Nonprofit coalition calls on NYC to tackle police reforms

Police officer in New York City standing in front of protests following police shooting Jacob Blake.
Police officer in New York City standing in front of protests following police shooting Jacob Blake.
Ron Adar / Shutterstock
A coalition of New York nonprofits is pushing for police reform as protests against police brutality and systemic racism have reignited after police shot Jacob Blake in Wisconsin this weekend.

Nonprofit coalition calls on NYC to tackle police reforms

Among its recommendations are instituting mandatory trainings on racial profiling, community relations and deescalation with the help of community-based organizations.
August 27, 2020

More than 50 nonprofits, including social services organizations, advocacy groups and religious institutions, sent a letter that calls on New York City leaders to adopt an agenda featuring a slate of police reforms. 

The REFORM NYPD NOW agenda includes recommendations to regulate police misconduct, improve training for police officers, and strengthen the city Civilian Complaint Review Board. Many of its calls for changes to use-of-force guidelines were drawn from the “8 Can't Wait” campaign from Campaign Zero; other proposals have also been recommended by state Attorney General Letitia James.

Among the requests: fully funding the Civilian Complaint Review Board and expanding its jurisdiction; making body camera footage publicly available; and instituting mandatory trainings on racial profiling, community relations and deescalation. It also calls for community-based organizations to be included in the design and implementation of such trainings. 

“The REFORM NYPD NOW agenda does not purport to be a solution to the problem of the disparate treatment of communities of color,” the letter reads. “Instead, it focuses solely on the most urgently needed changes to NYPD policing structures, tactics and policies, and is just one component within a broader array of systemic reforms required to eliminate racial and ethnic inequities.”

The coalition of nonprofits didn’t take a stance on NYPD funding, which has become an increasingly prominent call among police reform activists in the past several months. It also noted it did not condemn police officers, “individually or collectively.”

“Because our organizations are embedded in communities of color, we understand well the important role that police officers play in helping to keep our neighborhoods safe,” the letter reads. 

Signatories include leaders from Union Settlement, Lutheran Social Services of New York, the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York, Women In Need, and Student Success Network.

Calls to address police brutality and racial injustice have reignited this week, after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man in Wisconsin, multiple times in the back on Sunday.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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