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Activists win access to NYPD’s Black Lives Matter surveillance files

  • A New York judge has ordered the New York Police Department to divulge files showing how it surveilled Black Lives Matter demonstrations two years ago, a group of activists announced Wednesday.
  • According to a written decision by Judge Manuel Mendez, the NYPD must release records of the undercover surveillance it conducted on BLM protests related to the police-involved death of Eric Garner
  • The activists, whose initial request seeking the records was initially denied by the NYPD, learned through court documents in September that officials have files that match their request, as well as records of communication between the undercover officers assigned to the demonstrations and officers’ handlers. Read more

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In 1973, women in the New York Police Department were assigned to patrol duty for the first time, and the term “police officer” replaced the earlier designations of “police-woman” and “patrolman.” 

Jane Hoffer photographed a number of these women and collected their perspectives on their work. Ann Wilson (top photo) reflected:

When they transferred me to the taxi squad, I was primarily with the other girls, assigned to clerical duties. But I had a very innovative boss who one day said to me: “Are you afraid of the street?” and I said: “No.” And he said: “Would you like to try it?” And I said: “Yes.” And out I went. On patrol, in an unmarked car. And I enjoyed it! Once you get a taste of it, it’s like you can’t keep ‘em down on the farm any longer. Because you realize you are just as functional…you can do just about the same things. In fact, in some cases, you’re at an advantage.

Jane Hoffer. Ann Wilson, Sergeant Barbara Collins, [?] Walker, and Officer Peggy O’Shaughnessy. circa 1975-1978. On the Beat photograph collection. New-York Historical Society. 

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After her NYPD arrest, Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr says its her duty to fight Trump

  • Gwen Carr’s daughter teased her, once she learned her mother had been arrested protesting outside of Trump Tower in New York City.
  • “You’ve been around 67 years — you wait until you get 67 years old to get arrested?” her daughter joked.
  • Carr was among more than a dozen National Action Network demonstrators arrested by the NYPD on Tuesday night for blocking traffic on a busy and highly surveilled street in Manhattan.
  • But Carr says that, given the threat Trump poses to civil rights, policing reform and other social justice causes, her arrest was necessary.
  •  In July 2014, Carr’s son Eric Garner, was killed in an interaction with New York City police that’s slated for a Justice Department review under the new administration. As such, she said she will keep up the pressure on the people who make the decisions. Read more

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NYPD is investigating online threats made against Muslim activist Linda Sarsour

  • On Tuesday, the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force announced it’s investigating a threat made on social media against prominent activist Linda Sarsour, the New York Daily News reported.
  • A man identified as Glenn Maccioli asked to find Sarsour’s home location on Facebook so he could “spit in her face.”
  • “This bitch is in Brooklyn,” Maccioli reportedly wrote. “Anyone know where? I would like to spit in her face.“
  • Maccioli reportedly took issue with Sarsour referring to President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "bigoted peas in a hateful pod.” Read more (2/21/17 7:30 PM)

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Officer who killed Ramarley Graham resigns. Graham’s family says justice wasn’t served.

  • NEW YORK CITY — Richard Haste, the New York City police officer who fatally shot Ramarley Graham, a black and unarmed teen, in 2012, has resigned from the New York Police Department.
  • An internal trial that found Haste guilty of wrongdoing and recommended his firing, officials announced on Monday.
  • But for Graham’s family, who for five years remained in the dark about disciplinary proceedings against Haste, the resignation is just another slap in the face.
  • Constance Malcolm, Graham’s mother, said the fact that Haste was allowed to resign without facing any criminal charges in civilian courts is shameful.
  • “I think the whole of New York City should be appalled with this decision,” Malcolm said during a press conference at NYPD headquarters on Monday. “There’s no way a cop should break in your home, kill an unarmed person and walk free, let alone get a pay raise every year from the time he killed my son.” Read more (3/27/17 1:35 PM) 

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Gay NYPD officers stir controversy by inviting Toronto police to Pride march

  • Gay New York City police officers have invited their Toronto counterparts to join their 2017 pride march contingency, a decision anti-racism activists find disappointing.
  • According to CTV, New York’s Gay Officers Action League invited police officers from Toronto to join them after Pride Toronto banned the officersfrom officially participating in the city’s pride festivities. NYC Pride confirmed GOAL’s invitation in a phone interview.
  • Pride Toronto voted in January to ban police after Black Lives Matter Toronto protested police presence during the July 2016 Pride Parade. 
  • A list of demands circulating from BLM Toronto activists included the “removal of police floats” from Pride marches.  
  • Janaya Khan, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, disagrees with that characterization of the Toronto Police Department, and called GOAL’s decision to invite Toronto police “disgraceful” in a phone interview. Read more (5/25/17)

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