Dec 8th - 12:47 pm
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman formally requested on Monday the “interim” power to investigate and pursue deaths of unarmed civilians by police officers, a move that requires approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The power to investigate such cases would be a temporary move and be “prospective” to future incidents and not cover the circumstances surrounding the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man killed after he was put in a chokehold by a police officer.
Instead, Schneiderman said at a news conference in New York City that the move would apply some pressure to Albany lawmakers potentially opposed to criminal justice reforms as laid out by Cuomo last week.
Senate Republicans are signaling opposition to potential changes to the grand jury procedure such as potential appointments of special prosecutors in certain cases as well as enhanced transparency.
“This crisis of confidence is long in the making and has deep roots. But it is not a problem without a solution,” Schneiderman wrote in a letter sent to Cuomo, dated Monday. “A common thread in many of these cases is the belief of the victim’s family and others that the investigation of the death, and the decision whether to prosecute, have been improperly and unfairly influenced by the close working relationship between the county District Attorney and the police officers he or she works with and depends on every day. It is understandable that many New Yorkers feel that it is unfair to charge a local District Attorney with the task of investigating and prosecuting those officers when they are accused of a serious crime committed in the course of their duties.”
The attorney general’s request to be granted the power to investigate deaths comes after elected officials and advocates have pointed to potential conflicts of interest by Staten Island prosecutors in the grand jury proceedings.
Schneiderman was joined at a news conference flanked by a host of New York City elected officials, including Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.
The attorney general stressed that his request to probe deaths caused by police officers of unarmed civilians was not meant as a criticism of either district attorneys or law enforcement.
“This is not anti-DA, this is certainly not anti-NYPD,” Schneiderman said. “I have the highest respect for them.”
He added that Staten Island District Dan Donovan, whose office presented evidence to the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death, is “a friend.” Donovan and Schneiderman ran against each other for attorney general in 2010.
The request also comes after Cuomo declined over the summer to appoint a special prosecutor in the Garner case despite calls from minority lawmakers in new York City.
The attorney general today said his request was aimed at addressing — and calling attention to — the shortcomings in the current grand jury procedures.
“There is a problem that the state of the law even where DAs are not allowed to request that somebody replace them,” Schneiderman said.
Dec 8th - 11:42 am
Rep.-elect John Katko on Monday announced he hired five senior staffers for his office, plucking aides from the offices of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Reps. Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna and state Sen. John DeFrancisco.
“I have pledged to have an open door policy, to provide exceptional constituent service, to understand local issues, and to advance the needs of Central New York in Washington,” said Katko in a statement. “That starts with a strong team. These individuals bring knowledge, experience, and passion for serving the people of the 24th Congressional District. I am confident that this dedicated team of individuals will excel in their new roles and I am excited to work alongside them to provide strong leadership for Central New York in Congress.”
Katko, a Republican who defeated Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei last month for the Syracuse-area House seat, hired Brad Gentile for the chief of staff post.
Gentile previously worked as a legislative director and deputy chief of staff to Rep. Chris Gibson, a Hudson Valley Republican. Gentile’s resume also includes a stint as a legislative assistance in Speaker John Boehner’s office.
Katko also hired Tom Connellan, a Syracuse police detective, to work on his local staff as district director.
Terre Dennis, a former regional directro for Rep. Richard Hanna is being brought on as a director of constituent services.
Justin Sayles will be Katko’s deputy district director; he previouls was a project coordinator for Onondaga County.
Erin O’Connor, who has worked in Sen. John DeFrancisco’s office, will be communications director and counsel.
Dec 8th - 6:09 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 10 a.m., Assemblyman Dick Gottfried holds the second of six statewide hearings on the “New York Health” bill to create state single payer health coverage, City Council Chambers, Rochester City Hall, 30 Church St., Rochester.
At 10:45 a.m., President Obama hosts Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.
At 11 a.m., Rep. Michael Grimm is in federal court regarding his corruption case, Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m., supporters of the proposal to prohibit horse-drawn carriage rides, including animal rights advocates from NYCLASS and other groups, are scheduled to participate a rally, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
At 11:20 a.m., Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be a guest on “The Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter.
At 11:30 a.m., Rep. Louise Slaughter will host a press availability to make a major economic development announcement, discuss the prospect of another government shutdown and outline a number of her legislative priorities that will see House action this week, KBK Federal Building, 100 State St., 3rd floor, Room 3120, Rochester.
