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The city asked a judge to put a freeze on her ruling that stop-and-frisk practices be overhauled and a monitor for the NYPD be installed until its appeal of the decision was heard. In the administration's request, numbers were cited showing a significant drop in the stops. Mayor Bloomberg will also begin making public weekly updates on crime statistics. Meanwhile, Commissioner Kelly announced that the number of people shot by police dropped to 18 this year compared with 22 at this point last year. In related news, the NYPD has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations.
Push To Keep State's Teens Out Of Adult Court (City Limits)
49 New Transit Apps Unveiled For 2013 MTA App Quest (WNYC)
Rikers Island Guards To Receive Increased Training After Bloody Brawl (Daily News)
Bloomberg’s Plan For Bigger East Midtown Tower Criticized (NY Times)
The New York Police Department’s practice of stop-and-frisk violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, a judge ruled yesterday in a decision that included a call for a court-assigned independent monitor to oversee several reforms.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose administration has aggressively defended the practice as necessary to keep crime at historic lows, called the decision “very dangerous.”
"We believe we have done exactly what the courts allow and what the Constitution allows us to do,” he said.
He promised to appeal the decision — but the legal fight will likely outlast his stewardship of the city and will be left to his successor. Democratic candidates for mayor largely said they would abide by the court’s decision. Republican candidates called on the Bloomberg administration to fight it.
In her decision, federal judge Shira Scheindlin found that the city’s stop-and-frisk relied on “indirect racial profiling” by targeting minority communities and that officers stopped “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” She said the practice violated the Fourth Amendment, as well as the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
The U.S. Justice Department will probe whether the civil rights of a black teen were violated when he was shot and killed by a police officer last year. A Bronx grand jury declined to charge the cop with manslaughter on Wednesday. The boy's family was unable to obtain a special prosecutor for the case. The officer had previously been indicted by another jury. That decision was overturned by a judge who said the jury should take into account that another officer said the teen was armed. The cop gave an emotional and precise testimony this time, as opposed to the last one where he appeared nervous. The teen was shot in his own home and no gun was found, only a small bag of marijuana. The officer also still faces a disciplinary review by the Police Department.
DON'T MISS: THIS WEEK IN GOTHAM GAZETTE Policy Dreamin' At Manhattan BP Debate: All of them think Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Midtown East rezoning plan is moving much too fast. All of them concede they are willing to revisit the City Charter to improve land use procedures. They all want to diversify their appointments. And they want to connect the limited powers of the office they are seeking to a wider breadth of pressing issues. By Chester Soria. Op-Ed: Preservation Can Contribute To Affordability by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. GothamVotes: A Conversation With Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn by Chester Soria PLUS: Don't forget to check our site devoted to the historic 2013 elections: GothamVotes2013.com
Other Stories We're Following
Silver Subpoenaed In New Sexual Harassment Suit (NY Post)
State Lags On Firing Workers Who Abuse Disabled Patients (NY Times)
Yesterday the Council voted 41-8 in favor of bringing two NYPD bills to a floor vote, bypassing a committee where they were being held up. This is the first time such a "discharge vote" has been used since 1989. One bill would create an independent monitor for the department and the other would allow individuals to sue over stops resulting from bias. The Council could vote on the bills as early as tomorrow. Former Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau spoke in opposition to the bills at a rally yesterday. Queens D.A. Richard Brown and Staten Island D.A. Dan Donovan also attended. The monitor bill is expected to get enough votes to override a mayoral veto, while the other is less certain.
*** Help us track and expose the culture of corruption *** Political corruption seems to be all around us these days. Throughout the scandals, the Gotham Gazette has dug below the headlines to shed light where it's needed through The Eye-Opener and with award-winning watchdog reporting on city and state government. But we can't do this work without your generous support. That's why we're asking you to help us raise $20,000 between now and July 4. Please donate today.
