NYC Council debates police reform

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NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to undo years of racial inequality within the NYPD and the damage done by racist police tactics.

De Blasio announced a second phase of the city’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative proposal Friday. He says it offers 28 more proposals for making the force more effective, more responsive and more sensitive to the community.

This second phase focuses on five key points — decriminalizing poverty, building transparency and accountability, more community representation and partnership, recognizing historical racialized policing, and building a more diverse, resilient and supported NYPD.

“For too long, we have heard the NYPD has a few bad apples. It’s time to prune the orchard,“ said
Arva Rice, CEO of the NYC Urban League.

Rice is one of three community leaders who spent months working on the proposal with the city and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who says more than 100 meetings were held to come up with the plan.

“We heard A lot we heard from New Yorkers across the city. We heard good and sometimes bad. We asked questions and listened,” said Shea.

Many issues are being addressed in the proposal, including a full evaluation of officers to make sure they are right for the job and giving New Yorkers preference when hiring police officers.

The plan also calls for a loss of pension for any officer guilty of serious misconduct.

To that, PBA President Pat Lynch has a question.

”If police officers can be suspended indefinitely without due process and stripped of their pensions, why not teachers or nurses?”

Perhaps the most important part of the plan is to not only end what’s known as the poverty-to-prison pipeline, but to work with Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter to end the school-to-prison pipeline. 

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