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In response to Mayor-Elect Eric Adam's appointment of Keechant Sewell as NYPD Commissioner and her initial comments, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Executive Director Loyda Colon: New York City needs a transformative shift in its approach to public safety - one that is based on principles of equity, transformative justice and ensuring all New Yorkers have the resources they need to thrive, especially low-income communities of color that have been divested from for years. New York City does not need a NYPD Commissioner who adheres to failed and abusive policing tactics and furthers the NYPD’s public relations game by defending police violence at press conferences. Beginning to undo the harms of decades of abusive policing of Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color would mean firing the officers who killed Eric Garner, Delrawn Small, Antonio Williams, Kawaksi Trawick and Allan Feliz immediately, not preparing to spin police killings to the media and the New York public. It would mean dismantling the Strategic Response Group and other militarized units, not bringing back one of the most harmful ones. It would mean reversing the NYPD’s trend of insidious expansion into social service areas, such as mental health response, schools and youth development, and homeless outreach, not promoting Broken Windows, an unproven theory and methodology that criminalizes entire communities. If incoming-NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor-Elect Eric Adams bring back and embolden the notoriously brutal plainclothes unit - which killed Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Kimani Gray, Saheed Vassell, Antonio Williams and so may others - and strengthen Broken Windows tactics like stop and frisk, it is only a matter of time before another family is mourning their loved one's murder, and we are forced to take to the streets to demand justice.
Photo credit: Lanee Bird