Other Stories We're Following
Both Sides Reloading For State Gun Law Fight (Albany Times Union)
Campaign Donations Ban Kept Out Of Casino Law (Associated Press)
Gov. Cuomo finally released the legislation for his 10-point women's equality plan yesterday. The Senate poses the biggest hurdle for the act, due to the abortion measure. A spokesperson for the Senate Republican leader said the GOP could come to an agreement on all nine other measures, but they don't plan to bring the abortion part of the act up for a vote. Cuomo says he's unwilling to sever that provision from the other parts of the bill. Business interests also raised concerns that the legislation pose the risk of unnecessary legal action against employers.
Help us track and expose the culture of corruption
Political corruption seems to be all around us these days. Throughout the scandals, the Gotham Gazette has dug below the headlines to shed light where it's needed through The Eye-Opener and with award-winning watchdog reporting on city and state government. But we can't do this work without your generous support. That's why we're asking you to help us raise $20,000 between now and July 4. Please donate today.
Email: Harassment Victims Wanted Full Investigation By Assembly (Daily News)
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is weathering criticism for his handling of recently-resigned Assemblyman Vito Lopez's harassment suit. In response, he's announced plans to create an independent investigator for sexual harassment complaints and mandatory reporting of them. Many are calling for the speaker's resignation, including one Assemblyman who threatened to leave the Democratic conference if he didn't step down. Silver has apologized for authorizing a secret settlement in Lopez's harassment suit, but says resignation is "ridiculous." The scandal may have weakened his bargaining power, but he has a strong grasp on power in the state. Gov. Cuomo has reportedly decided not to call a special election to replace Lopez to keep him from wielding influence over his successor. The governor also says the harassment scandal proves the need for passage of his women's agenda.
NYPD To Step Up Presence Following Anti-Gay Murder (Wall Street Journal)
Judge Criticizes ‘High Error Rate’ Of Police Stops (NY Times)
NYPD Messages To Muslim Informant: 'Get Pictures' (Associated Press)
The U.S. Court of Appeals decided a Brooklyn judge’s ruling that the Fire Department intentionally discriminated against black and Latino applicants went too far, and ordered a new judge hear that portion of the suit again due to questions of his impartiality. But they left in place many of the judge's other orders, such as finding that previous tests were discriminating, mandating retroactive pay for those who were unfairly screened out, and the appointment of a monitor to track progress in hiring people of color. That monitor's time was shortened to 5 years from 10 years, however. And the city won't have to hire outside consultants to hold minority recruitment campaigns. The court altered or removed 29 of the judge's 69 prohibitions and remedial steps.
Stuy Town Tenants Face Big Rent Hikes After Judge's Ruling (Daily News)
Lopez Not Expected To Face Charges (NY Post)
Internal Bloomberg Report: Stop-And-Frisk Judge Has Cop Bias (Daily News)
It has been three months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State Address and announced a 10-point plan to address injustices facing women in today's society.
Since then, Cuomo has successfully passed major gun law changes and enacted a state budget.
Supporters of the plan expectthe legislation will resemble the already-proposed Reproductive Health Act that would take abortion out of New York's penal code and make it part of health law. But the wide-ranging proposal was also supposed to deal with human trafficking, pay discrepency and sexual harassment.
Cuomo indicated earlier this week on Susan Arbetter's The Capitol Pressroom radio show that he is in no hurry to introduce precise bill language on the issue.
“Oftentimes they don’t want the bill to come to the floor for a vote because they don’t want to take the position,” Cuomo told Arbetter, adding, “What we need to do is strip away the devil is in the details as just an excuse.”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that there have been no specific threats to New York City, but the department is reviewing security plans for upcoming public events. The police received 77 reports of suspicious packages in the past 24 hours, while the norm is 21. La Guardia Airport's main terminal was temporarily evacuated after an unattended parcel was found. Mayor Bloomberg used the Boston incident to highlight that the city must remain vigilant against terrorists and that "special interests" must not shape security strategies. He continues to take the subway part of the way to City Hall. The Saudi national that the NY Post had reported on was a witness, not a suspect.
