Since protests of police brutality and racial injustice broke out across the city in recent weeks, public calls to drastically reform and even defund the NYPD have resurfaced and intensified as police beat and tear-gassed protesters. Meanwhile, police unions have gone on the offensive, conceding almost no culpability for the escalation of tensions. Earlier this week, MTA Police Benevolent Association president Mike O’Meara angrily complained that police officers have been “left out of the conversation” about defunding. But so far, they haven’t appeared willing to participate. More →
Another Weekend of Protests Shows Black Lives Matter Movement Broadening
A third weekend of protests against police brutality in New York City saw some of the largest crowds to date, with calls for action only intensifying in the wake of the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday, and the killing of two black trans women, Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania. More →
Have Police Been Illegally Seizing Protesters’ Bikes?
Shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew on June 3, journalist Armin Rosen was following a protest that was making its way through Downtown Brooklyn. The NYPD had rushed the crowd a few times and made some arrests, but the demonstrators had continued peacefully until they got to Borough Hall. That was when the rain came. “It went from nothing to a monsoon in like 30 seconds,” Rosen recalled. “It was just total confusion. There were people flipping and running into each other.” More →
Is It Safe for Undocumented Immigrants to Protest?
Wednesday of last week, as thousands of New Yorkers gathered and chanted at Washington Square Park and other locations across the city, a quieter demonstration went on in Elm Park, Staten Island. More →
As Police Weaponize Bicycles, Manufacturers Shift Gears to Address Racism
After police officers around the country were seen using bicycles as weapons, thousands of people are demanding that bike companies stop supplying police forces and diversify their business practices. Some bike companies are listening. More →
A Push to Make Chinatown’s Shopkeepers Say ‘Black Lives Matter’
On Sunday, 17 young Chinese people divided into eight teams and walked through the Chinatowns of Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. They visited Chinese vendors, inquired about their businesses in the midst of the pandemic and protests, and encouraged them to display Chinese For Black Lives posters in their storefronts. More →
Will the Repeal of 50-a Expose the Full Extent of NYPD Sexual Assaults?
In light of the contentious debate around defunding the police, Andi Zeisler wrote on Twitter June 4: “I’m seeing people ask things like ‘But if there are no police who will go after RAPISTS???’ and well I have some very bad news for those folks.” She then linked to an article about a 2013 study showing U.S. cops charged with more than 400 forcible rapes over nine years. More →
A Protest Historian Takes a Hard Look at Our Latest ‘Overturning of the World’
If you join a protest these days and find yourself among hundreds or thousands marching through an otherwise empty Times Square, you may get the sense that something distinctly new is happening. When else in history have demonstrations taken over the streets of almost every major city in the country? More →
50-a Repealed as Grieving Mothers Call on Lawmakers to Defund NYPD
As the state legislature passed a long-stagnant series of bills dealing with police reform, mothers grieving for children whose lives were taken as a result of police brutality called on New York City leaders to defund the New York Police Department. More →
During a Day of Protests Without Arrests, Politicians Join in Call For Police Reform
On the second day without curfew, as thousands gathered in Houston, Texas to mourn the death of George Floyd, protesters once again took to the streets of New York City yesterday to call for an end to police brutality. A movement that was initially marked by clashes with the NYPD has in its second week become more multifaceted, with increasingly strident demands and the support of politicians citywide. As of Tuesday morning, the NYPD reported that there had been no arrests Monday night. More →