Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

policing

policing

  • grad cere msg

    NYPD officers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Civilian Complaint Review Board will be increasing its capacity to investigate police misconduct thanks to a City Charter amendment approved by voters last fall, agency officials explained on Wednesday.

    At one in a series of City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget, CCRB Chair Fred Davie and Executive Director Jonathan Darche said the city plans to add 17 additional staff members to the currently 206-person agency to meet a new formulaic mandate now written

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  • brooklyn bridge ave 33rd cityhall

    Policing the subways (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    If you’ve ridden the subway recently, you could be forgiven for feeling watched. The MTA’s fare evasion crackdown is ubiquitous; subway cars are plastered with phrases like “We’d rather your $2.75 fare than your $100 fine.” Governor Cuomo’s ...

  • NYPD body cameras

    Mayor de Blasio checks out an NYPD body camera (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    A new report by the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board shows body-worn cameras have helped the police watchdog close hundreds of misconduct cases by substantially improving its ability to prove and disprove allegations. While CCRB officials believe the technology has become an indispensable tool, it has also presented new challenges for the agency as it seeks greater transparency from the NYPD.

    The report, released Thursday, is the first of its kind on the

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  • police commissioner bill bratton host

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    December 18, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Questions About the NYPD's Gang Policing

    PodcastJosmar Trujillo and Taylonn Murphy Sr. joined the show to outline their critiques of the NYPD's policing of gangs, including large raids and sweeps, a particularly fraught topic given recent attention on the NYPD's gang member database.

    Listen to

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  • comm shea ed

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


    Hate crimes in the city have skyrocketed over the last three years, to the point that the City Council passed a bill to create an Office of Hate Crime Prevention and Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced the creation of a new unit in the NYPD to tackle the problem. But, as the number of complaints about incidents of hate have risen, arrest rates are generally flat at just over 40%, even as the mayor and NYPD commissioner say they are “consistently” capturing those responsible at a “high

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  • ceremonial shea

    Mayor de Blasio & PC Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Just a week on the job, new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea appeared at a solemn press conference in Brooklyn on Thursday, where he addressed the Jersey City murders of two people with ties to Williamsburg as well as the Manhattan murder of an 18-year-old Barnard student. The killings are emblematic of a rise in hate crimes, particularly anti-Semitic ones, and an increase this year in murders in New York City, though those numbers remain near record lows.

    He was in Williamsburg

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  • police academy graduation

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


    In the five years following Eric Garner’s death at the hands of then-NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly fallen back on the same argument to defend the police department when questions are raised about apparent incidents of excessive force or other misconduct by officers: deescalation training.

    “[T]he goal is always to de-escalate,” the mayor said at a news conference on crime statistics on November 6, addressing a recent “chaotic” incident on a

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  • anto reyes police body cam

    Monday's press conference at City Hall (photo: @changethenypd)


    [Update (Sunday Dec. 15): on Friday, Dec. 13, the NYPD released body camera footage in this case]

    Antonio Williams’ parents were not allowed to see their son in the hospital before he died from police gunshot wounds he sustained while attempting to flee a police stop in late September. Two-and-a-half months later, they are seeking footage from the body

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  • de Blasio NYPD leaders

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A new evidence-sharing agreement between the NYPD and its civilian watchdog agency around the department’s handling of police body-worn camera footage has the potential to significantly change the way misconduct investigations are carried out. But despite the NYPD’s recent commitment to greater transparency and cooperation, to be successful the agreement will require an element of trust in an interagency relationship marked by obfuscation and obstruction.

    Under the new agreement, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will

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  • fulton wt

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Last month, two videos of incidents in Brooklyn emerged on social media that led to a public furor over policing in the city’s subway system. In one, several police officers aimed their guns at an unarmed young black man (and many fellow passengers nearby) and then aggressively arrested him despite him having shown no indication of resistance. In the second, an officer could be seen punching black teenagers in the face as other officers attempted to bring a stop to a brawl in a subway station.

    Those incidents were widely seen as a

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  • finance comm hearing

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The NYPD’s body-worn camera policies are a “work in progress,” a police official said at a hearing of the New York City Council’s public safety committee on Monday, seeking to allay concerns expressed by Council members about the program that now includes more than 20,000 uniformed officers. At the hearing, Council members had questions and criticisms about transparency and accountability taking a back seat to surveillance and police authority, particularly with regard to the NYPD’s control over body camera footage.

