PROP Response to Bill de Blasio’s State of the City Speech

For release: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Contact: Robert Gangi, or (917) 327-8648

Mayor de Blasio took office last year with an historic mandate to reform the NYPD. A pledge to enact sweeping changes in biased and abusive Department practices was, in fact, a cornerstone of his 2013 campaign for the mayoralty. Despite whatever claims he makes in his State of the City speech for such modest measures as body cameras or enhanced officer training, such steps are just that, modest modifications that do not address the heart of the deep problems with NYPD policies. The mayor has, in fact, reneged on his pledge. His administration’s Police Department has continued arrest practices that focus on petty infractions and that target people of color. Despite his campaign promises, de Blasio’s NYPD has pursued the same harsh, aggressive quota-driven ‘broken windows’ policing that prevailed in the Bloomberg / Giuliani years, that inflict harm and hardship on black and brown New Yorkers, that waste the city’s financial and personnel resources, and that do little or nothing to curb real crime.

Bill de Blasio has spoken eloquently about the urgent need to resolve NYC’s social, economic, and racial inequities, but ‘broken windows’ policing that he supports is The Tale of Two Cities writ large — 85 to 95% of the the arrests in NYC for misdemeanor and lesser charges, for example, involve people of color. The mayor cannot make progress in addressing these problems until he both directs the NYPD to abandon discredited ‘broken windows’ tactics and moves to replace them with a public safety policy that involves community leaders partnering with government and neighborhood service agencies and law enforcement on fighting crime and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

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