At noon, “Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing” advocates and City Council members call for city and state officials to reach an agreement concerning housing for residents with disabilities and residents diagnosed with mental illness; steps, City Hall, Manhattan.
Also at noon, hospitality industry trade associations preview their testimony before the state Department of Labor Wage Board’s public hearing, Legislative Office Building, the Well, Albany.
At 12:30 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito holds a press conference before the Council’s stated meeting, Red Room, City Hall, Manhattan. She presides over the meeting at 1 p.m. in the Council chambers.
Also at 1 p.m., Central Park’s carriage drivers and their fellow Teamsters and other unions will rally against the introduction of legislation to ban the industry, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
At 1:30 p.m., Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh will join state legislators from across the nation to announce the formation of a new nonpartisan national coalition, American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold a press conference to discuss the immigration summit he’s hosting for 20 fellow Democratic mayors from around the country and White House officials, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.
At 3:45 p.m., Obama tapes an interview for The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert, Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
At 5 p.m., Assemblyman Keith Wright, chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, hears testimony about the creation, operation and oversight of housing development fund companies during a public hearing; conference room, eighth floor, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.
At 5:30 p.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher receives the Rockefeller Award for Public Service, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.
At 6 p.m., the New York League of Conservation Voters holds a news conference on Toxic-Free Toys Act before a meeting of the Albany County Legislature, Albany County Courthouse, 16 Lodge St., Albany.
At 6:30 p.m., New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin hold a community forum, Gerald Lynch Auditorium, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th St., Manhattan.
At 7:15 p.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer appears on Real Money with Ali Velshi, Al Jazeera America.
At 7:30 p.m., the No LNG Coalition holds a community meeting on the proposal for a Port Ambrose liquified natural gas facility, Long Beach Public Library, 111 West Park Ave., Long Beach.
Any effort by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to crack down on New York City cops in the wake of the Eric Garner case will be blocked by the GOP-controlled Senate come January, according to Brooklyn GOP Sen. Marty Golden, a former NYPD officer. But changes to the grand jury process are possible.
A Cuomo aide said that “no serious conversations have occurred yet and any reform package will require a comprehensive review and public discussion. At this point in the calendar, we do not anticipate that happening before” the legislative session begins in January.
Garner’s chokehold death in NYPD custody wasn’t “a black-and-white thing,” his widow said Sunday on “Meet the Press” – an opinion that breaks sharply from lawmakers and protesters who have seized on the racial aspect of the case.
A Daily News investigation found that at least 179 people were killed by on-duty NYPD officers over the past 15 years. Just three of the deaths have led to an indictment in state court. In another case, a judge threw out the indictment on technical grounds and it was not reinstated.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has struck deals with most of the city’s union employees this year but now faces a daunting challenge: an escalating fight with police unions that say officers are being underpaid by the city and undermined by the mayor.
Rep. Charlie Rangel of Harlem, who worked as a lawyer before his election to Congress 40 years ago, said he wants state prosecutors, not local district attorneys, to investigate allegations of police wrongdoing.
Five days in, the demonstrations against a grand jury’s decision in the Garner case are affecting daily life in New York City.
The de Blasio adminstration helped pay the costs of a funeral service in Brooklyn this weekend for Akai Gurley, who was shot by a police officer in East New York last month.
The extraordinary steps taken in a North Carolina case — along with the recent grand jury decisions to bring no charges against white police officers who killed unarmed black men in New York and Missouri — illustrate how the justice system can favor the police, often shielding them from murder or serious manslaughter charges.
Daniel Alter, general counsel at New York’s Department of Financial Services, is “the 49-year-old legal mastermind” behind the lucrative financial sector settlements that have netted New York billions of dollars. He’s being discussed as a possible replacement for Ben Lawsky as DFS superintendent.
Dec 7th - 7:01 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo turned 57 this weekend. His daughter, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, wrote a tribute to her dad to The Journal News, calling him “the most supportive, attentive, and reliable friend and father any child has ever had.”
In response to Rudy Giuliani’s recent criticism of his handling of the Eric Garner case fallout, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said his predecessor “fundamentally misunderstands the reality” of the rift between the police and the community.
“We have to have an honest conversation in this country about a history of racism,” de Blasio said. “We have to have an honest conversation about the problem that has caused parents to feel their children may be in danger in their dynamics with police, when in fact police are there to protect them.”
