Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 5, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Lancman Says NYPD Fails to Comply with Fare Evasion Reporting Law

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) and the Community Service Society of New York (CSS) this week criticized the NYPD for falling short of its obligations under Local Law 47, which requires the department to report quarterly on the number of arrests made and civil summonses issued for fare evasion, broken down by demographic information, at each of the city’s 472 subway stations.

Last month, Lancman and CSS filed a lawsuit to force the NYPD to fully comply with the law, after the city missed the first three reporting deadlines. The NYPD did release a limited portion of fare evasion arrest and summons data for three reporting periods (Q4 of 2017 and Q1 and Q2 of 2018) that did not include:

  • Any data for the 372 stations that fall below the top 100 stations with the most arrests made or summonses issued
  • The exact number of individuals arrested or summonsed at any station ranked outside the top 10
  • The number of individuals of each race, age, or gender group who were arrested or summonsed at any station ranked outside the top 10
  • Distinct identifying information for stations with the same name (e.g., multiple, indistinguishable entries for “86 Street” or “125 Street”)

Despite being incomplete, the data released by the NYPD does indicate that troubling patterns of racial disparities in fare evasion arrests persist. Last year, a CSS report “The Crime of Being Short $2.75” documented how fare evasion arrests disproportionately impacted poor black communities in New York.

“The NYPD disclosure of limited fare evasion data is a sham and makes a mockery of the law its leadership has sworn to uphold, underscoring the City’s refusal to confront the racial disparities in how fare evasion is enforced,” said Lancman, chair of the Committee on the Justice System. “The data the Police Department released today is nothing more than a smokescreen that undermines both the letter and the spirit of the law. We will continue to fight this battle in Court.”

Dromm Holds Memorial Vigil for LGBTQ Icon Miss Colombia

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) this evening will hold a memorial vigil for Miss Colombia, a.k.a. Oswaldo Gomez, was a fixture in Jackson Heights and the greater NYC LGBTQ Community.

The vigil comes after the NYPD reported to Dromm that on Oct. 3 Miss Colombia was found dead in the water off Jacob Riis Park. As of this time, no foul play is suspected.  An autopsy is being performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Miss Colombia was an iconic figure in Jackson Heights and the greater community.  She was a fixture in many parades throughout the city, and faithfully marched in Queens Pride every year.  Her flamboyancy, cheerfulness and ability to bring a smile to the faces of all who met her will be sorely missed.  To memorialize the life of this out and proud Queens resident, Dromm is hosting the vigil with Jackson Heights residents, LGBTQ activists, and other New Yorkers.

The vigil is slated for 7 p.m., tonight, Oct. 5 In front of the Jackson Heights Post Office, 78-02 37th Avenue (between 78th and 79th Streets) in Jackson Heights.

Miller Holds Reverend Walter A. and Doris L. Jones Way Street Co-Naming Ceremony

Council Member I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, and Springfield Gardens) tomorrow will host the family of Reverend Walter A. Jones and Mother Doris L. Jones of the Majority Baptist Church for a street co-naming ceremony in their honor.

Jones was the eminent St. Albans Baptist preacher and along with his wife were founding members of the widely revered Majority Baptist Church.

The ceremony is slated for between 12 noon – 3 p.m., tomorrow Oct. 6 at Majority Baptist Church, 115-21 Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans.