Tag Archives: battery park city

9/11 Dust and Heart Disease

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More than 100 children who were exposed to chemical fumes from the 9/11 attacks have a far higher risk of heart disease than they should, a new study says.

After the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, the disaster site was omitting toxic fumes of mercury, asbestos, and jet fuel.

Experts say the fumes lingered until at least July 2002, when the clean-up was declared complete.

Now, an analysis by NYU Langone Health researchers of 308 children in the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) has shown the devastating impact this had on young people.

The 123 children with higher blood levels of the chemicals known to be in the dust had a 15 percent increase in levels of artery-hardening fats in their blood.

It is the first concrete study to lay bare the long-term cardiovascular health risks in children from toxic chemical exposure on 9/11.

In fact, a week after the attacks the EPA assured citizens that the site ‘did not pose a health hazard’. 

The agency has since admitted that was wrong – and some say that even today people living in Lower Manhattan are exposed to dangerous fumes.

Battery Park City Authority PEP’s, YOUR FIRED !

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The Battery Park City Authority is taking PEPs off their beat.

MDC issues a congratulations to Adam , who initiated the ineptness and harassment the community was undergoing on a daily basis. The BPCA is another story that needs the same ending.

The Authority’s board voted Tuesday to hire a private security firm to replace what would appear to be most of the city’s Parks Enforcement Patrol’s green-uniformed officers, contracted through the city’s Parks Department, to patrol the neighborhood’s 38 acres of parks. Forty-five PEPs of various ranks are currently assigned to Battery Park City, according to a Parks Department spokeswoman.

The Parks Department and the authority are in “discussions” over the number of PEPs who will remain, the spokeswoman said.

The newly hired company, Allied Barton Security Services, is a nationwide firm with 120 offices and more than 60,000 employees, according to its website. Allied Barton’s security officers, in bright yellow and blue uniforms, will begin patrolling the parks on bike and foot in mid-November, said Caress Kennedy, a vice president of the firm.

The board voted to spend $2.1 million annually on the new services, which is $400,000 less than the authority now pays the city’s Parks Department for its officers, according to a person with knowledge of the PEP contract. But Benjamin Jones, an authority vice president, said the agency will get more for its money and the total paid for both private security and the remaining PEPs will be no more than the authority was paying for the full staff of PEP officers.

“We’re looking at a contract now under the $2.1 million that would still give us services that could be up to 30 percent more in terms of boots on the ground and visibility to the public,” Jones said, noting that the coverage will “go beyond just the green spaces in Battery Park City.”

Bryant Park is the only other city park that is largely staffed by private security. Unlike Battery Park City’s parks, it closes at night.

An authority spokeswoman did not respond when asked in an email why the agency is making the change. In the past, residents have complained about an absence of PEP officers on patrol as well as officers who congregate and seem inattentive. But Anthony Notaro, chair of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, said his view of their performance lately is a good one, though he has “more questions than answers” about the wisdom of the move.

“The relationship has been up and down but I would say on balance it’s been positive,” said Notaro, who was not aware of the decision until contacted by the Trib.

MDC adds, Mr. Notaro is full of shit and a complete unaware jerk . He makes blanket generalizations when he is completely out of touch. Anthony, you are one tired old hag.

Source:  See more at: http://www.tribecatrib.com/content/private-security-firm-hired-replace-most-battery-park-city-pep-officers#sthash.JY6WzlBz.dpuf

New York is like Fergerson

As director of the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), it’s my job to keep a close eye on New York City cops. Reading the Department of Justice’s recent report on the police in Ferguson was a kind of Twilight Zone experience for me—I literally shook my head twice at some of the findings, especially the most scathing sections, to make sure that the authors were describing Ferguson police and not the NYPD. 

For example, the Ferguson report found that black people make up 67 percent of the population and 93 percent of the individuals arrested by local cops. According to government statistics, African Americans and Latinos make up about 54 percent of NYC’s population, but account (link to download spreadsheet) for 84 percent of the people arrested by the NYPD. For young people, the disproportion in NYC is starker: Black and brown youth make up 94 percent of the “juvenile arrest population,” according to city stats.

Numbers PROP has assembled from our court monitoring initiative also document the racial bias in NYPD policing. Our representatives regularly visit the arraignment parts of NYC criminal courts in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to observe who the cops have arrested and on what charges. In more than 25 court visits since last summer, we witnessed 873 cases. 806—or 92.3 percent—involved people of color. 

The DOJ report found that Ferguson police officials sometimes engage in outright racial slurs, including emails that mocked President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on the basis of their being black. 

A recent PROP report, which is not yet available online, called “They Got Bandanas On… Arrest ‘Em,” highlights similar bigotry. 

In one prominent case, an officer named Michael Daragjati was recorded on a wiretap saying, “I fried another [N-word]… Another [N-word] fried, no big deal.” (In 2012, Daragjati was sentenced to nearly five years in prison for extortion and arresting a Staten Island man on trumped-up charges.) In 2011, Cops referred to the West Indian Day Parade in a Facebook group as “Savage Day,” “this coconut parade” and “pure savagery.” And one officer speaking to three high school students just after their arrest asked, “What are you, fucking Russian? No, you’re Jewish. Go back to Israel… or wherever the fuck you’re from.” 

The DOJ report also included an anecdotal record to show that arrest and summons practices in Ferguson are often biased, and sometimes frivolous. Here are some stories (some of which we assembled in a report this summer and others that have yet to be published) about NYPD officers that unfortunately are not isolated examples, but all too emblematic of ongoing practices: 

  • In 2014, a Latino boy and girl were walking her dog in a Harlem park. Police officers approached and spoke rudely to them. The officers gave each teenager a summons for “being in the park after dusk.” The officers wrote on the tickets that it was 11 PM, even though it was actually eight o’clock. The girl reported being terrified when she appeared in summons court and said that she still felt that way even after the judge “threw the summonses out.”
  • In 2013, as part of a squad that regulates street vendors, police officers arrested a Chinese woman who has a license to sell flowers because she had two artificial flowers on her cart for decorative purposes.
  • In 2014, a police officer arrested a young black man for walking between the cars of a stopped subway train.
  • In 2013, a police officer arrested a 16-year-old Latino boy on two different occasions for trespassing while the boy was standing in the lobby of the building he lives in.
  • In 2013, police officers approached seven pedicab drivers who were on break and told the drivers that they each needed an arrest. Since there were more drivers than officers, the officers told the drivers to play a game to determine who would be the four people arrested. The drivers were arrested for unauthorized parking and spent 15 hours locked up before a judge dismissed the charges.
  • In 2014, a public defender working in the arraignment part of Brooklyn’s criminal court on a Saturday night reported handling five jaywalking cases. Each case involved a man of color, each man had been cuffed and arrested, three of the men had outstanding warrants for minor infractions, but two of the men had no criminal record—until now.

The DOJ Ferguson report emphasized that the arrests and summonses in Ferguson often result in fines being levied against low-income people who can barely afford to pay them—if they can at all. A similar practice persists in NYC, since the vast majority of people arrested and ticketed here are poor. Here are two recent examples: 

  • The police often arrest a middle-aged homeless black man on charges like trespassing, begging, or sleeping on the subway. On one occasion last year, the judge applied a fine that the homeless man explained he could not afford to pay. The judge, evidently in a Dickensian frame of mind, then ordered a reduction in the man’s regular food stamp payments ’till the amount of the fine was covered.
  • During our most recent court monitoring visit this year, we saw a judge issue a $250 fine against a middle-aged black man charged with farebeating. “$250 for a man who could not afford $2.50 to get on the subway,” commented a PROP volunteer.

Finally, the DOJ report found that one of the most damaging practices in Ferguson is a quota system for tickets and arrests: “Officer evaluations and promotions depend to an inordinate degree on ‘productivity'”—the same euphemism that has been used by NYPD brass—”meaning the number of citations issued. Partly as a consequence… many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.” 

While NYPD officials deny quotas exist—since recent state law effectively prohibits their use, department chiefs have little choice but to issue steadfast denials—evidence keeps mounting to challenge their claims. Several lawsuits, including one on behalf of aggrieved minority officers, accuse the department of applying quotas. “City cops are routinely denied overtime and vacations, demoted to menial posts, and ultimately threatened with being fired for not making quotas,” as the New York Postreported earlier this month. 

In a conversation last summer, an on-duty officer told me that there are quotas, that they are unwritten, that they are different for different communities—meaning that they are higher in communities of color—that, although he doesn’t like it, he’ll strive to meet his quota to remain in good standing within the department, and that “it’s easier to arrest black and brown kids” than other people. 

It is time that New York’s political leaders, from Mayor Bill de Blasio on down, come to terms with the ugly truth that—despite the city’s progressive reputation—day-to-day policing practices here are as unjust and starkly racially biased as in any jurisdiction in our country. Hopefully, they will not wait for the aggressive intervention of a federal agency, but will on their own take steps to abolish the current quota system, to abandon “broken windows” policing that targets people of color who engage in low-level infractions, and adopt a public safety approach built on a partnership between community leaders, neighborhood and government service organizations, and law enforcement. 

Robert Gangi served as executive director of the Correctional Association of New York for over 29 years and, with other concerned New Yorkers, founded the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) in the spring of 2011. Follow PROP on Twitter.

  • Source: vice 

$167 Million BPCA Money Pigs 

MDC has been privileged to experience the behind the scenes corruption and political maneuvers that were done in Battery Park City. The Authority acts similar to the Mafia, but the quality of life to the citizens is deeply damaged and misguided. MDC has stated many times thru private sources, that the Authority acts like a private owned business smuggling contracts around and wasting hard earned resident wealth that should be presented as a lower cost of living advantage not a Screwing. The Inspector General labels the Authority as Scathing Abuse in their reports . 

The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) earned $167 million in excess revenue for the fiscal year that ended last October 31, according to financial results discussed at the agency’s January 22 board meeting, as well as an annual financial report that was made public shortly afterward. If the Authority were a private corporation, the $167 million figure would be considered profit. Since the Authority is a public-benefit corporation (a hybrid that combines the characteristics of a private-sector business with a government agency), the funds are disbursed according to contractual requirements and political agreements, rather than to stockholders.

The BPCA collected $236 million in revenue during its 2014 fiscal year, an increase of approximately $20 million, accord to the BPCA’s chief financial officer, Robert Serpico. The bulk of these funds comes from two sources. The first, known as “ground rent,” is a function of the exotic nature of property ownership in Battery Park City, where homeowners, landlords, and developers do not own outright the land they occupy, but instead lease the space (through the year 2069), in exchange for a yearly payment. In its 2014 fiscal year, the BPCA collected slightly more than $62 million in such payments. The second revenue stream is known as PILOT (or “payments in lieu of taxes”). Because the occupants of land in Battery Park City do not legally own the acreage their buildings sit in, it is technically not eligible for property tax. Instead, the BPCA levies a surcharge meant to mirror what taxes would be, if they land were owned by its occupants. The Authority collected slightly more than $181 million in PILOT payments for the 12 months that ended last October 31.

From the gross revenue it collects each year, the BPCA deducts operating expenses, the largest of which is service on its debt-load of slightly more than $1 billion. Other operating expenses include payments for staff and capital improvements to the physical condition of the 92 acres of landfill that the agency oversees. According the Mr. Serpico, the BPCA’s annual expenses decreased by $871,000 during the 2014 fiscal year.

Once the BPCA’s expenses are covered, PILOT funds are transferred directly to the City, as the equivalent of tax revenue. For the 12 months ending last October 31, the BPCA is remitting some $124 million to the City in the form of PILOT payments. These funds go into the City’s budget for any use that the Mayor and the legislature deem appropriate.

After operating expenses, ground rents (along with other revenue sources) are disbursed according to a series of agreements between government agencies. The most recent of these, reached in 2010, requires the BPCA remit to the City a total of $461 million in coming years, to be used for affordable housing. The first $200 million is committed to the City’s 421a tax abatement program, which provides owners or developers of multi-family apartment buildings with a subsidy in the form of greatly reduced property taxes.

With the most recent payment of $42 million toward the BPCA’s housing commitment, the mandate of $200 million to supper the 421a program has been fulfilled, and the Authority has begun paying into its second housing obligation, of $261 million. This revenue stream is directed to the City’s Housing Development Corporation, which uses low-interest loans to finance the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low-, moderate-, and middle-income residents.


