In the Media

New NYPD unit armed with 'machine guns' criticised by reform advocates

New 350-officer unit tasked with guarding city against threats but critics accuse Bill Bratton of comparing Black Lives Matter protests with terrorist attacks abroad
The Guardian
The creation of a new counter-terrorism unit within the NYPD, which will be armed with “machine guns” and tasked with policing protests as well as guarding the city against any terrorist threat, has drawn heavy criticism from legal groups and police reform advocates.

Gov. Cuomo's criminal justice reform efforts are encouraging, but don't go far enough, activists say

Communities United for Police Reform expressed disappointment that Cuomo 'did not discuss the need for a special prosecutor to investigate cases where New Yorkers are killed in police encounters.'
New York Daily News

Nothing in New York politics is easy, and Gov. Cuomo’s proposals to reform the criminal justice system — which attempt to respond to the controversy over what many think is the impunity given to the police officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown — are no exception.

Can the New Inspector General Really Change the NYPD?


The building has to be one of the most unassuming in downtown Manhattan.

The hallways are quiet and bare, lined by mostly empty offices where an encyclopedia-sized police patrol guide on the bookshelves instantly stands out. This is clearly a space in transition, but as a newcomer, you'd be unsure if the people were either moving out or settling in—a hollow quality rare in New York City's bureaucracy. In fact, the only reason I knew I was on the right floor was because of a classroom-ready whiteboard in the lobby, with a few words scribbled:

Cuomo Recasts Social Agenda for a New Term

New York Times
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, delivering his State of the State address along with a budget proposal heavy on infrastructure, laid out an ambitious social agenda on Wednesday that focuses on problems not so easily solved with cash: the erosion of confidence in the criminal justice system, public schools and teachers that he said were failing students, and a creeping sense that economic mobility is not what it once was.

Justice agenda aims to reconcile police, public

Times Herald-Record

ALBANY – The Equal Justice Agenda portion of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech primarily addressed the past several months’ protests and concerns over the shooting of unarmed civilians by police in New York and elsewhere.

“People are questioning our justice system, and they’re questioning whether it really is justice for all, and they’re questioning whether it really is color blind,”

Cuomo said. Even if that source of that distrust is just perception, he said, the problem is real, and the community and police have to trust and respect each other.

The Dark Side of ‘Broken Windows’ Policing

New York Times
In recent weeks, New Yorkers have been watching a family drama unfold among an angry patriarch, the mayor, Bill de Blasio; his petulant charges in the Police Department, apparently as huffy as 12-year-olds told to stop texting; and a mother, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, who, like mothers everywhere hoping to get Daddy to understand and the children to listen, has been trying to broker peace.

Affirm the right to say no to a police search

Enshrining that right doesn't threaten public safety - it protects ordinary New Yorkers, says a New York City Councilman as he defends his bill known as the Right to Know Act.
New York Daily News
No legislation in the City Council has been the object of more disinformation than the Right to Know Act, which consists of two police-reform bills. The first requires officers to identify themselves; the second requires them to obtain consent for otherwise unconstitutional searches. As a lead sponsor of both, I want to set the record straight — especially on consent to search, which has been misunderstood and misrepresented.

City Council Tests de Blasio

Proposed Laws Place Mayor Awkwardly Between the Police and His Liberal Allies
Wall Street Journal

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to end a bitter rift with parts of the police force could be complicated by his liberal allies on the City Council, whose proposed legislation to revise certain law-enforcement tactics are vehemently opposed by police unions.

One bill would require police officers to gain consent before conducting a street search without probable cause or a warrant.