    The NYPD

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  • cops subways nypdnews

    (photo: NYPD)


    The MTA’s crackdown on fare evasion and homelessness in the city’s subway system, at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo and with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, is facing a chorus of criticism over the criminalization of poverty and targeting largely of New Yorkers of color. Rather than a police response, these issues can be better handled by stronger safety net programs, including discounted Metrocards, and outreach from social workers, some critics say, while others also point out the MTA is in no fiscal position to hire the planned 500 new

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  • cm cornegy richards press conference

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The NYPD’s body-worn camera program is meant to provide transparency and accountability about policing activity in the city, particularly in cases of high-profile incidents of police officers’ use of force against civilians. But more than seven months after body cameras were rolled out to every uniformed patrol officer, there are many questions about how the cameras are used and about the policies that determine the release of the footage to the public and independent

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  • police comm confer

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Amid the ongoing conversation about the way the NYPD handles footage recorded by officer-worn body cameras, more details have surfaced about the reasons the department gives for delaying or denying requests made by misconduct investigators for key pieces of video.

    Gotham Gazette recently reported that while prosecutors in district attorney offices get full body-worn camera footage directly from the arresting officer following an arrest, police

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  • cm vanessa gibson

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Police Department recently issued the first protocols for the public release of footage from officers’ body-worn cameras, and with them the first explicit mention in departmental policy that the footage may be subject to editing and redaction prior to release.

    The policy raises new and recurring questions on the controversial topics of who controls the video and how it is handled, some of which the NYPD has responded to with information about

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  • first comm holds

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    One of the most visible changes to American policing in the wake of the controversial 2014 killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men, by law enforcement, is the proliferation of body-worn cameras. But as the cameras become a larger part of the police oversight constellation in New York City, the NYPD has been slow to release footage to the very agency meant to investigate alleged officer misconduct, including excessive, even deadly, force.

    When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of phase one of

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  • com james body

    Mayor de Blasio with an NYPD body camera (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York Police Department quietly issued its long-sought policy on the public release of body-worn camera footage earlier this month, detailing how the department must respond to requests for footage from the public and the various exemptions that determine its release.

    The policy was published to the NYPD website on October 18, one day after Gotham Gazette

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  • pba ie need help q2 2019

    (photo: Police Benevolent Association Independent Expenditure Committee)


    The city’s largest police union is spending significantly to defeat a ballot proposal that experts say will bolster the authority and performance of the civilian city agency tasked with investigating alleged misconduct and abuse of power by NYPD officers.

    Voters are being presented ...

  • mayors office promotion

    PBA President Pat Lynch, second from left (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest law enforcement union, launched on Monday a campaign against ballot proposals aimed at strengthening police oversight. 

    The PBA is urging its members and their allies to vote “no” on Question 2 on the ballot this fall in hopes of scuttling potential changes to the way the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) investigates and prosecutes officers accused of misconduct. A New York City charter revision commission has

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  • maydbd coord off

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council’s effort to reduce the criminalization of low-level, non-violent offenses through legislation passed in 2016 has continued to further achieve its aims for the third year in a row, as the NYPD makes fewer arrests and hands out fewer criminal summonses, opting instead for civil fines. But there remain concerns about racial disparities in law enforcement, as an overwhelming number of citations are handed out to black and Latino New Yorkers.

    In 2016, the Council under former

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  • eric officers councilcall

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    July 10, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: the Police Reform Movement is Focused on NYPD Officer Accountability

    anthonine pierre bmc wbai 150Anthonine Pierre of Brooklyn Movement Center and Communities United for Police Reform joined the show to discuss what police reformers are focused on right now, Mayor de Blasio's record

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  • pol comm medal

    (photo: Spencer T Tucker/City Council)


    Many justice reformers welcome increased political support for constructive systemic changes. New York state government, for example, recently enacted reforms aimed at restricting the use of cash bail and reducing misdemeanor arrests. Many Democratic presidential candidates pointedly decry mass incarceration and our "broken" criminal justice system.

    The most positive feature of this shifting landscape is the moral concern that it reflects, the relatively new recognition among pundits, politicians, and broader public that our

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  • mayor bdb crimes

    (photo: Ed Reed and Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Like so many Jews, we are horrified and dismayed at the recent attacks on visibly Jewish people in New York City, in particular Hasidic and Haredi men. Anti-Semitic violence is on the upswing in the U.S. and in our

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  • preet bha vitale2

    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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  • ccrb exec director twiter2

    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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