Source: broadsheet by Matthew Fenton 

Silver is a Crook

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BREAKING OVERNIGHT News:

Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York State Assembly, agreed on Sunday to relinquish his duties on a temporary basis as he fights federal corruption charges, according to people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Silver’s decision came amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats in the Assembly, who worried that the criminal charges would impair his ability to carry out the duties of one of the most powerful positions in New York’s government.

In an unusual arrangement, Mr. Silver, 70, would not permanently quit his post. Instead, he would temporarily delegate his duties as speaker to a group of senior Assembly members.

Under the plan, which Assembly Democrats are to consider in a closed-door meeting on Monday, Mr. Silver would “not specifically step down, but step back,” according to a person briefed on the situation.

Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, has served as speaker since 1994. He was arrested on Thursday and is accused of abusing his office to obtain $4 million in payoffs.
***** NY Times

Here is how Sheldon Silver, a greedy fixer who was the biggest guy in Albany for a long time, was described to me the other day by another Albany insider who watched Silver become more and more powerful over the last 20 years as he also got rich:

MDC is proud of the arrest of Sheldon Silver and states once more about the link between Shelly and downtown Manhattan. The relationship with Battery Park City and its Authority is ludicrous.

Then the guy said, “Prior to (Andrew) Cuomo getting elected, Shelly controlled governors, they didn’t control him. There was no question that he was the most powerful guy in town. And the whole time he was getting paid big money, real money, not to work, and thinking he never had to disclose that money.

“There have been other guys in Albany who went down, but it wasn’t like this, just because of what this does to the whole Albany dynamic, because you really cannot properly describe how much power he had.”

‘The guy finally got caught, that’s the bottom line here. But he didn’t get caught for his real sin — being a bad elected official for a long time,’ the Albany insider said of Silver.

In the eyes of the government, and that means an aggressive, ambitious U.S. attorney named Preet Bharara, this is the one about catching the mouse who grew into a rat. Now, Silver gets hit between the eyes with a five-count indictment that accuses him of pocketing millions of dollars in bribes in return for being no better than an influence peddler.

Mayor de Blasio came out the other day and spoke of due process, to which Silver is certainly entitled.

But then de Blasio went on to say that he had only ever known the Assembly speaker to be a “man of integrity.” At that point, you wanted to ask the mayor just where exactly progressives like him are setting the bar for integrity these days.

Now, Silver gets hit between the eyes with a five-count indictment that accuses him of pocketing millions of dollars in bribes in return for being no better than an influence peddler.

Maybe de Blasio thinks that if his friend Al Sharpton can be as casual as he is about paying taxes, there’s no reason why one of the most powerful Democrats from here to Cheektowaga shouldn’t be able to make some walking-around money for doing some favors for some friends. Only Bharara feels differently.

“For many years,” Bharara says, “New Yorkers have asked the question, ‘How could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents? Today, we provide the answer. He can’t.”

But because of the power base Silver built over the years, nobody was supposed to care that he was making six times his Assembly salary from Weitz & Luxenberg, a personal-injury law firm. And when they used to ask Silver about what services he was performing for Weitz & Luxenberg in the old days, Silver would actually fall back on ethics with a straight face, and say it would have been unethical to talk about whom he was doing business with and how much money he was being paid.

“I personally comply with the law as it stands now,” Silver said one time in 2007, “and will continue to comply with the law.”

Preet Bharara clearly doesn’t see it that way. Now Silver, 70, operating for such a long time as if he were the real law in Albany, is staring at this kind of fall. As he does, you actually hear people suggest that somehow it would hurt the state if Silver stepped down; as if Andrew Cuomo needs a grifter like this to make his state work properly.

“You know what this is all about?” the Albany guy to whom I spoke asked. “This is all about the Devil you know. That’s who Shelly has really been — the Devil they all knew, the one who could get things done. Everybody always knew it would be a big deal when Shelly went. It’s just happening sooner than anybody expected it would.

“Now that it’s really happening? It unleashes political forces within the Assembly that have been suppressed for 20 years. And, of course, you know what Shelly wants the narrative to be here — that as soon as he does go away, that Albany might have to be shut down for six months.”