De Blasio said he has instructed his biracial teenage son, Dante, not to make any sudden movements or reach for his phone if he’s stopped by cops. Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called those comments “really hypocritical and moronic” and suggesting the mayor get out of his own city.
De Blasio’s remarks came during an appearance on ABC’s “The Week,” during which he refused to say either way if he respected the grand jury’s decision not to bring criminal charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death.
Garner’s mother urged the public to keep protesting her son’s death, during an emotional appearance on Saturday in Harlem with civil-rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton.
About 400 Long Islanders demonstrated today against what they called police brutality in a rally and die-in, in which some lay down on the pavement of busy Sunrise Highway in Amityville, stopping traffic in both directions on the major artery.
Two former Islip Town parks department officials, a prominent local businessman and his son, along with two contractors, will be criminally charged tomorrow in a Suffolk County courtroom as part of the district attorney’s investigation into dumping in Islip, Newsday reports.
Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, touched down at JFK Airport this afternoon, kicking off their first official visit together to New York City.
Federal prosecutors may be targeting Rep. Michael Grimm’s defense team, by asking for a hearing typically called to address when a lawyer may have a conflict of interest.
Twenty Democratic mayors from around the country, as well as top officials from several other cities, will gather tomorrow in New York City for a one-day summit meeting that will be part campaign planning session, part pep rally.
The state will award more than $700 million in grants and tax breaks on Wednesday to projects submitted by 10 regional development councils.
With just weeks remaining in 2014, the state Department of Health reiterated Friday that it anticipates finishing up a report that has been in the works since 2012 and will determine the fate of large-scale fracking in New York by month’s end.
Even if Cuomo approves shale gas development, natural-gas drilling probably won’t begin until towns update zoning laws to allow hydraulic fracturing, according to lawyers and planners.
New York City has reached a tentative contract deal with the union representing school principals that would raise their salaries substantially and give them retroactive pay, de Blasio announced on Saturday.
Cuomo announced the launch of Community Solar NY, a new effort under the NY-Sun initiative to make implementing solar easier and more affordable for communities across the state.
Two people returning to the state from West Africa where they were exposed to Ebola have agreed to a 21-day home quarantine but show no symptoms of the virus.
Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden who was brought in to the administration in October to coordinate the federal response to the Ebola outbreak, will reportedly return to the private sector by March 1.
The family of police-shooting victim Akai Gurley had a message on Friday for Sharpton: Keep your “circus” away from his funeral.
The funeral for Gurley, 28, drew about 100 people, including activists and elected officials, to Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Attendees included NYC Public Advocate Letitia James; Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat; and Councilwoman Inez Barron.
In the wake of yet another subway murder in November allegedly committed by a violent felon recently released from prison, Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell are asking Cuomo to sign their bipartisan bill that would ensure mentally ill inmates are not freed without proper evaluation and treatment.
Newsday has an infrastructure project wish list for the state’s “windfall” of settlement cash, which could reach $6 billion.
George W. Bush says that he badly wants his brother Jeb to run for president – and that if he were to face off against Hillary Clinton, he would “absolutely” beat her in a 2016 matchup.
The executive board for the state’s second-largest public labor union, PEF, voted Friday to overturn an ethics hearing panel’s controversial decision to clear a downstate council leader of wrongdoing for spending union money at stores and restaurants.
Michael Goodwin remembers the late former Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo.
Dr. Herbert Pardes retired as the head of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in 2011, but raked in $2.8 million in compensation last year as “executive vice chairman,” new tax filings show.
The number of tenured New York City teachers and other staff on the payroll without permanent jobs dropped to 1,420 this week, down from 2,012 on the first day of school and 1,678 a year ago, officials said.
The head of Suffolk County’s largest public union is firing back against board members who ordered his suspension, calling it a “politically motivated” attempt to derail his re-election.
The title of Janette Sadik-Khan’s forthcoming book pretty well sums up her six and a half years as transportation commissioner for former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg: “Streetfight: Rewriting the Operating Code for Cities.”
Indicted Queens Councilman Ruben Wills missed 27 percent of the meetings he was supposed to attend in the year that ended June 30, the worst attendance record on the Council.
Dec 5th - 5:40 pm
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan only asked grand jurors to consider manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, WNBC reported.
NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, has been sued three times for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of other blacks he and fellow cops arrested.
WNYC: “Records also show that a relatively small number of cops generate the most civilian complaints - and the (NYPD) routinely ignores recommendations on how to discipline the worst of them.”
The morning after 10,000 people descended on Manhattan, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he expects the demonstrations to “peter out” because “people get tired of marching around aimlessly.”
Queens Councilman Rory Lancman says there’s increasing interest in his bill that would outlaw the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers.
After two days of protests to the Garner decision, the de Blasio administration touted numbers showing what officials say is a “significant drop in misconduct complaints” against NYPD officers over the last five months.
The Cook Political Report ranked Congressman-elect John Katko and Congresswoman-elect Elise Stefanik as the top “over-performers” in the House among Republicans who were not incumbents in the 2014 mid-term election.
A bill that would set up a commission, similar to that which now sets salaries for judges, for the state’s management/confidential employees has been sent to the governor.
Prince William will meet President Obama at the Oval Office on Monday, the White House has announced.
The casino siting board will meet Tuesday, then again on Dec. 17 with its decisions announced then on up to four casino licenses from among 16 competitors in three regions of the state.
Clyde Williams, a 2012 Democratic primary rival to Rep. Charlie Rangel, will meet with the Harlem lawmaker tonight, hoping to secure his backing in 2016.
The former head of a prominent South Bronx charity is facing up to 4 1/2 years in prison after admitting Thursday that she pilfered nearly $900,000 from the organization, state AG Eric Schneiderman’s office announced.
In the national race among cities for the highest seasonal snowfall total so far, the scorers list Buffalo in third place with just 20 inches. What gives?
Columbia’s football coach resigned one day after the university’s student newspaper published an article that said he had verbally and physically abused players and ordered them to return to the field after sustaining concussions.
The Brooklyn DA will impanel a grand jury to decide whether to bring criminal charges against Peter Liang, the NYPD officer who shot and killed Akai Gurley, an unarmed black man, in a darkened stairwell of a housing development last month.
CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley is leaving the network, according an email to staff from CNN president Jeff Zucker.
Cuomo defeated Republican Rob Astorino by nearly 6,000 votes in Ramapo, contributing mightily to his 4,027-vote victory in Rockland in the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election, a detailed look at the election returns by town and by election district shows.
Next week, an Assembly Committee will hold a hearing on improving access to financial aid for college students.
A $700 million pipeline to bring Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania into in New England and New York was approved yesterday by federal regulators. It could be operational by next winter.
“Southside With You,” a film that will depict the first date between the future President and First Lady, is in the works.
The Winters family and the Spitzer family are selling a slice of the Big Apple’s most expensive crossroads: The Crown Building at 730 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.
Dec 5th - 4:17 pm
We give you an update on the Governor’s response to the Eric Garner case, plus in-depth analysis on the Grand Jury decision and whether providing police with body cameras would be a good move. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco also explains the Assembly’s new initiative to give more internships to veterans. Plus, the price of narcan has spiked. We have reaction, as well as a report from one of the Assembly’s several hearings on single payer health care. Here’s highlights from last night and what’s ahead tonight:
NYCLU Reaction to the Garner Decision: Bob Perry Interview
Body Cameras for Police – Pros and Cons: Greg Rinckey Interview
GIVE Back NY: Jim Tedisco Interview
Dec 5th - 3:07 pm
Two state lawmakers from Staten Island will push for reforms to the state’s grand jury proceedings that will be aimed at requiring more information on their deliberations be released.
Democratic Assemblyman Matt Titone and IDC Sen. Diane Savino announced in a joint statement on Friday afternoon they plan to pursue the changes, which come after a grand jury in their home borough voted to not indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner stemming from a July incident.
“There is no reason the public should be denied the opportunity to view information presented after the Grand Jury has made its final recommendations,” Savino said in a statement. “Whenever you have a case like that of Eric Garner, it is important that people can still trust in the legal system. The only way to do that is with complete transparency of the facts presented.”
The legislation would be aimed at allowing district attorneys to unveil information grand juries considered, including evidence and testimony. The measure would still include confidentiality protections aimed at individual jurors.
The grand jury’s decision this week has set off a wave of protests across the county as well as in New York City.
The case is under review by the U.S. Department of Justice and an internal NYPD investigation.
Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan on Wednesday petitioned the courts to release more information pertaining to what the grand jury heard in the Garner case.
