September 25, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams
New York, NY 10007
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
RE: CCRB Investigation into Police Killing of Allan Feliz
Dear Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban,
This October 17 will mark four years since NYPD Lt. Jonathan Rivera brutally shot and killed Allan Feliz after he and Officers Michelle Almanzar and Edward Barrett stopped him in his car and illegally detained him on the corner of Bainbridge Ave. and East 211 St. in the Bronx. Mr. Feliz’s family recently learned that the NYPD is considering blocking the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from prosecuting Lt. Rivera, against whom the CCRB Board voted to substantiate fire-able misconduct charges in May.
As elected officials who have been working for a safer and fairer city, we are deeply concerned by this news. The 39 elected officials signed on to this letter urge you to allow the CCRB to do its job and move forward with its prosecution of Lt. Rivera.
We respectfully request that you confirm - as soon as possible - that the NYPD Commissioner will not remove the disciplinary case against Lt. Rivera from the CCRB. The Feliz family submitted a complaint with the CCRB to ensure an independent and impartial investigation and prosecution of this case, as is the role of the CCRB in our City. If the NYPD Commissioner takes the prosecution of this case out of the hands of the CCRB and puts it in the hands of the NYPD, it would constitute a grave injustice to the Feliz family and would undermine public faith in the NYPD and government.
The facts of this case show significant misconduct and a blatant disregard for human dignity:
Lt. Rivera (who was a sergeant at the time) and Officers Barrett and Almanzar pulled Mr. Feliz over in his car for allegedly not wearing his seat belt, but then observed him wearing it upon approaching the car. Rather than allowing him to continue on his way, they detained him without cause, escalating the situation.
When Mr. Feliz returned to his car, Officer Barrett and Lt. Rivera beat Mr. Feliz and Lt. Rivera tased him at close range, causing him immense pain.
Lt. Rivera climbed into the passenger side of Mr. Feliz’s vehicle, threatened to use deadly force against Mr. Feliz, saying, “I’m going to f**king shoot you” and then proceeded to shoot him in the chest, in spite of the fact that Mr. Feliz - who was unarmed - posed no threat to the officers.
Officer Barrett then pulled Mr. Feliz’s limp body out of the car, exposing his genitals in the process. Rather than covering him up, the officers left him cuffed, bleeding out in the street, and exposed.
In spite of these facts the NYPD Force Investigation Division dragged its investigation out for over two years - stalling the CCRB process - only to decide no discipline should be imposed against any of the officers.
Lt. Rivera has an extensive history of abusing his authority as a police officer and committing misconduct and has already cost the City $195,000 in civil suit settlements in cases separate from Mr. Feliz’s, yet his annual salary has increased by approximately $60k since 2019. In the interest of public safety and police accountability, Lt. Rivera must answer to CCRB’s substantiated charges without any delay or interference.
We understand that if you allow the CCRB to continue its prosecution of Lt. Rivera, the Police Commissioner will retain the final decision on disciplinary outcomes, if any. There is no good reason to block the CCRB process at this time.
Our request is simply that you allow the CCRB prosecution of Lt. Rivera to move forward without interference and confirm that the NYPD Commissioner will not remove this case from the CCRB before Oct. 17, 2023, the 4-year anniversary of Mr. Feliz’s death. If you have questions about this letter or to direct your response, please contact Yul-san Liem from the Justice Committee, the organization that is working directly with the Feliz family at: email@example.com.
NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
NYC Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, D28
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
State Senator Jessica Ramos, 13th SD
State Senator Gustavo Rivera, 33rd SD
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, 47th SD
State Senator Julia Salazar, 18th SD
State Senator Robert Jackson, 31st SD
State Senator Jabari Brisport, 25th SD
State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, 34th SD
Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, 50th District
Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, AD74
Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas, AD34
Assembly Member Phara Souffrant Forrest, AD57
Assembly Member Zorhan Mamdani, AD36
NYC Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, D10
NYC Council Member Alexa Aviles, D38
NYC Council Member Althea Stevens, D16
NYC Council Member Amanda Farías, D18
NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera, D2
NYC Council Member Christopher Marte, D1
NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson, D35
NYC Council Member Diana Ayala, D8
NYC Council Member Farah Louis, D45
NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, D34
NYC Council Member Julie Won, D26
NYC Council Member Kevin C. Riley, D12
NYC Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan, D9
NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler, D33
NYC Council Member Nantasha Williams, D27
NYC Council Member Oswald Feliz, D15
NYC Council Member Pierina Sanchez, D14
NYC Council Member Rita Joseph, D40
NYC Council Member Sandy Nurse, D37
NYC Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, D31
NYC Council Member Shahana Hanif, D39
NYC Council Member Shaun Abreu, D7
NYC Council Member Shekar Krishnan, D25
NYC Council Member Tiffany Caban, D22
Jonathan Darche and Arva Rice, Executive Director & Board Chair, Civilian Complaint Review Board
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks