NEW YORK -- The New York City Police Department's involvement in the surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists, as revealed this week by The Intercept, is once again raising questions about whether the NYPD is unlawfully monitoring political activity.
In the Media
This week, members of the United Nations brought up the issue of increasing homelessness in New York. At about the same time, at a rally at City Hall Tuesday, Communities United for Police Reform, elected officials and a diverse group of homeless and anti-poverty advocates united to call for an end to the recent public dialogue in New York City that has, in effect, sought to demonize and shame homeless and poor New Yorkers.
A new campaign launched by the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) in New York City is encouraging members of a police union, as well as their family and friends, to track “the homeless lying in our streets, aggressive panhandlers, people urinating in public or engaging in open-air drug activity, and quality-of-life offenses of every type.” The crusade comes in the midst of recent media hysteria over homeless people allegedly committing crimes, and advocates fear the
As a boy attending Catholic school in upstate New York, Stephen Loomis would find a parked police car blocking the building’s lot on each school day, so that motorists approaching a nearby intersection wouldn’t cut through and endanger students. Loomis said he and his friends frequently went over to speak with the officer, who would occasionally pop the hood of his squad car and show off the engine.
“Suddenly, he’d get a call and then whiz off on another assignment,” Loomis said. “I remember imagining he was off to chase bank robbers.”
As New York City plans a dramatic expansion of the use of body cameras among police officers here, two state lawmakers are introducing legislation they say will make sure that video is available to the public.
Currently, police officers' “personnel” files—which include substantiated complaints and other records—are not subject to Freedom of Information Law requests.
There's a growing consensus in America that too many people are ensnared in the sprawling prison-industrial complex. The powers that be in Washington, DC, are increasingly amenable to criminal justice reform, which could dramatically reduce additions to the US prison population in the years ahead.
Just hours after announcing the historic nuclear deal with Iran on July 14th, President Obama moved to speak about a domestic issue that had been simmering on the back burner for years. He called for far-reaching criminal justice reforms focused on reducing sentences for non-violent offenders and eliminating racial inequities within the system.
On a muggy, midweek evening in early July, about 700 police officers, just a week on the job, gathered at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, ready to watch a candid onstage conversation between six veteran cops and six inner city kids.
The fresh-faced newbie cops, as some of the veterans call them, were the first to graduate from the New York Police Department’s gleaming new $750 million training facility in College Point, Queens. They are also some of the first to be trained under the department’s revamped training programs.
On the first anniversary of the NYPD's apparent neckhold killing of Eric Garner during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes, the Justice Department has still not decided on federal charges, but experts say the case has already set in motion potentially far-reaching changes in policing in New York.