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50 Civil Rights Organizations Call on City Council to Reject Resolution on Mayor de Blasio’s Policing Plan Responding to EO 203

Resolution on de Blasio’s plan and package of City Council police reform bills do not begin to approach sweeping changes New York City needs

The City Council is set to vote on a resolution adopting parts of Mayor de Blasio’s police “reform and reinvention” plan as well as a package of policing bills. The resolution and de Blasio plan is in response to Governor Cuomo’s executive order 203, mandating that municipalities submit police reform plans by April 1 or risk losing state funding.

In a letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmembers, 50 organizations urged the City Council to reject the 27-page resolution on Mayor de Blasio’s plan. A diverse group of local and national civil rights, police accountability, legal advocacy, gun violence prevention, youth and other organizations signed on to the letter organized by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

Signatories include Brooklyn NAACP, Make the Road NY, Girls for Gender Equity, New York Civil Liberties Union, Justice Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Arc of Justice, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, LIFE Camp, Transgender Law Center, Color of Change and others.

The resolution was made public late Wednesday, March 24th - less than 24 hours before it was intended to be voted on, without enough time for Councilmembers and the public to meaningfully review the resolution, and without opportunity for public comment before the vote. The Council is expected to vote on the resolution during its Stated meeting at 1:30pm today. 

Below is an excerpt from the letter calling on City Councilmembers to reject the resolution affirming Mayor de Blasio’s plan:

“This resolution and the package of bills that are expected to be passed today do not begin to approach the kind of sweeping changes we need in New York City to reduce police violence, increase police accountability, or decrease the outsized power, budget, scope and size of the NYPD and the five police unions in NYC. Nothing in the resolution is likely to directly result in a decrease of police violence. It’s arguable that decreasing police violence should be the primary purpose and yet the parts of the resolution that presumably touch upon this are vague, inadequate, and/or rely on myths and mistaken assumptions about policing.

Many of the organizations signing this letter have worked on police accountability issues for decades in NYC. One thing we have learned is that police violence cannot be significantly reduced unless we reduce the outsized power, budget, size and scope of the NYPD and policing.  With a few exceptions, the items in this resolution go in the opposite direction – expanding funding to the NYPD and entrenching and expanding policing in various ways that will not increase safety or police accountability.

We understand that the Council is in a challenging position, since executive order 203 threatens to withhold state monies if a resolution isn’t passed by April 1. 

However, this plan is not a meaningful step towards police accountability, and it is not a meaningful step towards decreasing police violence or shrinking the budget, size, power and footprint of policing in NYC. The resolution should be rejected.

Read the full letter here.


About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.