Contact: Mandela Jones

CPR Statement: Re: Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s Statements on the Eric Garner Incident

In response to comments made by Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bratton on the death of Eric Garner at a media availability today, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from spokesperson Priscilla Gonzalez.

“Eric Garner’s death did not happen in a vacuum and the division between police and communities was not only the product of the 12 years of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk abuses. It is a longer-term problem caused by hyper-aggressive broken windows policing that has unjustly targeted communities of color for over 20 years, led to dozens of deadly police brutality cases and stop-and-frisk abuses perpetrated largely against Black and Latino New Yorkers. One of the major problems is that City Hall, the NYPD, and the criminal justice system have previously failed to hold officers adequately accountable for the use of excessive – including unjustified deadly – force, allowing officers to continue engaging in such brutal abuses without fear of real consequences. In order for real change that truly improves the relationship between communities and the police, that has to end now. There must be real accountability and zero tolerance for police brutality by officers in the case of Eric Garner and all such incidents, as well as systemic reform to the way City Hall and the NYPD respond. New Yorkers of color must no longer be targeted for low-level infractions by broken windows policing in ways which their white neighbors are not, just like stop-and-frisk. Our communities are still waiting for the court’s stop-and-frisk remedy process to begin once the city’s appeal is dropped, but it is also unacceptable for our communities to continue being targeted by other forms of police abuse.”


  • According to reports, only two officers involved in the Eric Garner incident have had their assignments temporarily changed (with one losing his gun and shield), but there were six officers on the scene and involved in the incident.
  • The city’s appeal in the federal stop-and-frisk lawsuit has not officially been dropped, and thus the court’s reform process has not begun yet – the agreement between the city and plaintiffs that would lead to the appeal being dropped has not been approved by a judge.
    • While the number of stops is down and had begun to decrease in 2013, stop-and-frisk has not ended as some reports have indicated. Stops – as a legally recognized police practice – continue, but there is no indication that unconstitutional stops or unlawful practices during stops have ended.
      • To the contrary, the high numbers of misdemeanor arrests for possession of marijuana “in plain view” that disproportionately have fallen on Black and Latino New Yorkers (86% are of Black and Latino New Yorkers), despite lower levels of marijuana use than whites, are one indication that Black and Latino New Yorkers are being targeted by stops and unlawful searches are occurring during stops.
      • Black and Latino New Yorkers also continue to comprise over 80% of stops

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 policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

CPR brings 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 unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.

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Topics: Eric Garner