Raising The Salary Bar For Some State Workers (Albany Times Union)
Medical Marijuana Gaining Steam In Albany, Cuomo Stalls (Daily News)
A Bid To Make Peace In The Food Truck Wars (WNYC)
Speaker Quinn, the frontrunner in the mayoral race, said a council bill to create an Inspector General's office for the NYPD likely has enough votes to override a mayoral veto. The office would be able to issue subpoenas, interview witnesses, and look broadly at police procedures and policies. Individual misconduct cases would still be handled by Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Quinn said talks were also progressing on three companion proposals to set new stop-and-frisk rules. A bill to create an NYPD monitor was introduced in June, but Quinn kept it from a vote. Bill de Blasio, a Democrat also running for mayor, said the monitor needed to have a budget independent of the mayor and City Council. Quinn would still retain Commissioner Kelly, who is opposed to the monitor.
Deal In Albany Would Extend Higher Taxes On Top Earners (NY Times)
NYPD Officer: Police Brass Dictate Stops, Arrests (Associated Press)
Ten Domestic Violence Victims File Lawsuit Against NYCHA (Daily News)
A witness now says that the boy fatally shot by police in East Flatbush earlier this week had no gun, as the officers claim. A gun was recovered from the scene, however. On Monday night, a group had splintered from a peaceful protest over the shooting and rioted. Local shops along Church Ave. were shuttering early yesterday in fear of more tumult. An offshoot of the Bloods gang has put out a hit on any cop in retaliation for the killing of the boy, who is said to have been a gang member. Both police involved in the shooting are people of color. During a budget hearing yesterday, Councilman Jumaane Williams said more violence could be expected if the police didn't repair their relationship with poor and minority communities, because the unrest was about more than this isolated shooting.
Courts Rein In Bloomberg’s Power to Make Policy (NY Times)
Minority Groups And Bottlers Team Up In Battles Over Soda (NY Times)
Soda Ban Faces Long Battle Ahead (Wall Street Journal)
Thousands of barrels of biological evidence in criminal cases were damaged by Sandy flood waters in Brooklyn warehouses. Each barrel can contain several pieces of evidence such as bloodstained clothes and bedding. Hundreds of cars and motorcycles held as evidence were also inundated. Thousands of bicycles were as well. It's unclear how many cases will be affected. It could depend on whether damage is done to exclusive evidence needed to prove a case. Often, evidence in storage facilities has already been processed.
In the Press...
Storm Bared a Lack of Options for the Homeless in New York (NY Times)
911 Under-Planned and Under-Manned for Sandy (NY Post)
Storm's Long Flooding Reach (Wall Street Journal)
A civil rights organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to monitor the general election in Queens County after the city announced it would not provide Bengali-language ballots as required under federal law.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund announced today that it had submitted a letter to the DOJ requesting that monitors be deployed to oversee voting in six states, including New York.
AALDEF has been at the forefront of underscoring the failure of the city's Board of Election to adhere to federal law requiring language assistance for Asian voters in Queens.
The BOE says it has a plan to provide translators and some materials in Bengali for the general election on Nov. 6. But it blames technical problems with the voting machines for being unable to provide ballots translated into Bengali.
"Although the Board of Elections has offered to provide translated sample ballots, comparing a Bengali ballot to an English ballot is cumbersome for voters," AALDEF attorney Glenn D. Magpantay said in his letter to the DOJ. "The use of translated sample ballots is a new and completely untested procedure in New York City. Moreover, there is little assurance that such translated sample ballots will even be at poll sites for Bengali-speaking voters to access."
