NEW YORK — After a slew of new laws were passed in the last month aimed at reining in aggressive policing tactics, police unions in New York City are now instructing officers to wait for a supervisor or call in a specialized unit if someone is resisting arrest. In a July 1 newsletter sent to NYPD officers, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) instructed officers to wait, saying that officers’ jobs have “changed radically over the past few weeks,” citing new laws. Frustrated by an apparent lack of guidance from the city on how officers should comply, the PBA is now demanding clear legal interpretations of how officers can comply with the new laws. “Our job as police officers is simply to carry out [the city’s] directives — and yet we have received no guidance and no training on how we are expected to do our job in this new environment,” the newsletter said. Passed by city council on June 18 as part of a package of six NYPD reform bills, one law in particular which bans officers kneeling on individuals’ backs is particularly controversial.
NEW YORK — The Surrogate’s Court in Lower Manhattan received a fresh coat of paint — albeit an unprompted one, after graffiti, as colorful in its language as it was in its incandescence, was scrawled across the building by anti-police protesters. Nearby, an elevator shaft for the City Hall 4/5/6 train was covered in scraps of cardboard etched with messages memorializing the lives of Black Americans killed by police. Demonstrators had encamped in the area around City Hall for days while inside city officials dealt with one of the most significant political issues of their time — how to effect massive reforms to the nation’s largest police department without sacrificing public safety. The solution from city leaders, much to the consternation of some protesters who envisioned a wholesale removal of police altogether, has been to enact a massive shift in funding away from the New York Police Department (NYPD), to the tune of nearly $1 billion, and reinvest it into communities of color. After midnight this morning the City Council voted on a budget that includes deep cuts to NYPD personnel and shifts millions to other city agencies.
Activists in New York are challenging NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s account of a May 30 incident where police in Brooklyn rammed two patrol cruisers into a crowd of protestors and metal barricades, sending demonstrators flying.
After weeks of emotionally charged youth-led protests calling for sweeping reforms to root racism out of the criminal justice system in the streets, the New York City Council passed a package of bills today targeting the New York Police Department for major changes.
After multiple reports of police using excessive force against anti-police brutality protestors in New York and charges filed against only one NYPD officer, activists are questioning whether prosecutors across the city are taking the issue of brutality seriously.
Taylonn Murphy’s phone chimed steadily as he addressed reporters gathered in a boardroom Thursday. His friends were concerned. The previous night, Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old freshman at Barnard College, was fatally stabbed in a Harlem park by would-be robbers, police said.
Josmar Trujillo knows New York Police Department databases — facial recognition, DNA and, his crusade, the gang database. However, the database of juvenile fingerprints — illegally maintained and recently destroyed by the NYPD — was a new one for him. But, in the fight against big data policing, it was par for the course for Trujillo.