NEW YORK CITY — On the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall Friday, Retired Guardians Inc. joined Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD lieutenant, to demand the NYPD make a change within its ranks.
They said racial bias is apart of the department’s day-to-day practices.
This week alone the city made sweeping changes to NYPD policy:
- The anti-crime unit was disbanded
- Officers will be held accountable sooner
- The public will be given access to personnel records along with the repeal of 50-A
- Body camera footage will be released in record time
- Increased transparency and oversight over the NYPD’s use of sophisticated new surveillance technologies and information-sharing networks
- Chokeholds and other methods of restraint, such as kneeling on a person’s neck, used by police officers are now criminal
- The attorney general also heard two days of testimony regarding police misconduct
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea denies that officers do their job based on race.
Police reforms and racial injustice have taken center stage nationwide and in New York City following the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by police in Minneapolis.
Four officers were fired and charged in his death.
Friday, leaders held a moment of silence for New Yorkers who were victims of the same fate: Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo and Anthony Baez, just to name a few.
Adams said he too could have been one of those victims.
“Hearing the laughter of the police officers while my brother and I were being beaten In the 103rd precinct,” he said, “the same precinct where bullets years later took the life of Sean Bell.”
The group that came together Friday believes the issues inside the NYPD go much deeper than just protocol
Adams said “We have to change the racist DNA inside of the department.”
That will take action on the national level starting with the Department of Justice, on expert said.
Retired NYPD Lieutenant Alicia Parker said believes it’s Wsashington’s turn.
“We want the next administration to be on notice that we demand the civil rights division to open up investigations into every incident where unarmed individuals died while in police custody,” she said.