Improving Police-Community Relations - Manhattan Borough President

Apr 28, 1973 - Honorable Eric L. Adams, Borough President of Brooklyn .... What is its history, how were police practices and community involvement meant to be .... allowed to take the NYPD exam unless they have two years of college.
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Table of Contents

1. Statements of Purpose a. Eric L. Adams, Borough President of Brooklyn……………………………….3 b. Gale A. Brewer, Borough President of Manhattan…………………………….4 c. Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney…………………………………………6 2. Executive Summary……………………………………………………………….9 3. Acknowledgments………………………………………………………………..13 4. Introduction………………………………………………………………………16 5. A Brief History of Community Policing…………………………………………19 6. A Timeline of Crisis……………………………………………………………...35 7. The Town Halls…………………………………………………………………..48 8. Last Reflections………………………………………………………………….79 9. Recommendations and Next Steps……………………………………………….86 10. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….94 11. Endnotes……………………………………………………………..…………..97 12. Bibliography……………………………………………………………………108 13. Appendix……………………………………………………………………….135

1. Statements of Purpose Honorable Eric L. Adams, Borough President of Brooklyn For 22 years, I stood on street corners in a blue uniform and bulletproof vest, protecting children and families as a member of the New York City Police Department. For the last eight years, I have stood on those same street corners in a blue suit or blue jeans, connecting with Brooklynites as their elected representative on the issues that impact their daily lives. After 30 years of standing on street corners in public service, I’ve seen firsthand the wide gulf that exists between the police and the community they serve to protect. Failed policing strategies, such as the surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers and the abuse of stop, question, and frisk, both of which I have fought against in our courts and communities, have fostered mistrust on multiple levels. Alongside declining neighborhood conditions, this mistrust has become twisted and tangled in a complex web of real and unanswered concerns. It is long past due for us to untangle this web and reconnect. As a victim of police brutality during my teenage years, and later as a man who decided to work from the inside of One Police Plaza to achieve reform, I know on a personal level what is at stake if we cannot restore the symbiotic relationship between the community and police: the safety and security of New Yorkers lie in the balance. We need to get this relationship right, police officers and residents alike. This is more than a local narrative. In the past year, the eyes and ears of the nation were focused on the deterioration of police-community relations and the tragic consequences of this very real problem. The massive mobilization of people from all walks of life to speak out against abusive policing calls attention to the larger imperative of addressing toxic pain that is rooted in generations of racial and socioeconomic inequity. The town halls and digital dialogues we hosted in Brooklyn with hundreds of New Yorkers were more than an opportunity for emotional release; they were a crucial exercise in understanding where communitypolice relations are and where they need to go. Public safety is the foundation upon which our city is built. It makes it possible for us to be an international center of commerce, culture, and creativity, home to millions of people from near and far pursuing dreams big and small. It is my hope that this report, and all of the efforts and energies that went 3

into it, help to strengthen our foundation with a greater understanding of the challenges that lie ahead of us. Moreover, I look forward to a thoughtful consideration of the recommendations this process has borne as opportunities to make New York City a more safe, just, and equitable place to raise healthy children and families.

Honorable Gale A. Brewer, Borough President of Manhattan Over the past year, as we have seen the New York Police Department grapple with improving policecommunity relations, I have heard from hundreds of my constituents calling for increased transparency and accountability in the department. I believe we have a duty to set a positive and constructive tone for improving community-police trust. I care deeply about repairing this strained re


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