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Press Releases & Statements

Justice Committee Slams Pantaleo Defense Attorney’s Desperate Moves in Eric Garner Case

April 4, 2019

Defense Attorney Stuart London’s use of the NYPD chief surgeon’s so-called “finding” regarding Eric Garner’s killing - like London’s failed attempt to claim the Civilian Complaint Review Board doesn’t have jurisdiction over this case – is nothing but a Hail Mary. It is a bogus defense meant to... 

Mohamed Bah’s Mother Responds to Bah Civil Suit Settlement; Calls for NYPD to be Eliminated as First Responders to People in Emotional Crisis

March 21, 2019

In response to the settlement of Bah v the City of NY et al, Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, released the following statement:

While we are relieved that, after an outpouring of community support for my family and pressure on the de Blasio administration, we can move on from the civil suit, I continue to feel pain and disbelief that the Mayor put us through so much suffering.

My family continues to demand that Mateo, and all other officers involved in Mohamed’s murder, be fired. It is outrageous that, even after the jury and judge found Mateo guilty, he is still collecting a city paycheck.

Justice Committee Stands with Mother of Mohamed Bah in Calling for NYPD to be Eliminated as First Responders to People in Emotional Distress

March 21, 2019

The Bah case is a clear example of why the NYPD - a militarized police force - should not have the power to respond to incidents in which people are in emotional crisis and need care, not criminalization. In spite of the NYPD’s crisis intervention training and alleged efforts to change their practice, people struggling with mental health issues continue to be killed and abused by officers. Dwayne Jeune, Deborah Danner, Ariel Galarza, Miguel Antonio Richards… the list goes on and on.

Justice Committee Condemns PBA President's Comments Regarding Sentencing of Justin Murrell

January 23, 2019

In response to Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch's comments following the sentencing of Justin Murrell, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon:

using racial slurs when referring to a Black child is unacceptable, and calling for a child to be sentenced as an adult is unconscionable. The word "mutt" is used to label a dog as inferior as a result of impure breeding and has historically been used as a derogatory word toward mixed race people of color. We believe

July 27, 2018

Justice Committee Condemns the de Blasio Administration and NYPD for Lack of Swift and Complete Transparency in Killing of Saheed Vassell

In response to the reported leaking of the names of four of the five NYPD officers involved in the April 4 killing of unarmed Saheed Vassell the Justice Committee released the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon:


The fact that, after four months, the names of only four of the five NYPD officers involved in the killing of Saheed Vassell have been leaked through informal channels - versus being quickly, fully and formally reported to Saheed's family and the public - is representative of the dramatic leap backwards the de Blasio administration has taken when it comes to police transparency. 


We condemn the de Blasio administration and NYPD for allowing these officers to remain on regular duty, patrolling New York streets with guns in hand, in spite of the fact that they killed an unarmed Black man in a hail of 10 bullets and criminal and departmental investigations are still open. This is antithetical to public safety.


Saheed's family - and the New York City public - have the right to swift and full transparency and accountability in this case, which they have been and continued to be denied. 


We continue to uplift Saheed's family's demands for the names and disciplinary records of all officers involved - including the name of the fifth officer who was present, the unedited surveillance footage of what occurred, and a full explanation as to why the hyper-militarize strategic response group was involved in the incident.

July 17, 2018

Justice Committee Condemns Political Games Behind NYPD Letter to DOJ; Demands Firing of Pantaleo and All Officers Involved In Killing Eric Garner

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In response to the NYS Assembly's passage of A5617 today and A5946 last week, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon: 

The Justice Committee applauds the NYS Assembly's passage of the Special Prosecutor bill (A5617) today, as well as its passage of the PoliceStat Act (A5946) last week. As an organization comprised of people of color directly impacted by abusive policing, including family members of New Yorkers killed by police, we are deeply aware of the crisis...

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As those directly impacted by police killings of our loved ones, we fought to establish the Office of New York State Attorney General as a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute police killings of civilians. County district attorneys are too reliant on local law enforcement to maintain the independence and credibility required to investigate and prosecute police officers when they kill civilians. Since an acting Attorney General will be appointed, it is critical that the New York State Legislature appoint someone who has a strong track record of holding law enforcement accountable for abuse and unjust killings and a demonstrated commitment to effectively implement the special prosecutor executive order. 


We want to make it very clear that finding Lt. Michael Licitra and Office Edwin Mateo liable in this case does not equal justice or accountability. Anyone who says it does is part of the problem. The civil suit process is part of the system that shields police officers from accountability, thus allowing NYPD violence to continue and sending a message to officers that they are above the law...


....We are pleased with this verdict, but it doesn't bring Mohamed back and it does not equal justice, accountability or systemic change. It's deeply troubling that even though Mateo and Licitra were found liable, they will not face criminal or financial consequences. We are calling for renewed criminal and NYPD investigations into Mohamed's death in light of this verdict and the overwhelming evidence that these officers broke the law, violated Mohamed's constitutional rights and broke NYPD protocol....


...Let there be no mistake about the message this verdict sends - that officers have a license to murder people merely for approaching them. The idea that Isaacs is still a police officer after he intentionally gunning down Delrawn from his car window and left him to die in a pool of is own blood should terrify us all. If Isaacs is allowed to keep his job, it will send a clear message to all New Yorkers that the NYPD and de Blasio administration do not value Black lives and, instead are giving license to all officers to use excessive, deadly force as a first option in all instances. We therefore amplify Delrawn's family's demand that Mayor de Blasio and Commission Bratton to immediately fire Wayne Isaacs and commit to standing with them as they continue to pursue justice in Delrawn's name.

A statement from Delrawn's sister and brother, Victoria Davis and Victor Dempsey, can be found here.


For the last two days the Justice Committee has attended the department trial of NYPD Officer Richard Haste along with Ramarley Graham's family and organizations and concerned New Yorkers from across the city. We are deeply disturbed by what we have – and have not heard – in the courtroom.


There is no dispute that on February 2, 2012 several NYPD officers of the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit (SNEU) from the 47th precinct made a series of decisions that led to the death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. However, the version of the story that has come out during Haste’s trial is riddled with inaccuracies, omissions and outright lies...


We are deeply disappointed by Attorney General Schneiderman’s assertion that this case falls outside of his office’s jurisdiction as Special Prosecutor. 18 families of New Yorkers killed by the police over the last two decades fought for the Special Prosecutor executive order (EO No. 147) in order to help families like Deborah Danner’s get justice and accountability. We are puzzled by how, in less the 48 hours the AG’s office could conduct the level of investigation necessary to make this determination. They have failed to live up to the commitment they made to the families to handle these cases with the utmost care and integrity.

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