In the Media
A hotly contested measure that would obligate cops give their name, rank and command during most routine stops now has enough backers it could theoretically override a veto by Mayor Bill de Blasio—if his ally Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito would ever let it get a vote on the City Council floor.
Homeless New Yorkers and their advocates want New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to own up to his promise to them.
Last Thursday, outside of City Hall, members of Picture the Homeless, Communities United for Police Reform, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Committee and FIERCE (an organization that caters to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in New York City) demanded that police abuse against homeless people end and that the mayor adopt cost-effective housing solutions by using city-owned lots to construct housing.
Utah, a state where even regular beer is considered too intoxicating, has made possession of heroin or cocaine a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Mississippi has reduced its prison population by 15 percent with new legislation.
Several states have decriminalized marijuana for recreational use. More than a half-dozen states have passed laws restricting the use of cellphone-tracking technology by the police.
A government watchdog laid out a proposal Monday for greater transparency of NYPD operations and accountability for officer actions.
Citizens Union released an 18-point policy statement that, among other goals, seeks to establish consistency across the police oversight system and expand the range of disciplinary options for cases of officer misconduct.
The group’s executive director, Dick Dadey, said the introduction of a new police commissioner, James O’Neill, next month opens a door to improved NYPD-community relations.
Good-government and police-reform groups blasted the City Council’s “handshake agreement”with the Police Department Monday as “irresponsible” and “not how the City Council should act,” in the words of Citizens Union’s Dick Dadey.
A flood of predictable reactions — from police and protest circles — greeted the announcement Tuesday that New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton is leaving the post in September. The 68-year-old is the most influential American law enforcement executive in modern times, the author of policing strategies that have shaped relations between police and the communities they serve, for better and for worse.
Last week, City Council Members Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso sent out a joint statement in which they addressed the ramifications of the impending retirement of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. “With the departure of William Bratton,” the statement reads, “we are reminded that administrative agreements are every bit as short-lived as commissioners themselves, coming and going in the moments we least expect.”