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Mayor’s Removal of CCRB Board Chair is Another Dangerous Move to Shield the NYPD from Accountability

MEDIA CONTACT: Eliel Cruz, press@justicecommittee.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2024


In response to the news that Mayor Eric Adams is forcing Civilian Complaint Review Board Chair Arva Rice out of her position, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Executive Director Loyda Colon (they/them):


"The Justice Committee strongly condemns Mayor Adams’ removal of Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) Chair Arva Rice, a retaliatory move by the mayor in response to Chair Rice’s comments on the lack of discipline for the officers who killed Kawaski Trawick and on funding shortfalls that make it impossible for the CCRB to address all complaints of NYPD abuse in its jurisdiction. This is yet another decision in a long line of moves by Mayor Adams to shield the NYPD from any semblance of discipline at a time when the NYPD is conducting the most unconstitutional and racially biased stop-and-frisks since 2015, police misconduct complaints have risen by almost 50% in a year, 2002 and 2023 misconduct settlements cost taxpayers $331.7 million, and officers are fatally shooting New Yorkers at the highest rate in a decade. 


Despite the NYPD’s continued harm to Black, Latine, and other communities of color, the mayor has doubled down on his expansion of the NYPD’s power at all costs, systematically divesting from education, healthcare, and other services our communities need, while taking step after step to criminalize poverty, homelessness, and mental illness. From reviving the notoriously dangerous NYPD plainclothes units, to flooding officers into the subways, to police sweeps of homeless encampments, to waging an unsuccessful misinformation campaign and vetoing the How Many Stops Act, to siccing pepper spraying, baton-wielding, riot-starting officers on protesters, Mayor Adams has been on a mission to further NYC’s police state. He not only cleared NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis for killing Kawaski Trawick, despite evidence that they didn't follow NYPD training, broke NYPD protocols, and broke the law, it has thrown up roadblocks and delayed other cases of NYPD killings. Currently, the NYPD has refused to serve fireable misconduct charges to Lt. Jonathan Rivera for 11 months for the murder of Allan Feliz, prolonging Allan’s family’s suffering. In the interest of public safety, the officers who killed Kawaski Trawick should have been fired immediately, along with the officers who killed Delrawn Small, Allan Feliz, Antonio Williams, Ronald Anthony Smith, Win Rozario, and others.


The Illegitimate power of the NYPD must be curtailed to prevent further harm. The City Council must act and use its power to remove the NYPD from all mental health response and cut funding from the NYPD’s bloated budget, in particular by cutting the budget for DCPI and the full public relations spin apparatus it uses for fearmonger, misinformation and attacks by at least 50%. The state legislature and City Council must pass legislation removing disciplinary authority from the NYPD, as they have repeatedly shown they cannot hold themselves accountable. 


It’s time for NYC to have a mayor who cares about the needs and real safety of all New Yorkers, not just the police."

 



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