Adams Holds Meeting on Reform to NYPD
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday held a virtual press availability on the recently-announced reforms to the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
The meeting came following NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea’s announced that the department would disband the plainclothes anti-crimes units, which accounted for a disproportionate number of police shootings and reassign the 600 officers elsewhere.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the NYPD would be required to release police body camera footage within 30 days if an officer discharges their firearm that hits someone or could hit someone; if an officer discharges a taser resulting in death or serious bodily harm, or if an officer’s use of force results in death or great bodily harm.
Adams, a retired NYPD Captain and co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, offered his perspective on these recent reforms and what more needs to be done to reduce racial disparities in policing.
Parker Grateful to Cuomo for Signing Legislation
State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace) is grateful to Governor Cuomo for signing legislation requiring all New York State Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol (S.8493/A.8674); and creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (S.3595-C/A.10002).
“It’s way past time that New York ensured consistent oversight of local law enforcement across the state. The law enforcement misconduct investigative office will improve policies, practices and procedures by providing extra independent scrutiny to detect when our local police may be failing to address individual wrongdoing or systemic problems. I hope, when full functional, it will be a preventive measure to the misconduct that plagues our police departments and restores the confidence of our communities. Thank you Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation into law,” said Parker.
This new law requires all New York State Police patrol officers to use body-worn cameras while on patrol to record immediately before an officer exits a patrol vehicle to interact with a person or situation; all uses of force; all arrests and summonses; all interactions with individuals suspected of criminal activity; all searches of persons and property; any call to a crime in progress; investigative actions involving interactions with members of the public; any interaction with an emotionally disturbed person; and any instances where an officer feels any imminent danger or the need to document their time on duty.
The law also requires law enforcement to keep video records of all these interactions.
Cornegy Launches Census Drive
Council Member Robert Cornegy (D-Bedford Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) is joining the US Census Bureau, BedStuy Restoration, and community partners Revel and Foodtown today to distribute information about the 2020 Census and voter registration to the community.
Aiming to raise awareness about the importance of the 2020 Census, Cornegy will launch a regular series at Restoration Plaza in partnership with the US Census Bureau and BedStuy Restoration to distribute information about the 2020 Census, just steps from the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza and the new Black Lives Matter street mural.
The regular Wednesday tabling and awareness-raising series aims to further engage the community in ways they can make change.
Ortiz Introduces Active Bystander Legislation
Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) has introduced legislation to require New York State police departments to provide “active bystander” training to police and peace officers in the state.
“Police officers should never become “passive bystanders” when other officers act improperly in their presence. By teaching officers basic skills in the face of misconduct by other officers, they can learn how to intervene, prevent peer misconduct, and remain in control at an incident involving wrongdoing,” said Ortiz.
“We’ve already seen how this type of training has worked in New Orleans, LA. Let’s bring this program to New York to help end the “blue wall” of silence that occurs when officers don’t act on misconduct by their colleagues. ABLE training can help prevent the tragic incidents that took the lives of George Floyd, Eric Garner and many others. We cannot let police and peace officers condone wrongful actions taking place in their presence,” he said.
Lentol Announces STAT Act Signed into Law
Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol (D-Williamsburg, Greenpoint) North Brooklyn) announced this week that his legislation, the Police Statistic and Transparency (STAT) Act (Lentol–A10609/Hoylman-S01830) has been signed into law.
The STAT Act will require courts to compile and publish aggregate racial and other demographic information concerning arrests and court processing of lower–level offenses, including misdemeanors and violations. The bill also requires police departments to submit annual reports on arrest–related deaths to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the governor and the legislature.
“The goal of good government is to promote transparency and accountability. I am especially proud to have been the prime sponsor of the STAT Act, and that after five long years of trying to move it forward, it is finally signed into law. The STAT Act will help to restore public trust in law enforcement by providing the public with the transparency they deserve, and allow the Legislature to make informed, evidence-based decisions regarding future policy decisions. It allows us to see problem policing trends early so we can correct them quickly,” said Lentol.