The court agreed to a limited release of information, detailing only how long the grand jury sat for, how many witnesses gave testimony and how many exhibits were entered into evidence.
No details were provided as to what specific evidence was examined or the identities of the witnesses along with what information they told the jury.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised the possibility of grand reform changes as well, suggesting he would also be open to requirements that a special prosecutor be appointed in such cases.
In announcing the planned legislation, Titone said the Garner case “clearly demonstrates” the need for changes in how grand juries operate.
“We recognize and fully appreciate the need to protect witnesses and jurors in the Grand Jury process, however the public trust and confidence in our justice system must be addressed and reforms implemented,” Titone said. “The Eric Garner case clearly demonstrates this.”
Dec 5th - 1:52 pm
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has talked with her now-grown sons about interacting with police and law enforcement, saying she’s told them to “go through it” and that they “don’t win” in confrontations.
“You tell them that it’s OK, just whatever it is, go through it,” Stewart-Cousins said. “ Stewart-Cousins was on CNN this afternoon to discuss the ongoing fallout from a Staten Island grand jury not indicting NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner. Stewart-Cousins is the highest-ranking African-American elected official in New York. “I’m a parent. I have three children, two of them men, and they’re all adults now, happily,” she said in the interview. “But certainly both of my sons have had interactions with law enforcement and they were told that they don’t win in those kinds of confrontations.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in recent days has also discussed talking with his son Dante about interacting with police. But Stewart-Cousins in the interview said the anger and frustration from minorities isn’t about specific individuals “The reality is that it’s not necessarily about my children or the mayor’s children, it’s about a system that begins to create respect and equal justice for everyone,” Stewart-Cousins said. “I’ve got two grandsons, one is a kid who is 12 and he’s a big guy and I think people may perceive him as being someone that he isn’t, older than he is. The reality is that it’s not necessarily about my children or the mayor’s children, it’s about a system that begins to create respect and equal justice for everyone.”
Stewart-Cousins will be a guest on Capital Tonight this evening.
Stewart-Cousins was on CNN this afternoon to discuss the ongoing fallout from a Staten Island grand jury not indicting NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner.
Stewart-Cousins is the highest-ranking African-American elected official in New York.
“I’m a parent. I have three children, two of them men, and they’re all adults now, happily,” she said in the interview. “But certainly both of my sons have had interactions with law enforcement and they were told that they don’t win in those kinds of confrontations.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in recent days has also discussed talking with his son Dante about interacting with police.
But Stewart-Cousins in the interview said the anger and frustration from minorities isn’t about specific individuals
“The reality is that it’s not necessarily about my children or the mayor’s children, it’s about a system that begins to create respect and equal justice for everyone,” Stewart-Cousins said.
“I’ve got two grandsons, one is a kid who is 12 and he’s a big guy and I think people may perceive him as being someone that he isn’t, older than he is. The reality is that it’s not necessarily about my children or the mayor’s children, it’s about a system that begins to create respect and equal justice for everyone.”
Stewart-Cousins will be a guest on Capital Tonight this evening.
Dec 5th - 12:02 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a television interview this morning again vowed to push for reforms to the state’s criminal justice system, saying on NBC’s The Today Show that the lack of indictment in the choking death of Eric Garner by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo is a part of a broader problem.
“Technically, we don’t know what was said in the grand jury room, we don’t know what they heard,” Cuomo said. “But in the some ways, it doesn’t matter. The perception is the problem and that’s what we want to address here in New York. People have to believe they’re represented by the justice system or we have a fundamental societal problem.”
Cuomo on Thursday said he planned to propose a series of changes to the state’s grand jury procedures as well as training for law enforcement in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury not indicting Pantaleo, who was seen on video putting Garner in a chokehold over the summer.
The lack of indictment has set off waves of protests across New York City and the country, coming just days after a grand jury in Missouri voted to not indict a white police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.
Cuomo said in the interview that the problem is larger than Garner.
“I actually think we have to reframe the problem and pull back the lens to understand it’s not just about Eric Garner,” Cuomo said. “The specific is Eric Garner, but the problem is much bigger.”
The governor added that the justice system didn’t work in the Garner case, a conclusion he said that can be drawn after viewing the video of police trying to subdue Garner.
“I think like every other New Yorker, every other American, when you saw that video you think was this is not right, they went too far, I’m sure if the justice system is working they are going to address this. And then it didn’t,” he said.
