The Community Safety Act Tag All blog entries tagged as The Community Safety Act http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Tue, 08 Jul 2014 08:28:33 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Religious Leaders Call For NYPD Reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/religious-leaders-call-for-nypd-reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/religious-leaders-call-for-nypd-reforms

Community organizers and religious leaders from various faiths came together in front of City Hall to mark International Human Rights Day by calling for increased oversight of the New York Police Department.

Advocates say that the use of controversial police practices such as stop-and-frisk and monitoring of Muslims demonstrate the need to reform public safety in communities of color.

They have called for the passage of a package of legislation called the Community Safety Act that includes a measure that would create a new inspector general to oversee the NYPD who would make recommendations about policy.

The police have said that their tactics make the city safer. Mayor Michael M. Bloomberg is firmly opposed to the Community Safety Act.

“The Muslim community is under siege,” said Imam Ayub Abdul-Baki, of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, at today’s rally. “We are insecure about dealing with police officers in our community ... We are not sure if they are protecting or victimizing us.”

Faizah N. Ali, a 27-year-old coordinator for civic engagement from the Arab American Association of New York, said she became motivated to work on police accountability after news reports last year that the NYPD was monitoring Muslims.

“In a democratic society, part of our job is to hold our leaders accountable,” she said.

Ali explained that the unity among the various religious and ethnic groups at City Hall was part of an effort to emphasize the need for social justice in police practices. “We are a set of diverse New Yorkers looking for the police to treat everyone with dignity and respect," she said.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 10 Dec 2012 23:40:52 +0000
Latino Leaders Urge Passage of Police Reform Legislation http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/24/latino-leaders-urge-passage-of-police-reform-legislation http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/24/latino-leaders-urge-passage-of-police-reform-legislation

Riko Guzman said today on the steps of City Hall that when he was 11 years old he was with friends on his Bronx neighborhood sidewalk “doing nothing” when a police officer stopped and frisked him.

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“I was approached by my own heroes,” said the Bronx member of the Justice Committee, a Latino-led organization that works on police accountability.

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Guzman joined with other Latino and African American local elected officials, community leaders and reformers earlier today to urge passage of a package of City Council bills that could change the way the New York Police Department does its job.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez said the police use of stop-and-frisk is doing little for public safety. Instead, community members “view the police as a threat and enemy, not as an ally to make their community safer,” she said.

The bills, known collectively as the The Community Safety Act, are sponsored by City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn, who noted that advocates of the bills are “not anti-police.”

“We just want to make policing better,” he said.

Some critics of the bills say they rely on overly broad language to determine whether an individual can sue the NYPD for stop-and-frisk tactics. In a New York Post article published yesterday, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said the bills were “dangerous and irresponsible” and could cost the city millions in lawsuits.

But Williams said that the bills would simply address the need for a policy change.

According to a video from the Communities United for Police Reform, the primary organization supporting the bills, the legislation will mandate police officers explain that they can only search a person with consent or a warrant; must give a reason for their search; show a card with their name and rank; and provide information about the Civilian Complaint Review Board if the person would like to report the search.

The legislation would also create a new position of inspector general to have policy oversight of the NYPD.

But the primary goal of the legislation is stopping police profiling not just on the basis of race but also religion, gender, household, employment, immigration status, and ethnicity. More than 1.2 million of police stops during the past several years targeted African-Americans and Latinos, supporters of the legislation say.

Police reform groups and community organizations will be holding a rally at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday in support of the legislation, starting by 250 Broadway and proceeding to the steps of City Hall.

Williams pointed out that none of these bills are going to solve the issue of stop-and-frisk and the need for police accountability.

“What they will do is allow the City Council to make a strong showing that there is a problem here and it needs to be addressed,” he said.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:22:18 +0000