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New Campaign Seeks to Abolish NYPD Gang Policing Policies

The Legal Aid Society, fellow local criminal justice advocacy organizations, elected officials, and New Yorkers from over-policed communities unveiled a new campaign today at City Hall – Erase The Database NYC – to abolish the New York City Police Department’s secretive gang database, reports THE CITY.

Since 2014, thousands of New Yorkers – including hundreds of children – have been added to the NYPD’s gang database. During that span, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD have launched dozens of militarized gang takedowns – “precision policing” – targeting mostly Black and Latinx communities based on gang associations.

The campaign’s demands include:

1. Stop criminalizing people as “gang members”
2. Abolish gang databases (of any kind)
3. Discontinue all “focused deterrence” and other “precision policing” initiatives.
4. Stop using large scale “gang takedowns,” including the utilization of state and federal conspiracy charges
5. End the use of social media monitoring and other forms of digital surveillance
6. Invest in additional credible messenger programs and expand resources for gang-involved people
7. Divest from policing and instead invest in increased public health programs, sustainable housing, employment development, schools, conflict transformation and alternative accountability models like restorative justice.