Dec 5th - 5:55 am
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.
At approximately 7 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on the Today show on NBC.
At 8 a.m., NYC EDC President Kyle Kimball participates on panel “Economic Forecast 2015: Uncertainties & Opportunities” with IBO’s Ronnie Lowenstein, CUNY School of Journalism’s Greg David and Massey Knakal’s Bob Knakal at Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Breakfast, Manhattan.
At 8:45 a.m., the Third Annual Local Progress National Convening conference takes place with keynote address from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 9 a.m., the Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York Law School hosts the first ever national conference on the right to counsel featuring speakers including New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and HRA Commissioner Steven Banks, 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko attends the grand opening of Fidelis Care Albany Regional Office, 31 British American Blvd., Latham.
Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Chris Gibson will participate in Martin Van Buren’s birthday ceremony, organized by the Friends of Lindenwald, Reformed Church Cemetery, Albany Avenue, Kinderhook.
Also at 10 a.m., the mother and stepfather of NYPD shooting victim Akai Gurley make their first public statements, Brown Memorial Baptist Church, 484 Washington Ave., Brooklyn.
At 11:30 a.m., New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will be joined by Dr. Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, to break ground on an expansion of the college’s library on Long Island City, 31-10 Thomson Ave., Queens.
At 4:15 p.m., the Rev. Al Sharpton delivers a eulogy during a public funeral service and viewing for Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old man shot by a city police officer Nov. 20, in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project; Brown Memorial Baptist Church, 484 Washington Ave., Brooklyn.
At 5 p.m., Gibson will join local officials marching in the Kingston Snowflake Festival Parade, lineup at Dietz Stadium, Kingston.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants a “comprehensive review” of the state justice system after a grand jury’s refusal to indict an NYPD officer in the Eric Garner chokehold case.
“This is about race relations,” Cuomo said. “This is about police training, certainly. And better training. This is about transparency. This is about accountability. This is about diversity in the police force. It’s all of the above.”
Advocates are calling on Cuomo to veto a bill passed in both houses of the Legislature that would allow the rules for police disciplinary action to be decided in collective bargaining with unions rather than by elected officials.
The federal civil rights investigation into Garner’s case could present a new complication for Loretta Lynch’s nomination as US attorney general, because she will be heading the inquiry as the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York as she undergoes scrutiny in the new GOP-controlled Senate.
As protests over the Garner case course through New York City and beyond, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pledge to bridge the police-community divide has become, with escalating urgency, perhaps the foremost challenge of his mayoralty.
De Blasio called for the retraining of the city’s police force one day after the announcement that a grand jury declined to indict a NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s chokehold death.
Roughly 22,000 officers will receive a three-day tutorial on “smart policing,” including de-escalating situations that seem headed for violence.
De Blasio called Garner a “decent man” whose unnecessary death followed “centuries” of racism, but he stopped short of criticizing the grand jury’s decision not to charge Officer Pantaleo.
“We need a mayor to stand up with and for us,” police union head Pat Lynch said. He said his members feel as if de Blasio is “throwing them under the bus.”
Lynch called Pantaleo a “model” police officer about whom the public does not know enough. “He literally, literally, is an Eagle Scout,” said Lynch, adding that the maneuver Pantaleo used on Garner was a “textbook” takedown.
The Garner grand jury heard testimony from 50 witnesses and considered 60 exhibits over the course of nine weeks of deliberations, a state judge said.
Elected officials, legal experts and police officers differed on Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan’s handling of the grand jury. Some experts said the grand jury’s decision probably had less to do with how Donovan presented the case and more to do with the impact of the officer’s testimony.
Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, writes in the NYT: “Open, preliminary hearings in court can and should determine if a case should be stepped up to a trial. Additionally, the handling of police shootings should be wholly separated from local grand juries. These bodies cannot handle cases involving local police officers on whom they rely every day.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said the outdated “broken windows” method of policing is partly to blame for Garner’s death. “That philosophy may have made sense 20 years ago when crime was extremely high, but the windows in New York City are largely together, and have been repaired,” he said.
Hillary Clinton addressed head-on the killings of two unarmed black men — one in Ferguson, Mo., and another in Staten Island, N.Y. — saying yesterday justice is “out of balance.”
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he froze the Rev. Al Sharpton out when he was mayor because he didn’t want to elevate an activist (and a man he believes incited the Crown Heights riots) to the level of the mayoralty.