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NYPD

  • Mass Gang Takedowns are Not ‘Doing Justice’

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    Preet Bharara (photo: @PennLaw)


    Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has a new book entitled Doing Justice, which is designed to further establish his position within the “Trump Resistance” by playing up his commitment to the rule of law in the face of the politicized actions of the Trump Justice Department. In it he argues that there is no place for politics in the decisions about which cases to take on and how to prosecute them.

    "Certain norms do matter,” Bharara writes. “Our adversaries are not our enemies; the law is not a political weapon;

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  • How the Mayor and NYPD Must Step Up for Sexual Assault Accountability

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Not nearly enough has been done to improve New York City’s response to sexual assault in the one year since the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) issued a blistering report on how the NYPD was failing to make sexual assault response a priority. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s primary response to the report has been to question its accuracy.

    The mayor needs to see that many of the failures

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  • De Blasio Backs NYPD Harassment of Muslim New Yorkers

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Last year, New Yorkers learned about the experience of Jamilla Clark, a domestic violence survivor who was forced by NYPD officers to undress herself, removing her religious headscarf against her will. Jamilla and other women’s experiences led my co-counsel and me to sue the NYPD, bringing a federal civil rights lawsuit.

    We hoped that self-proclaimed

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  • Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on Police Accountability

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    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    The 2019 Charter Revision Commission met on Thursday evening to discuss police accountability reforms before an impassioned crowd filled with activists. Local advocates along with some politicians have long called for increased transparency and accountability in policing, particularly in recent years following the 2014 death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officers on Staten Island and the slow, somewhat secretive process by which any accountability has been handled for that incident and others like it over the years.

    The commission

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  • Headley Case Again Raises Questions About NYPD Accountability Under De Blasio

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When video was captured in 2014 of Staten Island resident Eric Garner dying with an NYPD officer’s arm wrapped around his neck, just months after the election of a progressive mayor promising a new day at the police department, it seemed like a watershed moment. The evidence was there for millions to see for themselves, across the city and country, and beyond. It seemed impossible that the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, would escape any accountability. But more than four years later there has been little beyond Pantaleo’s move to

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  • The Right to Know is Law – Will the NYPD Abide by It?

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    New York City recently took an important step toward police reform. The long-anticipated Right To Know Act has officially gone into effect, with important provisions dictating police-civilian encounters. The Act includes critical laws that will help end unconstitutional searches and require that police officers both identify themselves

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  • Questions Linger as Right to Know Act Goes Into Effect

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    (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Right to Know Act, a significant piece of police reform legislation passed by the City Council last December, is set to go into effect Friday and advocates who hoped it would transform street interactions between New Yorkers and police officers are worried that the NYPD may not fully comply with the new law.

    The Right to Know Act comprises two laws with requirements for how officers conduct themselves in street stops. The first, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat, mandates that

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  • At ‘Museum of Broken Windows,’ NYCLU Exhibits Case for Reform

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    (photo: @NYCLU)


    The windshield of the NYPD car is shattered, with glass debris all over the ground. The inside of the patrol vehicle is full of greenery, indicating it’s been there a while. Still intact is the side door that reads “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect.”

    This is the centerpiece of the Museum of Broken Windows, a new pop-up exhibit on West 8th Street hosted by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and open for one week beginning

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  • New Approach to Low-Level Offenses is Working

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    How should police respond when someone is drinking a beer in the street, dropping litter, or engaging in other minor offenses? Up until a year ago, a criminal summons was the only answer, and if the person didn’t show up in court, he or she could be arrested on a warrant.

    As a result, New Yorkers had as much contact with the system for low-level offenses as for serious crimes.

    Consider that in the first half of 2017, there were 112,000 criminal summonses compared to 98,000 misdemeanor arrests

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  • NYPD Watchdog Seeks Sharper Teeth Through Charter Revision

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    CCRB reps, including Jonathan Darche, middle (photo: @CCRB_NYC)


    When the NYPD decided earlier this month to move ahead with its departmental trial against two officers involved in the 2014 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, it tasked the Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent watchdog agency, with prosecuting the charges. But that prosecutorial authority has yet to be codified into the City Charter, the city’s central governing document, a change that CCRB officials are seeking through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s charter

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  • City Leaders Say They Stand with Muslims & Immigrants, But Do They Mean it?