It won’t shut down because one career political bum got himself indicted. That’s the real story here. The rest is just noise. A guy who never thought he would get caught finally got caught. It doesn’t mean he didn’t do some good. He did. But nobody thought Silver was a man of integrity, not now, maybe not ever.

Source: mike lupica

Downtown All Connected

IMG_0517.JPGThe Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has a new president and chief operating officer. At the Tuesday meeting of the BPCA’s board, chairman Dennis Mehiel asked the directors to approve his choice of Shari C. Hyman as the agency’s new president. “I am thrilled to welcome such an accomplished professional to lead our operations at the Authority and look forward to working closely with Shari in our continuing effort to further the mission of our organization,” Mr. Mehiel said.

Ms. Hyman, who did not speak at Tuesday’s meeting, currently heads the City’s Business Integrity Commission, which monitors allegations of corruption and racketeering in the waste disposal and wholesale food industries. She has led that agency since 2011. In 2006, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Ms. Hyman to lead the Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), a multi-agency taskforce focused on quality of life issues. During Ms. Hyman’s tenure, OSE attracted considerable attention for cracking down on the sale of counterfeit goods on Canal Street. Before coming to OSE, Ms. Hyman served as deputy executive director and chief of investigations at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates allegations of excessive force and abuse of authority by New York City police officers. She began her legal career in the office of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where she worked in the Labor Racketeering division and participated in a long-term investigation of the Lucchese crime family, which resulted in the indictment of 38 individuals and 11 companies for racketeering in the construction industry.

Ms. Hyman is married to attorney Daniel J. Horwitz, who heads the State’s Joint Commission on Professional Ethics (JCOPE), an anti-corruption task force that oversees and investigates State agencies, such as the Battery Park City Authority. Before taking the chairmanship at JCOPE, Mr. Horwitz was a partner at the New York law firm of Lankler Carragher & Horwitz, which was founded by Andrew Lankler. Mr. Lankler is a former staff attorney at the BPCA, and defended the Authority in a 2010 investigation by the State Inspector General’s office, which alleged widespread misuse of BPCA funds.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the BPCA also ratified Mr. Mehiel’s previously announced proposal that Battery Park City resident Robin Forst be designated as the Authority’s vice president for external relations, which will include serving as inter-governmental liaison and media spokesperson.

After both hires had been approved, BPCA board member Martha Gallo (the only director of the Authority who lives in Battery Park City) pronounced herself “happy that the Authority has two women leaders.” Both Ms. Hyman and Ms. Forst are slated to begin their new jobs in early February.

MDC always wondered what ever happened to an associates complaints to the CCRB, it seems you wouldn’t want to challenge anything going forward from several past abusive BPC incidents if your future paycheck is depending on it.

source: Matthew Fenton / the Broadsheet

Continued Corruption at Battery Park City Authority

MDC suggests a class action suit be delivered against the Battery Park City Authority for the abundant amount of years of political corruption.

The Comptroller’s December, 2013 report, “Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending: The Battery Park City Authority,” concluded that the BPCA “lacked written policies and procedures clarifying what constituted appropriate discretionary spending and specifying permissible dollar thresholds, necessary justifications, and required formal approvals and supporting documentation.” The Comptroller’s office added, “we questioned the appropriateness of most of the Authority discretionary spending that we sampled during the audit.”

The audit sampled 69 discretionary expenditures totaling $112,132 and raised questions about 53 of them, totaling $100,700, “because these transactions did not appear necessary, were not clearly related to the purpose of the Authority, were not properly approved and/or were not adequately supported with documentation.” The Comptroller’s audit also raised red flags about $61,000 in charitable contributions to various not-for-profit organizations.”

This audit covered much of the same territory as a similar probe by the New York State Inspector General (IG), which concluded in 2010. The Comptroller’s audit, however, found that some of the practices criticized in the IG’s investigation continued for at least a year after that probe was concluded.

