Many believe that the biggest responsibility of the Mayor of New York City is to keep people safe and Bill de Blasio has largely done that, in no small part by letting his lightning-rod police commissioner, Bill Bratton, call the shots on public safety policy. The mayor has focused on pre-kindergarten and affordable housing while Bratton has governed the streets, helping bring crime down to historic lows.
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.
Incoming Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he’ll stick to a controversial deal with the City Council on identification and search rules — prompting a clash with some police reform advocates before he’s even started the job.
O’Neill, the current Chief of Department who will take over for Bill Bratton, said he’d stick to the deal his predecessor made to avoid a vote on two bills called the Right to Know Act.
Jews must support the Black Lives Matter movement to fight for the rights of people of color in their own religion, said dozens of Jewish activists who rallied for police reform Downtown on July 28.
“Black Lives Matter is a Jewish issue because there are black Jews,” said April Baskin, vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism congregation, who came all the way from D.C. for the event. “The freedom and safety of black people is tied to our Jewish values for justice and safety for everyone. Our country collectively has not been vocal enough.”
On Saturday, Assembly Member Michael Blake, at an event in his district, was forcibly restrained by a NYPD officer while trying to gain information about an incident that was occurring. He was released after a senior officer recognized him as an elected official.
The incident has many remembering a situation that took place in 2011, when I and Kirsten John Foy, who was working for then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, were detained by police during the West Indian Day Parade.
The organization Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) will hold a rally this evening (Thursday, July 28) which will begin at 7pm in front of the Barclays Center. The rally will then proceed down Atlantic Avenue towards Brooklyn Heights. The march will culminate in front of the Brooklyn Detention Complex at 275 Atlantic Avenue, where mourners plan to light Yarzheit candles for those lost to police violence.
Two years ago this month, Eric Garner was gang-tackled and smothered by New York City police officers on a Staten Island sidewalk. His death helped to spark a national outcry and a push for better ways of policing the police. Among the reforms sought by the New York City Council are two bills to protect civilians from being harassed and unlawfully searched.