As New Yorkers resist the Trump administration’s racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and other discriminatory actions, it’s more urgent now than ever for New York’s elected and public officials to take action to protect our communities. We saw some of that in Albany this week with the State Assembly passing criminal justice reform legislation, even as action is still needed in NYC to end broken windows policing and pass the Right to Know Act.
Safer NY Act News
Safer NY Act is a package of bills in the New York State Legislature that would help increase police transparency and help increase accountability to New Yorkers' most common encounters with police. The #SaferNYAct includes: the Police Statistics and Transparency (STAT) Act, codifying and strengthening the Special Prosecutor executive order, reducing Unnecessary Arrests for low-level, ticketable offenses, repealing the NYS police secrecy law (CRL section 50-a), and legalizing marijuana with strong attention paid to ensuring that resources are reinvested in communities most harmed by prohibition.
Mayor Bill de Blasio described the fatal shooting of a 66-year-old mentally-ill Bronx woman last night as a preventable tragedy, but commended Police Commissioner James O’Neill for his “transparency and accountability” about the failures of the NYPD sergeant who killed her.
Police departments would have to report more about arrests and the deaths of people in custody under legislation pending in the New York state Legislature.
Advocates for criminal justice reform and their legislative allies detailed the bill Tuesday.
The measure sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and Sen. Daniel Squadron, both Democrats, would require police departments to follow a single, statewide process for reporting information about everyday arrests — as well as cases in which a person is killed while in custody.
Last week’s conviction of NYPD officer Peter Liang, the first conviction of a NYPD officer for killing a civilian in more than a decade, is an important step forward for justice for Akai Gurley’s family and police accountability. However, it hardly represents equal justice for our communities with respect to policing, or an end to the preferential double standard that most officers have experienced when they brutalize or kill.
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and Senator Daniel Squadron are calling for New York to overhaul the system for collecting and reporting data on policing activity throughout the state.
Their Police-STAT Act (A.7698/S.6001) would allow the state to capture and publicly report statistics about policing across the state.
More than 50 people attended a press conference in the Capitol recently to call for more transparency among law enforcement data reporting.
Criminal justice reform has been on the table in Albany for the past year, but a big obstacle for lawmakers is disagreement over what should be done to ease tensions between police and the communities they serve. Part of the problem is information. We currently do not have an organized collection of data about policing in the state, but my next guest has a bill that would change that. The Police Statistics and Transparency Act would require the collection of data about interactions between police and the public.