NY Lawmakers on the Move, June 22, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Espaillat, Harlem electeds demand justice in murder of Darius Lee, address gun violence surge in district

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat
Senator Inez Dickens

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) and Harlem community leaders released the following statements demanding justice in the murder of college basketball star Darius Lee and mass shooting that injured eight others.

“Following news of this weekend’s shooting in Harlem, I immediately contacted law enforcement to ensure a swift investigation was underway into the murder and untimely death of Darius Lee and the shooting incident that injured many others in our community,” said Espaillat. “Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and NYPD Manhattan North Deputy Chief of Police Olufunmilola ‘Lola’ Obe both assured me that their respective teams were working to apprehend the shooters responsible for this tragedy that has shaken our community. Gun violence has touched far too many lives in Harlem and throughout my district, and I have witnessed families devastated by the ugliness and trauma that these mass shootings leave behind in their wake.”

“Darius was loved by his family, friends, community, and teammates and our hearts are broken following his murder. We demand that justice be brought to this young man’s untimely death and that our actions to curb gun violence in the district are not in vain,” said Assembly Member Inez E. Dickens (D-Harlem).

Kristin Richardson Jordan (Photo source: https://kristinforharlem.com/)
City Council Member Kristin R. Jordan
Assembly Member Al Taylor (photo credit: www.altaylor.org)
Assembly Member Al Taylor

“This is exactly why we need to put the right resources in the right places and address the root causes of violence in our local community by funding education, jobs, mental health, and violence prevention,” said abolitionist City Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan (D-Harlem). “Nationally, we urge for gun control legislation to stop sales and production and invest in gun buyback programs that will get these weapons off the streets.”

“Last night, Darius Lee’s mother received the devastating phone call that her child was brutally murdered. In just a few seconds, her excitement—like any mother’s—to celebrate her son’s first day of college or his 22nd birthday was extinguished. She is not the only mother grieving—11 other mothers have experienced the same heartbreak in the past seven days alone. We need Congress to act now and pass common-sense gun legislation so that mothers can see their children grow up,” said Assembly Member Al Taylor (D-Manhattan).

Law enforcement reported the gun violence happened during a gathering in the vicinity of 139th Street and 5th Avenue after midnight on June 20. The suspects have not been apprehended and community leaders urge anyone who may have witnessed the mass shooting to come forward and help bring the suspects responsible for this tragedy to justice. 

Anyone with information or video footage regarding the mass shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Nadler’s NDO Fairness Act Passes House

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

House Judiciary Committee Chair Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) yesterday saw the House pass his legislation, H.R. 7072, the NDO Fairness Act, which will protect the due process rights of all Americans in the face of excessive government surveillance and data collection. 

This bipartisan legislation, which passed by voice vote, was introduced by Nadler (D-NY) and Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI). U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the senate companion, S. 4373, on June 9, 2022.

Under current law, prosecutors can request a person’s electronic communications data, such as their e-mail and phone records, even when the subject of the search is not suspected of wrongdoing. In these searches, prosecutors often request an accompanying non-disclosure order (NDO) to block service providers from notifying their customers about the search and preventing the person being investigated from challenging the order in court.

NDOs were subject to increased scrutiny after it was revealed last year that prosecutors used them in electronic searches of Members of Congress and major news outlets, but abuse of secrecy orders is not limited to Congress—schools, local governments, Fortune 500 companies, and countless others have had their data swept up by investigators looking to sidestep the basic protections afforded to Americans in criminal investigations. 

H.R. 7072 eliminates the rubber-stamp process that has governed email and phone records requests for far too long by requiring prosecutors demonstrate why there is a need to withhold information from American citizens.  

“In the 21st century, federal prosecutors no longer need to show up to your office. They just need to raid your virtual office. They do not have to subpoena journalists directly. They just need to go to the cloud,” said Nadler. “And rather than providing Americans with meaningful notice that their private electronic records are being accessed in a criminal investigation, the Department hides behind its ability to ask third-party providers directly. They deny American citizens, companies, and institutions their basic day in court and, instead, they gather their evidence entirely in secret. The House’s bipartisan passage of H.R. 7072 is a crucial step towards limiting the Department of Justice’s ability to abuse a little-known process that allows prosecutors to obtain gag orders when secretly trying to obtain a person’s electronic communications data.”

BBP Reynoso reinstates summer Wingate Concert series

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso yesterday reinstated the summer Wingate Concert held at Wingate Park in Central Brooklyn.

“As the Chief-Promoter-of-Brooklyn, it’s an honor to bring back such a summer staple in Brooklyn, a community event I was asked about even before I took office,” said Reynoso. “While we have daunting tasks ahead of us to strengthen our beautiful borough and make it more livable, equitable, and safer, we can’t lose sight of celebrating our culture and history. I’m looking forward to partying with my Brooklyn neighbors not just for this year’s Wingate Concert, but for many years to come.”

The series will kick off next Tuesday, June 28 with performances by soca singer Patrice Roberts, reggae singer Gyptian, and other musical guests. The concert is free of charge to the general public.

General entrances to the park will be limited to Brooklyn Avenue and Winthrop Street. ADA accommodations will be available for those who need it and should enter through Rutland Road. Doors to the park will open at 5 p.m. for the concert, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and end at 11 p.m.

For more information on this year’s Wingate Concert or other events hosted by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President this summer, please visit www.brooklyn-usa.org and follow social media at BKBPReynoso on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Ra hosts annual breakfast food drive

Assemblyman Ed Ra

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Long Island) recently held his annual Breakfast Food Drive to benefit Long Island Cares. 

Participating schools included Notre Dame School (New Hyde Park), New Hyde Park Road School and Garden City Park School (Garden City Park). The mission of the Long Island Cares food truck is to deliver ready-to-eat, no cost, nutritious breakfast meals for children experiencing low food security during the summer months when school is closed.

“Our annual Breakfast Food Drive was a tremendous success. I was pleased to be joined by students from Notre Dame, New Hyde Park, and Garden City Park schools as they learn firsthand the importance of giving back to their communities. I want to thank those from the Long Island Cares team for their continued support. With their help, we can continue to provide thousands of meals, free of charge, to those in need struggling with hunger during these uncertain times,” said Ra.