While the IG’s investigation focused largely on charitable donations to groups located, in some cases, hundreds of miles away from Battery Park City, the Comptroller’s audit found that by 2011, the BPCA had scaled back charitable contributions by 50 percent from the previous year, and that most BPCA charitable contributions were directed to Lower Manhattan organizations and events, such as Manhattan Youth, the Tribeca Film Festival, New York Downtown Hospital, the PTAs of local public schools, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

The retrenchment of Authority financial support for groups such as these in recent years has proved controversial among Lower Manhattan residents and community leaders, among whom there is a widely-shared perception that such contributions enhance the quality of downtown.

In a March 5 written response to the Comptroller’s audit, BPCA chairman Dennis Mehiel said, “since my arrival in June 2012, the Authority has significantly reduced its discretionary spending at my direction. Ten contributions were made in the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, which represents an approximate 80 percent reduction from the fifty-four contributions made in fiscal year 2010.”

In response to one of the Comptroller’s key recommendations, that the BPCA, “establish a formal framework to govern contributions to outside entities and discontinue such spending unless it can be clearly established how such spending aligns with the Authority’s mission, purpose, duties and authority,” Mr. Mehiel wrote that, “the Authority’s management and its Board are currently in the process of modifying the Authority’s Discretionary Spending Policy and creating a formal framework to govern all contributions to outside entities, including evaluation criteria. Once the spending policy is modified and approved by the Board, any contributions to outside entities will be submitted to the Board in a detailed budget line-item format listing the proposed contributions along with the annual budget for approval, preceded by management’s thorough reviews as mentioned above.”

Source: broadsheet/ Matthew Fenton
top photo by Robert Simko

Citizen CopWatch

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Police, you’re being policed.

MDC says, every citizen is a recruited video informer protected under the United States Constituition, the same the cops/officers/parks department PEP all sworn on.

City watchdog groups are recruiting intrepid citizens in all five boroughs — and arming some of them with handheld video cameras — to catch rogue cops in action.

“The reality is that the police violate the law,” said Daniel Sanchez, a 33-year-old member of the Justice Committee, one of the groups of activists aimed at stopping police violence.

“But when we are there with our cameras, the cops often change their behavior,” he said.

Dozens of would-be shutterbugs packed a meeting in the Bronx on Tuesday to learn the nuts and bolts of documenting potential abuses.

The workshop in Morrisania was the first in a series planned for every borough.

“Do not engage the officers unless they engage you,” said Yul-san Liem, a Justice Committee trainer, who advised cop watchers to keep their distance and remain calm. “The point is not to antagonize police.”

Momentum for filming NYPD interactions with the public spiked after video played a significant role in shaping reaction to the death of Eric Garner of Staten Island, who died in July after a cop placed him in a chokehold.

“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if it happened on video, it’s priceless,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman.

“If a person had only described what had happened to Eric Garner, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact that it did,” she added.

An NYPD officer was also caught on a disturbing video in September tackling a clearly pregnant woman in Brooklyn.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how a fleet of videographers would affect their ability to police the streets.

An NYPD officer is seen on newly released cellphone video apparently knocking out a Brooklyn teen who had been stopped on suspicion of smoking pot, sources told The Post.

Police say that the Internal Affairs Bureau is probing the incident, in which the officer allegedly pummels Marcel Hamer, 17, on June 4th in Clinton Hill as the teenager pleads with the officer, telling him that he was only smoking a cigarette.

“Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir,” Hamer can be heard saying on the video.
“It was just a cigarette.”

As the officer notices a person videotaping the incident, he taunts the indivual, “Yeah, get it on film.”

Although the alleged knockout blow is not seen, the teen appears to be unconscious at the end of the footage.

“You knocked him out!” one of Hamer’s friends could be heard saying.
The teen’s family said he now suffers neurological problems, according to The Brooklyn Paper.

Hamer was charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the incident.

MDC always says on twitter under the hashtag #videoGOTya #civilrights !!

Source: ny dailynews

CHOKEHOLD Problem in NYC

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The NYPD has a chokehold problem, the Civilian Complaint Review Board claims in a shot-across-the-bow report ordered by the agency’s new president, civil-rights attorney Richard Emery.

The 120-page report, prepared in response to the July death of arrestee Eric Garner on Staten Island and obtained exclusively by The Post, amps up the board’s Mayor de Blasio-sanctioned transformation into an agency that will aggressively investigate cops.

