Clarke Backs Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act
Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, yesterday, strongly backed the proposed federal Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, which would prohibit the use of chokeholds – a technique intended to suffocate a person that was used to kill Eric Garner in 2014.
The bill, introduced by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, would define use of the chokehold as a civil rights violation under federal law. Chokeholds have been prohibited by the New York Police Department since 1993, but in the years since then thousands of New York City residents have filed complaints about the use of a chokehold. A substantial majority of the complaints were from precincts in which most residents are African American or Latino.
“The chokehold, a tactic derived from the martial arts to prevent normal breathing, was prohibited in New York City in 1993 after Queens resident Federico Pereira died when police officers used the chokehold on him. Yet the practice of applying a potentially deadly chokehold persisted after the prohibition, as when Bronx resident Anthony Baez was killed after he and his brother were arrested when their football accidentally struck a patrol car,” said Clarke.
“The use of the chokehold continued despite Police Department regulations to the contrary, as occurred when a police officer used a chokehold on Staten Island resident Eric Garner that resulted in his death. The chief medical examiner confirmed that the death of Eric Garner was a homicide. The same chokehold that killed Eric Garner was, only a few weeks later, used on a pregnant woman in Brooklyn who had committed only the ‘crime’ of barbecuing on the sidewalk near her home. The assumption under which the chokehold was used in these instances – that the lives of men and women who are African American or Latino are not entitled to respect – was the same assumption that resulted in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, when police officers denied him medical treatment for injuries he sustained after he had been arrested.
“The continued use of the chokehold demonstrates that its prohibition by the Police Department remains ineffective. The chokehold still kills people. This disregard for the inherent dignity of human life violates our laws, our Constitution, and the basic morality without which civil society cannot exist. Today there are people marching in communities across the United States to affirm the principles our nation claims to uphold. By passing the Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, we have an opportunity to demonstrate that Congress shares those principles.”
Golden Presents NYPD Van
Bay Ridge State Senator Marty Golden, today, will join NYPD 68th Precinct Captain Raymond Festino, at an unveiling of a brand new NYPD van, made possible by a grant he secured through the State Senate.
The van will serve the public safety needs of the NYPD and the Auxiliary within the confines of the 68th Precinct.
The unveiling is slated for 4 p.m., today, April 30, outside the 68th Precinct, 333-65th Street.
Squadron, Kavanagh Statement on ‘LLC Loophole’ Advancement
Northern Brooklyn State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh released the following statement regarding the vote to close the “LLC loophole” at a meeting of the Assembly Election Law Committee:
“It’s encouraging that our bill to close the ‘LLC loophole’ has advanced in the Assembly with bipartisan support. This loophole perverts the political process by allowing LLCs controlled by a single individual, whose identity may be hidden, to give unlimited sums of campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates.
“The Assembly Election Law Committee’s vote of 14 to 2 is all the more significant because, unlike the Senate committee that advanced the bill on Monday, the Assemblymembers advanced it with their clear approval, rather than merely voting to move it ‘without recommendation’ as many Senate Majority members did.
“We call on the Senate Majority to build on the Assembly’s momentum toward closing this egregious gap in the ethical standards that govern our elections. The Senate Majority is required by the rules to hold a vote for the bill in the Senate Corporations Committee in its next two meetings, and it is critical they allow it to proceed through committee to the floor for a full vote.”
Hamilton Launches Legislation Against Abusive Landlords
Flatbush State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, yesterday, unveiled new legislation to tackle the scourge of tenant harassment.
The Abusive Landlord Act will allow for prison sentences on landlords who harass tenants, increase the fine levied against unscrupulous landlords to up to $10,000, and bolster collaboration between District Attorneys’ offices and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
Hamilton also announced a new Housing Task Force established in cooperation with housing advocates. The Task Force will shine a spotlight on the worst landlords in Central Brooklyn and provide grassroots support in tackling the housing crisis.
Over the coming weeks, Hamilton will hit the streets with housing advocates and concerned citizens, visiting the Central Brooklyn buildings with a history of violations – listed on the Public Advocate Letitia James’ Landlord Watchlist – and demand landlords start fixing overdue housing problems.
Hamilton made the announcement at a housing forum last night held at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, 331 Hawthorne Street (Between New York Avenue and Nostrand Ave).