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City’s leaders have recently been protesting with Muslim and immigrant New Yorkers, but these same leaders are often missing once the cameras are gone. After last week’s stunning Supreme Court setback, the time finally has come for these same leaders to ditch New York City’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant police policies.

    We clearly say we’re a sanctuary city, but the facts on the ground are unclear. No, city workers can’t ask about immigration status, but NYPD officers continue to use dragnet surveillance on

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  • Investigation Commissioner on Examining NYPD, NYCHA and Correction

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    Commissioner Peters at a press conference (photo: @NYC_DOI)


    It took Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police Department two years to accept what the city’s Department of Investigation had uncovered in 2015, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said recently: that quality-of-life crime enforcement, like marijuana arrests, does little to reduce violent crime and that these arrests disproportionately affect people of color.

    When the DOI came out with the report detailing these findings, it experienced pushback from the mayor, who publicly questioned the

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  • While Waiting on the State, Steps on Marijuana for the Mayor and NYPD

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    (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Smoking marijuana in public will only be legalized if the New York State Assembly and Senate – huffing and puffing – change the penal law.

    With no change, the real problem in New York City is the collateral consequences – past, present, and future – arrests for marijuana cause thousands of black and Hispanic New Yorkers disproportionately impacted by the NYPD’s approach. These consequences include issues when applying for a license or job, or leading to deportation proceedings as mandated by

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 402, with Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 41 -- 402, with DOI Commissioner Mark Peters [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

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    City Council Progressive Caucus Calls for Crisis Intervention Reforms

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    (Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council Progressive Caucus is stepping up calls for Mayor Bill de Blasio to reconstitute a citywide task force to examine how emergency responders help people suffering from mental illness, and are insisting that the mayor consider creating a parallel response force of social workers and therapists that can answer calls rather than police officers.

    In a letter sent to the mayor last Wednesday, the 21 members of the Progressive Caucus said the mayor should act by the end of

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  • NYPD Pushes Back Against Calls to Reform Special Victims Division

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    NYPD reps at Monday's hearing (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    At a tense oversight hearing examining the NYPD's response to sex crimes on Monday, the NYPD opposed all four bills introduced by the City Council in response to a Department of Investigation report released two weeks earlier.

    The bills seek to require evidence-based models to determine staffing levels for the Special Victims Division, more training for sex crimes detectives, and a digital, searchable case management system for the SVD.

    On March 27, following a year-long

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  • Council Members Renew Call for Task Force on NYPD Response to Emotionally Disturbed Persons

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


    In August of last year, shortly after NYPD officers shot to death an emotionally disturbed man in his apartment, City Council Member Jumaane Williams led an effort calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to set up a task force to conduct a wholesale review of the police department’s protocols in dealing with “emotionally disturbed persons,” or EDPs. Almost eight months later, with many in the city again reeling from the fatal shooting of an emotionally disturbed man at the

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  • Savino Asks De Blasio for Help Passing ‘Subway Grinder’ Bill He Once Supported

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    Senator Savino and Mayor de Blasio at lunch (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    As a debate rages over the appropriate law enforcement response to subway fare evasion, in Albany, a bill steepening the penalty for certain subway sex offenses is getting another look.

    During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ...

  • City Council Oversight Hearing on Policing Protests Dominated by Disputes

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    City Council Member Rodriguez (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council Committee on Public Safety held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to examine the NYPD’s tactics and procedures regarding protests and crowd control. The perpetually controversial issue has come to the fore once again in the wake of immigrant activist Ravi Ragbir’s detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the NYPD’s subsequent aggressive handling of protesters, culminating in the arrests of two City Council members and 16 others on January 11.

    Both Council

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  • Why Does Crime Keep Falling in New York City?

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    James O'Neill, Bill Bratton, Bill de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department have much cause for celebration. Last year was undoubtedly the safest year on record in decades, setting new benchmarks for crime reduction across most major categories, according to the latest crime data released by the NYPD on Friday.

    The total number of major felony crimes fell below 100,000 for the first time ever, no small feat for a city now home to more than 8.5 million residents.

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  • Bills Seek to Examine NYPD Interactions with ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons,’ Prevent Tragedies

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    photo via The Mayor's Office


    In September, the City Council called a hearing to scrutinize the New York Police Department’s response in cases involving “emotionally disturbed persons” (EDPs). There had been six instances in the previous 11 months where a mentally ill New Yorker had been killed by police officers. Council Members demanded to know why, and sought ways to prevent those deaths in the future, and NYPD officials gave

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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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