Communities United for Police Reform and Justice Committee Respond to CCRB Report on Hundreds of New Yorkers Prevented from Filming NYPD by Officer Misconduct

In response to a report released by the CCRB documenting hundreds of complaints and instances where NYPD officers interfered with New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights to document policing activity during the first 3 years of the de Blasio administration, Communities United for Police Reform and the Justice Committee released the following statements.

CPR Leaders Call for The Complete Removal of NYPD Officers from Enforcement of Social Distancing

On Friday, May 22, 2020, at a City Council public safety committee hearing, members and leaders of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) called for complete removal of NYPD officers from enforcement of social distancing enforcement. They recommended that public health professionals and community organizations are tasked with educating New Yorkers about the importance of social distancing and helping to create new norms that will protect all communities through the pandemic. They also called for deep NYPD budget cuts to be redirected to agencies to meet basic needs and help ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery for Black, Latinx, and other communities of color in NYC. Written and oral comments were submitted by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and CPR Members from New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU); Drug Policy Alliance; Justice Committee, Legal Aid Society; Center for Constitutional Rights; and Take Root Justice.

Cut the NYPD Budget to Fund Recovery from COVID-19: Elected Officials and Police Accountability Advocates Call for NYPD Hiring Freeze, Smaller NYPD Budget, Redirection of Resources to City Agencies that Help Vulnerable New Yorkers

New York, NY – On a press call today, elected officials joined Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, to call for significant cuts to the NYPD’s nearly $6 billion bloated budget. Cuts to the NYPD's budget can fund a strong and equitable recovery from COVID-19, particularly for Black and other communities of color most impacted by the current pandemic, participants said.

Racial Disparities in Recent Violent Police Incidents and Arrests Show that Mayor de Blasio Must Remove the NYPD Immediately from Social Distancing Enforcement, and Cut the NYPD's Bloated Budget

New York – Leaders of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) today said racial disparities in recent violent police incidents and arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic show that Mayor de Blasio must remove the NYPD immediately from social distancing enforcement, and cut the NYPD's bloated, almost $6 billion budget.

NYPD organized 'large scale' Black Lives Matter surveillance and kept activist photos years later

The NYPD organized a citywide surveillance effort of Black Lives Matter protesters, according to nearly 700 emails obtained by an attorney.
A scene from a Nov. 2017 rally in Union Square, New York City.  GETTY IMAGES
Metro New York

Nearly 700 NYPD emails show a large-scale effort to monitor Black Lives Matter protesters by undercover cops trained to take down organized crime, according to documents obtained by attorney M.J. Williams.

The emails also reveal that the department has held on their findings, including photographs of individual activists, nearly four years later, raising First Amendment concerns. 

NYPD Watchdog: Too Many Cops Are Preventing The Public From Filming Them

The Village Voice

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York’s police watchdog organization, released a report on NYPD interference with civilian photography, concluding that “officer interference with civilian recordings of police conduct is an issue in New York City.” A review of cases handled by the agency over a three-year period found 257 interference-related complaints against officers, ranging from verbal interference with filming to physical force and tampering with or deleting recordings.


Black Star News

Communities United for Police Reform responds to Commissioner Bill Bratton’s claim that civilians documenting the police are an “epidemic” that escalates police violence against civilians.

Either Bill Bratton is desperate for national attention or is seeking to deflect from corruption investigations and his impotence in addressing systemic failed police accountability, but it could be all of the above.