Pitched as a “Vision Zero action plan,” a reference to the mayor’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic injuries and deaths, the report blasts the leaders of New York’s Finest for failing to discipline cops in all but the worst cases.

The report, to be released this week, also chastises the department for softening the definition of a chokehold in order to let bad cops off the hook. But for all its alarm over how “chokeholds persist and appear to be increasing,” the report’s own statistics tell a different story.

While complaints are on the rise slightly, the board has substantiated only 10 chokehold cases out of 1,128 allegations brought to the agency in the past 5¹/₂ years.

MDC mentions that a close associate was maliciously brutalized and choked by the NYC Parks Department, also suffering collapsed lung and struggling to breathe . MDC has also been notified in the past, that the above associate has submitted over 2 dozen complaints to the CCRB.

“From 2009 through June 2014,” the report reads, “the CCRB substantiated a total of 10 chokehold allegations: three in 2009; two in 2010; one in 2011; one in 2012; two in 2013; and one from January through June 2014.”
In other words, the board’s own investigations were able to prove, on average, less than 2 percent of chokehold complaints — something the report blames on inconclusive evidence and its own previously lax investigators.

The report urges better training for all cops, better tracking and disciplining of “problem” cops, and a requirement that NYPD disciplinary judges stick to the Patrol Guide definition of a chokehold as any pressure to the neck regardless of whether breathing is obstructed.

Among the report’s findings:
“Half the officers in chokehold complaints had a history of six or more CCRB complaints, with 25 percent of officers having a history of 10 or more complaints,” the report states.

The CCRB hopes to partner with NYPD in enacting tighter policies, including an “early warning system” and “new training protocols,” in line with Emery’s recent proposal for a “Cop-Stat” abuse-tracking system.

Three precincts had no chokehold complaints since 2009: Central Park, the 66th in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, and the recently created 121st Precinct in Staten Island.

East New York, Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct logged the most chokehold complaints in that period — 65 — followed by the 73rd Precinct in Ocean Hill and Brownsville, Brooklyn, which logged 52.

Newer cops are more likely to be accused of chokeholds.

The report also criticizes judges in the NYPD’s internal disciplinary judges for being soft on chokehold cases. Of the 10 CCRB-substantiated chokehold cases since 2009, the worst discipline meted out so far was a single instance of the loss of 10 days vacation in the case of a cop who squeezed a complainant’s neck with both hands.

The report additionally slams previous CCRB investigators for under-categorizing 156 chokehold allegations as mere “use of physical force, and argues strongly for consensus on a strict definition of a chokehold as any application of force to the neck, as stated in the NYPD Patrol Guide, regardless of whether breathing is impeded.

For 20 years, the NYPD Patrol Guide has prohibited police from applying any pressure to the neck that “may” inhibit breathing, the report notes. That definition has “mutated” in the eyes of both the NYPD and some previous CCRB investigators to include only those instances where breathing was actually interfered with, the report complains.

“What this report reveals is that this prohibition, as crystal clear as it is, has been degraded over the course of the last decade,” the report says.
PBA President Patrick Lynch was not impressed when shown a copy of the report Saturday. MDC says, LYNCH can’t handle the truth, that’s why citizens havepictures & videos to eliminate the officer hearsay.

Source: by Laura Italiano and Amber Jamieson

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New York Gov. Cuomo Is Part of Culture Of Corruption, Voters Say

MDC says, the NY Governor is as politically crooked as the rest of them.

A new poll released Wednesday morning shows that New Yorkers see Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of a culture of corruption that voters believe is a serious problem. The poll comes weeks after federal prosecutors launched an investigation into Cuomo’s decision to shut down an anti-corruption panel — a move that critics say was designed to prevent the panel from scrutinizing his administration. The poll comes as three other governors pondering presidential campaigns are facing similar scrutiny from prosecutors.

The survey of more than 1,000 New York voters by Quinnipiac University shows that although Cuomo appears for now to be in a strong position to win re-election in 2014, 52 percent of the state’s voters say he has done a “not so good” or “poor” job of “cleaning up corruption” in Albany. Almost half — 48 percent — say that “when thinking about the problem of ethics in government (Cuomo) is part of the problem.” Overall, 82 percent of New Yorkers told pollsters that government corruption is a problem in their state.

