For months, Mayor de Blasio has promoted that his administration will stand against Trump's racist attacks on immigrants and people of color. Yet everyday, these same communities are criminalized and targeted by the NYPD's abusive, discriminatory "broken windows" policing, a practice that is consistent with Trump's racist policing agenda by fueling incarceration and immigration enforcement. New Yorkers need concrete actions by our local officials to make our city a true sanctuary for all.
Right to Know Act
The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law.
On March 16, I videotaped two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers pushing and threatening students from Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Toward the end of the encounter, one of the officers threatened the young people with a Taser, asking them if they wanted to "ride the lightning." The officers were attempting to disperse these young people from a public sidewalk for reasons unknown to me.
Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made no secret of his hostility towards movements that have drawn attention to police violence, challenged the confluence of immigration and local law enforcement, and called for meaningful police reform and accountability and reform.
In the weeks since Donald Trump won the presidential election and assumed office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has sought every opportunity to present himself as opposed to Trump. While de Blasio has promoted his administration as a defender against Trump’s anti-immigrant and racist agenda, he has refused to take concrete action within his own power to protect New Yorkers.
As New Yorkers resist the Trump administration’s racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and other discriminatory actions, it’s more urgent now than ever for New York’s elected and public officials to take action to protect our communities. We saw some of that in Albany this week with the State Assembly passing criminal justice reform legislation, even as action is still needed in NYC to end broken windows policing and pass the Right to Know Act.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign account recently posted a Twitter message touting the NYPD’s neighborhood policing initiative. “New York City is proving to the rest of the country that respectful, compassionate neighborhood policing drives down crime & makes us safer,” the tweet from @BilldeBlasio read.
NEW YORK — The mayor and police commissioner of New York City urged police academy graduates Wednesday to respect their constituents, say "hello" to people on the street and distance themselves from friends and relatives who make bad decisions.
The film, titled "Police Reform, Ramarley Graham, and The Right To Know Act,” details the story of how the city pushed hard to legislate a promising police reform this year, but ultimately failed when City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton struck a deal to implement the act administratively, but not by law.