March 5, 2021
New York, NY – Mayor de Blasio today released his plan for “police reform and reinvention,” as required by Governor Cuomo’s executive order. The order was issued in response to the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
In drafting the plan, the mayor shirked meaningful input from the people who bear the brunt of racist policing and police violence, or the organizations working daily to confront these issues. Instead, he allowed the NYPD itself to shape the plan. The result is a dangerous document crafted by the NYPD that, if adopted, would reinforce and expand the most racist and dangerous police practices.
Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem Managing Director Alice Fontier issued the following statement:
“Mayor de Blasio’s plan for police reform is an insult to public defenders, to organizations working to confront police misconduct, and to Black and brown New Yorkers who have been subject to constant surveillance and frequent police violence. We knew this would be the case, though: as I wrote alongside other defenders in December, the mayor had ceded control of the ‘reform’ plan to the NYPD. In essence, he put the fox in charge of the chicken coup.
“The result is a document that deliberately glosses over the issues that we, our clients and neighbors struggle against every day: racist police stops under bogus pretenses; cops who lie under oath; unchecked police violence; a swollen police force that is deployed to situations they make more dangerous; and a police union that traffics in racist rhetoric to fight any accountability or movement for justice.
“Instead of engaging with a single meaningful issue, the plan functions simply as a box to be checked, an empty gesture that will be used to reify and expand what the NYPD is already doing. It is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who took to the streets this summer to insist that Black Lives Matter, and a direct threat to our clients, our neighbors, and the working-class communities of color we serve.
“The mayor failed to take seriously his responsibility to hold the police to account. As such, we should not take his reform plan seriously. We call on the City Council to do the same, and urge city and state officials to meaningfully reckon with the issues we see on the ground every day.”
Sam McCann, Communications Specialist, NDS
Phone: (212) 316-7399