MANHATTAN — Police arrested nearly a dozen people, including a city councilman, during a protest over the delayed decision from the city on safe, supervised injection sites for addicts.
Councilman Stephen Levin and 10 others taken into custody, but have not yet been charged. They were advocating for supervised injection facilities, which are meant to cut down on overdose deaths by providing safe places with trained staff on hand for when addicts shoot up. Nearly 1,400 people died from overdoses in the city in 2016.
"Safe consumption sites save lives," Levin said. "We need to do everything that we can to demonstrate we are committed to ending overdoses in New York City."
Critics say safe injection sites prolong addiction.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a Friday interview on WNYC, said the city was just "days away" from releasing a report on the issue. The Health Department has not yet released that report.
"There’s a lot of research – has been done, is being done, not only by the Health Department but by the NYPD because there are very important security and safety issues that have to be addressed," he said. "I just want to start New Yorkers thinking about the fact that however we handle this, it is a very complex matter legally and in terms of law enforcement."