Testimony began today on a class-action suit against an NYPD program that allows police to stop-and-frisk anyone in the halls and stairwells of private buildings enrolled in the 20-year-old Clean Halls program, which gives them permission to do so. The New York Civil Liberties Union and six black or Latino plaintiffs from the Bronx say the stops are unconstitutional and unwarranted. They claim the police have unlawfully stopped more than 1,000 minority residents for trespassing in those buildings. The Bronx District Attorneyâ€™s office has been tossing arrests made under the program unless the arresting officer was interviewed. Meanwhile, the department issued a directiveordering cops to document when an assistant DA refuses to take a case so it can be reported to and tracked by the legal bureau.
In the Press...
Attack Ads by Outside Groups With Murky Ties Shape Three Senate Races (NY Times)
Cuomo: Legislature Pay Hike, Other Deals Brewing (Albany Times Union)
NY Ethics Board Eyes Maverick's Notes (Albany Times Union)
Commissioner Kelly has called for a grand jury investigation into the fatal shooting of a driver by police last week on the grand Central Parkway. The officer is said to be 'anxious' to testify in order to clear his name. It is routine for prosecutors to bring fatal shootings by the police before a grand jury. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is ultimately in charge of empaneling a grand jury and is investigating the shooting already. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg says appointing an inspector general to oversee the NYPD would bring crime back to the streets of the city.
GOP shows lead in state Senate races (Albany Times Union)
Gang member conviction as a terrorist for girl's death is up on appeal (Associated Press)
Tax stances separate 2013 hopefuls (Wall Street Journal)
The officer who shot an unarmed man on the grand Central Parkway last week was previously named in two lawsuits alleging civil rights violations and police brutality. He says he thought the victim shot Thursday was reaching for a gun. There was a hand drill on the floor but no weapon. Meanwhile, community members rallied in front of Police Headquarters to protest another recent fatal shooting - this one a case where it's questioned whether officers followed protocol for dealing with 'emotionally disturbed persons' barricaded in their homes. In an additional case, the department is now apologizing for sending a bill for damages to a cop car to the mother of a man killed by that car after a chase. The death is being investigated by prosecutors.
For judge in firefighter discrimination case, an evolving opinion (NY Times)
Judge allows lawsuit over NYPD tactics in public housing (Wall Street Journal)
Big change in gifted and talented testing (Wall Street Journal)
A police officer shot and killed an unarmed man after pulling him over on the Grand Central Parkway last night, and the passenger says his hands were on the wheel when it happened. It's still unclear why the officer shot his gun. The driver, an Army reservist, was pulled over for cutting the officer's truck off.
2013 New York primary voting requires any party changes by Oct. 12 (NY Times)
Ethics panel issues subpoenas to Assembly ethics committee (Albany Times Union)
Loitering rules in projects are too vague, judge says (NY Times)
A judge ruled that hundreds of protestors at the Republican National Convention in 2004 were arrested without probable cause on Fulton St. The city may now be liable for significant monetary damages. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said police could not have known whether each individual there intended to break the law. He denied requests to make the same ruling for a group of protestors on 16th St. during the convention. The judge also decided that police broke the law by fingerprinting protestors with identification who were arrested that day. But the fact that protestors were arrested rather than issued summonseswas deemed acceptable, since intelligence sources found that demonstrators planned unlawful activity.
Domestic abuse victims not only beaten but often left in debt by their tormenters (Daily News)
Group that won discrimination suit against Fire Department eyes back pay (WNYC)
White firefighters rally at Brooklyn federal court over Fire Department hiring (Daily News)
Civil rights and educational organizations are alleging that New York City's single-test admittance policy for eight top specialized high schools discriminates against black and Hispanic students. The groups filed a lawsuit yesterday to have the policy found in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the entrance exam, saying "life isn't always fair." â€śWeâ€™re not here about equal results. Weâ€™re here about equal opportunity," he continued.
NYC: World's Tallest Ferris Wheel Planned For Staten Island (Gotham Gazette)
McDonald to abandon re-election bid (Gotham Gazette)