Gotham Gazette

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  • sen rox pers2

    State Senator Roxanne Persaud (photo: @SenatorPersaud)


    Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic devastation, crime, particularly gun violence, has increased across New York City, a trend that began even before the coronavirus outbreak but has worsened since. The spike in shootings and murders has been particularly large in sections of Brooklyn. The 19th State Senate District, covering southeastern parts of the borough, including Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, and

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  • buy guns heroin

    NYPD officers (photo: @NYPDnews)


    The protests following George Floyd’s murder have amplified two different, yet intertwined demands: to hold police officers accountable and to defund the police. In New York City, the NYPD’s continued use of predatory “buy and bust” operations, which target poor people of color and are conducted by detectives with long misconduct histories, exemplifies the imperative to divert funds away from policing to public health services. 

    As a public defender, I have handled dozens of these “buy and bust” cases. These “operations” occur

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  • attg l pd

    NY Attorney General Letitia James (photo: @NewYorkStateAG)


    It’s been over six months since my younger brother Matthew Felix was unjustly and needlessly murdered by the Nassau County police. Over 190 days of those officers not being held accountable for robbing him of his life the week before his 20th birthday. On February 25, 2020, the Nassau police department believed my brother to be the alleged perpetrator of a carjacking and proceeded to

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  • NYPD officers oath academy graduates

    New NYPD officers are sworn in (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, the Qualified Immunity Doctrine has come under increased scrutiny from activists and elected officials. Simply put, when applied to police officers, qualified immunity means that officers can rarely be subject to civil lawsuits in their individual capacities over allegations of excessive force, brutality, or other misconduct while on the job. In other words, they

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  • bomb threat bk

    NYPD officers; the department remains under multiple investigations (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) and Law Department have missed the August 31 benchmark set by Mayor Bill de Blasio to submit a final report in their joint investigation into the NYPD's response to summer protests that broke out in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

    Officers' frequently violent engagement with demonstrators marching against police racism and brutality led to hundreds of allegations

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  • ceremonial dermot

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


    As New York City continues to see an increase in gun violence, concentrated largely in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his police department have gone with a familiar playbook of shifting resources to hot spots, holding gun buy-backs, and coordinating with community groups that seek to prevent shootings in vulnerable neighborhoods. But as shootings and murders have jumped by especially large numbers amid the pandemic, its resulting mass unemployment, and a

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  • mayor police com

    Mayor de Blasio and police officials (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Stephen Sigmund recently wrote an op-ed published by Gotham Gazette calling on New York’s young progressive activists to tread carefully in their pursuit of radical transformation or abolition of the NYPD, lest these reforms bring forth a repeat of the era of mass violent crime and urban decay that they are a bit too young to remember. I was glad to read this piece, because while I vehemently disagree with its

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  • jondeli rem am

    NYPD officers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of the Citizens Union Foundation community in Gotham

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  • chief department avail

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


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of the Citizens Union Foundation

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  • office hosted food

    Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, center, is one of the authors (photo: @BrooklynDA)


    Brooklyn is at a turning point for public safety and criminal justice reform. Through hard work, creativity, and trial and error, both law enforcement and citizen-powered organizations like East Brooklyn Congregations have achieved a sustained, historic drop in crime—but this year has seen troubling shifts. The recent spike in shootings and homicides – coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis – has thrown people

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  • 2 very pathetic

    Charles, left, & Inez Barron, right, at a ceremony with the Mayor & others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Anything short of a revolution won’t satisfy Charles and Inez Barron, the married Brooklynites who hold seats in the State Assembly and City Council, respectively, and the police reforms and city budget passed in the wake of recent widespread Black Lives Matter protests serve merely as a distraction to their radical idea of Black-led politics. 

    Assemblymember Charles Barron and City Council Member Inez Barron, both Democrats, have a

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  • avenue bx pres

    Aftermath of looting in the Bronx (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Growing up near New York City in the 1970s and ‘80s, the city seemed a terrifying place, full of gangs, muggers, and tabloid-worthy murders.  

    By the time I moved to the city for work in the mid-’90s, however, it was in the midst of a transformation. The first two neighborhoods I lived in, in Manhattan, were Murray Hill and the East Village, and both initially had terrible reputations. Murray Hill featured street prostitutes and notorious single resident occupancy hotels,

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  • crime stat shea

    Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD in focus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    When I joined the NYPD in 2013, I was an unlikely candidate for law enforcement.  Nearly a decade earlier, during the 2004 Republican National Convention, I was a passerby arrested at a protest in Union Square. At the invitation of the New York Civil Liberties Union, I joined a class action lawsuit against the City related to those widespread arrests. Then, for several years after graduating from Harvard Law, I worked at a law firm and volunteered as a board member at the Bronx Defenders, a

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  • De Blasio Shea NYPD crime safest

    Mayor de Blasio & Commissioner Shea (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the tactics and the timing of the police officers who dragged a protester alleged to have damaged several police cameras into an unmarked van on Tuesday. But the mayor did not say Thursday whether his police commissioner, Dermot Shea, felt the same way despite reporting having had two separate conversations on the subject.

