the streets of the city.

mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 09 Oct 2012 13:31:27 +0000
Vallone Warns of Rise In Crime, Calls for Scrutiny of Nonprofits http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/04/vallone-warns-of-rise-in-crime-calls-for-scrutiny-of-nonprofits http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/04/vallone-warns-of-rise-in-crime-calls-for-scrutiny-of-nonprofits

Crime in New York City is going up in all categories except homicide, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. told the Queens Campaigner in an interview published today.

“I’ve been warning that this crime increase would occur,” said the chair of the Council's public safety committee.

He indicated that the size of the police force could be linked to the uptick in crime, telling reporter Rebecca Henley that the "Safe Cities, Safe Streets" program in the early 1990s increased the number of police officers in the city from 31,000 to 41,000. But now he said that number is less than 35,000.

Vallone also defended stop-and-frisk, saying the police tactic had successfully gotten 800 firearms off the streets.

“I think they’re making an effort to do things the right way,” he said of the New York Police Department.

In the interview, Vallone also called for more scrutiny of nonprofits that are associated with politicians, following recent scandals.

The three-term councilman, who cannot run again for his seat, said he is instead eyeing the borough president's office for 2013.

Vallone's public safety committe is scheduled to convene Oct. 10, to consider bills that could create more oversight of how the police conducts street stops, for instance by requiring officers to "provide notice and obtain proof of consent to search individuals."


Photo of Vallone courtesy of the City Council.

webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Thu, 04 Oct 2012 16:20:54 +0000