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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.

DON'T MISS: THIS WEEK IN GOTHAM GAZETTE

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

Other Stories We're Following

Silver Subpoenaed In New Sexual Harassment Suit (NY Post)

State Lags On Firing Workers Who Abuse Disabled Patients (NY Times)

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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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Other Stories We're Following

Both Sides Reloading For State Gun Law Fight (Albany Times Union)

Campaign Donations Ban Kept Out Of Casino Law (Associated Press)

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This weekend saw 26 shootings, where seven victims died. That's 5 percent of the city's total shootings for the year so far. Most of the incidences were in Brooklyn. In response, Commissioner Kelly said he'd boost foot patrols in the projects, increase plain clothes detectives in anti-crime units, and add surveillance towers. Still, the number of shootings so far this year is the lowest in a decade and 29 percent less than last year.

Other Stories We're Following

Is New York City Ready For Another Sandy? (New York Magazine)

Mayor Announces New Effort On Sandy Repairs (Associated Press)

Vallone Blocking NYPD Bills From Vote (Wall Street Journal)

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Tagged in: crime NYPD

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State Sen. John Sampson was charged yesterday with embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators. Among those charges, prosecutors accuse him of trying to get a list of cooperating witnesses in his case so that he could "take them out." He faces up to 120 years behind bars. Also yesterday, Assemblyman William Boyland was charged with mail fraud conspiracy - for the second time. In the past seven years, 32 state level officials have been snared in corruption cases.

Other Stories We're Following

New York City Gun Giveaway Planned By Armed Citizen Project (Daily News)

Use Of Stop-And-Frisk Drops By Half (Wall Street Journal)

Senate Confirms First Black Women On Top Court (Albany Times Union)

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More details have emerged from the arrest of State Sen. Malcolm Smith and Councilman Dan Halloran. Four local Republicans were arrested as well, including the Bronx party chairman and the Queens party vice chairman. Another worked on John Catsimatidis's campaign but has now been fired. All six were charged with wire fraud and bribery. The senator was also charged with extortion. The money from the bribes was to come from state funding secured by Smith for upstate developers - actually an informant and undercover FBI agent - who would then pay the GOP leaders. Halloran was using council discretionary funds. Smith had previously survived a series of scandals and Halloran was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. This is just the latest in a series of Albany scandals.

Other Stories We're Following

With Legacy On His Mind, Mayor Adds 78 More Schools (NY Times)

Who Policies Prosecutors? (WNYC)

Push To Address Possible Danger In Smoke Detectors (City Limits)

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The New York Post reports that State Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested today for trying to bribe GOP leaders into getting his name on their mayoral ballot. He allegedly had Councilman Dan Halloran, a Republican, meet with party leaders and negotiate thousands in bribes. Halloran was also arrested today and is accused of collecting thousands in bribes for himself.

Other Stories We're Following

Kelly Wanted To Instill Fear In Blacks, Latinos: Senator Testifies (NY Times)

Councilman Poses With Man Charged With Photographing Sex-Assault Victim (NY Post)

Report: Millions Wasted By City Board Of Elections In 2011 (Daily News)

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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.

Other Stories We're Following

Deal In Albany Would Extend Higher Taxes On Top Earners (NY Times)

NYPD Officer: Police Brass Dictate Stops, Arrests (Associated Press)

Ten Domestic Violence Victims File Lawsuit Against NYCHA (Daily News)

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A witness now says that the boy fatally shot by police in East Flatbush earlier this week had no gun, as the officers claim. A gun was recovered from the scene, however. On Monday night, a group had splintered from a peaceful protest over the shooting and rioted. Local shops along Church Ave. were shuttering early yesterday in fear of more tumult. An offshoot of the Bloods gang has put out a hit on any cop in retaliation for the killing of the boy, who is said to have been a gang member. Both police involved in the shooting are people of color. During a budget hearing yesterday, Councilman Jumaane Williams said more violence could be expected if the police didn't repair their relationship with poor and minority communities, because the unrest was about more than this isolated shooting.

Other Stories We're Following

Courts Rein In Bloomberg’s Power to Make Policy (NY Times)

Minority Groups And Bottlers Team Up In Battles Over Soda (NY Times)

Soda Ban Faces Long Battle Ahead (Wall Street Journal)

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The call for more gun controls has been a familiar refrain following the Connecticut elementary school massacre, but a number of N.R.A. backed congressional Democrats and some Republicans have joined the chorus this time. Some opponents of the N.R.A. say this most recent tragedy could provide a true test of the powerful organization. Even conservative pundit Joe Scarborough has called for stricter rules and Wal-Mart removed a semiautomatic assault rifle similar to the one used in the incident from its Web site. In the wake of the shooting, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a new campaign for stricter rules, and will send out 34 videos to each member of Congress, a number meant to symbolize how many gun victims are killed daily nationwide. Gov. Cuomo also called for stricter federal rules, although he said the state’s assault weapons ban should be tightened, too.

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Thousands of barrels of biological evidence in criminal cases were damaged by Sandy flood waters in Brooklyn warehouses. Each barrel can contain several pieces of evidence such as bloodstained clothes and bedding. Hundreds of cars and motorcycles held as evidence were also inundated. Thousands of bicycles were as well. It's unclear how many cases will be affected. It could depend on whether damage is done to exclusive evidence needed to prove a case. Often, evidence in storage facilities has already been processed.

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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.

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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.

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A police officer shot and killed an unarmed man after pulling him over on the Grand Central Parkway last night, and the passenger says his hands were on the wheel when it happened. It's still unclear why the officer shot his gun. The driver, an Army reservist, was pulled over for cutting the officer's truck off.

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A judge ruled that hundreds of protestors at the Republican National Convention in 2004 were arrested without probable cause on Fulton St. The city may now be liable for significant monetary damages. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said police could not have known whether each individual there intended to break the law. He denied requests to make the same ruling for a group of protestors on 16th St. during the convention. The judge also decided that police broke the law by fingerprinting protestors with identification who were arrested that day. But the fact that protestors were arrested rather than issued summonseswas deemed acceptable, since intelligence sources found that demonstrators planned unlawful activity.

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Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist convicted of bribery this January, is cooperating with authorities. It isn't known who he'll be giving information about to prosecutors. In six years, 27 elected officials have been been charged in scandals, and that number is expected to grow with Lipsky's help.

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