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LAS Condemns City Hall for Failing to Involve Local Communities in Police Reform

The Legal Aid Society condemned the de Blasio Administration for failing to produce a meaningful policing reform plan, as required by an executive order issued by Governor Cuomo last June, reports the New York Daily News.

At a City Council hearing on the matter, Legal Aid called for a policing reform plan informed by community input. This plan is important because it is the only step taken, to date, that promises to deliver the transformative change demanded by last summer’s demonstrations protesting the Killing of George Floyd and police violence.

If this process does not succeed, New York City will have further depleted the hope of the New Yorkers – primarily Black and brown – who have for too long suffered from discriminatory and abusive police practices and will perpetuate the disenfranchisement and disillusionment that drives people to the streets to protest.

Legal Aid urged the City Council to demand that City Hall fix the police reform process to prioritize community involvement and to send a clear signal that any plan that fails to answer the calls from New Yorkers impacted by over-policing will be rejected when the plan is presented to the Council in April.

“Seven months later, New York City has made no progress toward a police reform plan informed by community input, said Corey Stoughton, Attorney-in-Charge of the Special Litigation Unit with the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “Community stakeholders were convened and then disbanded. Efforts by community organizers and stakeholders to build trust and revive the process have been ignored. Drafting of the plan appears to have been turned over entirely to police leaders.”