    In an incident that was caught on camera and quickly went viral Tuesday evening, plainclothes officers leapt out of a

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  • media avail photo

    De Blasio and Shea discuss public safety (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea are marooned on an island with few substantive details to sustain their claim that one of the biggest drivers of New York City's recent increase in gun violence is a pandemic-stalled court system.

    The two have repeatedly offered largely unsupported claims that the coronavirus-related suspension of grand juries and a slow-down in gun offense prosecutions has made the courts a major contributor to the surge in shootings throughout the

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  • marathon city

    NYPD officers on the scene (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Watching racial injustice at the forefront of our national conversation in recent weeks has inspired millions of people across the nation to leave their homes and get involved in our democracy — some for the first time ever. Together, people in New York City from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side to Jackson Heights have all said enough is enough. It is time for city leadership to stand up and respond. 

    I am running for the New York City Council because I know we can do better than the system we

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  • 237 jumaane 600

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    July 22, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Jumaane Williams on Gun Violence & Police Reform

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined the show to discuss his recommendations for reducing gun violence in the city, the next steps on police reform, whether the mayor should replace his police commissioner, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMax

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  • Eric Garner police reform NYPD

    Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, at a recent press conference (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    New York, and the nation, was teetering on the edge when it was suddenly and violently pushed over it on May 25, as George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by police officer Derek Chauvin. It was an incident as shocking as it was familiar, an unarmed Black man dying at the hands of a police officer with the episode caught on video and broadcast to millions of people.

    “I can’t breathe,” Floyd cried out, as Chauvin knelt on his

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  • 2 facial recog

    An NYPD command center (photo: Edward Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In the four months since the NYPD first published protocols limiting its use of facial recognition software, the coronavirus-caused state of emergency and recent civil unrest over police brutality made the considerable leeway in the policy all but total. Absent any formal legal framework at the city, state or federal level, the internal, non-binding departmental protocols are the only public policy governing New York's lawless frontier of biometric surveillance.

    The police department has insisted it

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  • grad ceremony msg

    New NYPD officers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    America is being confronted with a truth that Black communities have always known—cops lie. They tell big lies that send people to jail for life. They tell small, yet still extremely dangerous lies like the completely fabricated Shake Shack poisoning. Cops especially tell insidious lies to cover up acts

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  • 2 nycmayor cop

    Police recruits (photo: mayor's office)


    Almost a month ago I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the premier college in the country for leaders in law enforcement. Today, I am taking the first steps to find a job in social work, convinced, like many people my age, that keeping my community safe has to start with compassion and respect, not violence.

    I started like many other students at the college, ready to become a cop. My cousin is a state trooper, and my grandfather served in the military in the Dominican Republic. I love my family's

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  • chief jeff 600

    Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, right, at a community event (photo: @NYPDCommAffairs)


    July 8, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey on Repairing Community Relations

    New NYPD Community Affairs Bureau Chief Jeffrey Maddrey joined the show to discuss his perspective on his new job, building relationships between the police and New Yorkers, stemming a spike in gun violence, moving school safety from his bureau to the Department of Education, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you

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  • De Blasio Shea policing NYC

    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Commissioner Shea (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The first day of the most recent chapter of protests against police brutality and racism in New York City was Thursday, May 28, the same night 500 National Guard troops were being deployed to Minneapolis, where rioters had set fire to a police station in the quarter where George Floyd was killed three days earlier.

    Over the next three nights, violence -- toward police and the burning of NYPD vehicles, by aggressive officers toward protesters, and in the form of rampant

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  • Cumbo NYPD city budget

    Council Member Cumbo (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Defending her vote in support of a new city budget that did not cut NYPD funding by at least $1 billion (as New York City faces a $10 billion COVID-19-related revenue shortfall) Brooklyn City Council Member Laurie Cumbo told protesters criticizing the plan: "Work under the

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  • de Blasio NYPD budget deal 2021

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    July 1, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Police Reformers Dissatisfied with NYPD Moves in City Budget

    joo hyun kanginsetJoo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform joined the show to discuss police reformers' dissatisfaction with the new city budget in terms of NYPD funding and related decisions.

    Listen to the conversation and let

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