Just Policing

So many of us are still reeling from the failure to indict in the Eric Garner case.  And our hearts continue to ache over the tragic deaths of Akai Gurley and countless others.  We must redouble our efforts to ensure that no more names are ever added to this list.  

That starts with directly confronting all the ways our justice system unfairly targets young men of color.  And it must include implementing policies to restore badly damaged trust between police and communities, and to hold accountable those few officers who abuse their authority.  That’s why I was proud to stand today with NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in calling for his office to serve as special prosecutor in all cases in which the actions of a police officer lead to the death of an unarmed civilian.

Our city needs nothing short of a cultural shift in the way we conduct policing.  We need to teach officers to focus on problem-solving and communication, and to de-escalate conflict before it gets out of control.  I am pleased by Mayor de Blasio’s recently announced plan to retrain the entire NYPD along these lines.  And we must pull back from the overly aggressive enforcement of minor infractions which has led to so many dangerous confrontations.

I am immensely proud at how our city has responded to this crisis in recent days. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers--people of all ages, races, and backgrounds--have taken to the streets to demand justice.  To date there has not been a single reported incident of violence in these protests.  I urge everyone to continue to speak out--peacefully--until we overcome injustice and build a society we can all be proud of.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members on Friday afternoon announced an agreement on the city's $92.8 billion budget for fiscal 2020, with initiatives to improve health care access at its forefront. The budget includes $26 million to place 200 additional social workers—including 85 working within the city's mental health initiative, ThriveNYC—in public...

Under legislation drafted by the City Council, the de Blasio administration would have to report on its efforts to notify school staff and the students who attended dozens of public schools during the 2001-02 school year that were not far from the World Trade Center site about programs available for...

The city is trying to have tenants sign new leases that only list one official occupant. By Noah Manskar, Patch Staff NEW YORK — New York City is forcing tenants of beleaguered buildings that it owns to sign new leases — and the conditions have raised hackles among lawyers and lawmakers....

By Brian M. Rosenthal The New York attorney general’s office said Monday it had opened an inquiry into more than a decade of lending practices that left thousands of immigrant taxi drivers in crushing debt, while Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a separate investigation into the brokers who helped arrange...

City Councilmember Mark Levine has announced the 2019 winners of participatory budgeting in his district, which includes parts of the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights and Washington Heights. The projects to receive funding are: $250,000 for air conditioning upgrades and new water fountains at P.S. 165 Robert E. Simon School...

By Sabrina Mallot Last fall, the City Council introduced a package of 18 bills aimed at preventing tenants from being displaced due to aggressive tactics from landlords like exploitative buyout agreements or nuisance construction. On Wednesday, May 8, all but one passed. They still require the mayor’s signature, but he...

By Eddie Small The hallways of Bronx Housing Court are crowded and chaotic on a typical weekday morning. Lawyers and tenants scurry across the white tile floors and lounge on the worn-down benches of the Grand Concourse building, where occasionally the sound of one person shouting out a name will...

By Elizabeth Kim A collaboration between a group of housing rights advocates has produced the most comprehensive database yet to measure evictions across New York City and identify many of the landlords responsible for them. Three advocacy groups — Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, JustFix.nyc, and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project —...

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