“As they have in the past, voters say government corruption is a big New York problem. How is Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing in handling ethics problems? Not too hot, voters say. In fact, voters say he’s part of the problem, not part of the solution,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Cuomo was originally elected in 2010 on a promise to fight corruption, and in 2013 he created the Moreland Commission “to address weaknesses in the State’s public corruption, election and campaign finance laws, generate transparency and accountability, and restore the public trust.” In announcing the creation of the commission, Cuomo pledged, “It’s an independent commission that is free to investigate whatever they believe needs to be investigated on the merits.” He also said the commission was free to scrutinize his administration.

Less than a year later, Cuomo shut down the panel, and within months the New York Times reported that internal commission documents showed “the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara publicly criticized Cuomo for his decision and asked the commission to turn over documents to help his office’s investigation. Bharara soon sent a letter to Cuomo threatening to investigate him for obstruction of justice in the aftermath of the commission’s closure. Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent, Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, called on Cuomo to resign.

The Quinnipiac poll, which was conducted from Aug. 14 to 17, shows 77 percent of New Yorkers see Cuomo’s decision to shutter the Moreland Commission as a “political deal” rather than “a decision based on good government.”

Voters views on Cuomo’s connection to corruption may reflect not only headlines generated from the Moreland Commission controversy, but also a steady trickle of news about Cuomo’s ties to moneyed interests.

In 2012, for instance, Cuomo tried to hide the identities of the big donors and corporations financing a committee funding ads to boost his image. It was later disclosed that many of those donors have business with New York’s state government. The New York Times reported that one of those donors was a gambling conglomerate that gave the committee $2 million at the very time Cuomo was shaping a proposal to expand gaming in the state.

Similarly, in 2013, a report showed that Cuomo was the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the entertainment industry just before he signed legislation expanding New York’s film tax credit. In 2014, a report showed that almost half of Cuomo’s campaign donations came from donors who gave him more than $40,000. Those donations came as Cuomo was championing big corporate tax cuts, including a tax cut for Wall Street.

Quinnipiac’s survey shows Cuomo in a solid position to win re-election, but suggests a potential liability for any national aspirations that the New York governor may have.

In recent months, three governors positioning themselves for presidential runs, Texas’s Rick Perry (R), Wisconsin’s Scott Walker (R) and New Jersey’s Chris Christie (R), have faced high-profile investigations into allegations that they abused their power. Cuomo now makes a fourth governor facing the same kind of scrutiny. The accusations against the men may not be of equal gravity, but if all four of the governors run, the probes could create an overarching corruption narrative that might dominate the 2016 presidential campaign.

Source: ibtimes
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I CANT BREATH

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These are the last words Eric Garner spoke as the NYPD undercover and plainclothes cops gang tackled Mr. Garner and murdered Mr. Garner with an illegal chokehold that was recorded for the world to see in the Borough of Staten Island in the City of New York.

I have heard those words before. I heard them on another recorded video tape of a friend who was gang tackled by New York City Parks personnel who went after this whistleblower and with an intended agenda tried to hurt him. And like Mr. Garner the person was minding his business standing alone on pavers with his leashed dog at his feet and a cell phone in his hand checking out his grandmother in the middle of a frozen January noon. After being aggressed by a PEP officer who used a walkie-talkie and hit him in the forehead three times, asking passerby’s and merchants to please call 911 and the police, and trying to get back home, he was tackled by plainclothes park personnel and uniformed officers. They choked him, knocked the dog from his hands, kneed him in the back and held his head on the freezing pavement while his pleas, “I can’t breath”, repeated were not listened to nor attended to.

It is easy to see the THUG mentality from policemen across this country. It is not the majority but a pretty big percentage, are often stereotyping minorities, and African Americans in particular. Now we are only left to stereotype the officers who act so viciously toward certain members of the population. We are left to think that they are all on steroids, that the tattoo’s that run down thighs and along their arms make them modern day HUNS.

We all can’t breath when one person can’t breath from a chokehold illegally administered by the LAW.

Source: image broadsheet (local witness walking her 3 dogs was infuriated over Parks officers attack )
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