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.
The broken windows policing policy came into existence nationwide in the early 80s, with the intent to reduce criminal activity in what were known as "disruptive environments.'
To speak on the dated and problematic nature of the policies are Alex Vitale, a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, Nahal Zamani, Program Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Anthonine Pierre, Community Organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center.
Police-community relations are once again among the top stories nationwide, from Charlotte to Tulsa to Columbus. In New York, the recent debate has been not just about what police reform is needed, but how it should be done.
Growing up in Flatbush in the 2000s, I fell in love with the vibrancy of my community. I loved the way we gelled together — different cultures, with different layers of broken English sprouting from mouth to mouth, speaker to speaker.
One of the most vivid images I still hold on to, however, is the way police patrolled parties and community gatherings. They looked more like corrections officers walking down aisles of prison blocks than the agents of community safety they professed to be.