New Yorkers Against Bratton (NYAB) held another rally/press conference at City Hall Monday, shortly before a city council meeting on officer instruction in light of recent police conduct throughout the city. The organization repudiated the NYPD’s renewed focus on training officers in how they interact with the public.
“I’d like to just point out that since we’re here, essentially in the aftermath of the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island. The way that he died by a chokehold that’s been banned for over 20 years [shows that] trainings and retrainings really have a very small effect on the culture of brutality in the NYPD,” said NYAB spokesperson Josmar Trujillo (pictured left of center).
“We’re here to say that it’s a policy. It’s basically a Broken Windows policy that creates needless interactions with thousands and thousands and millions of New Yorkers for the lowest-level crimes, like riding a bike on the sidewalk.”
When asked by a journalist what exactly she wanted from the council meeting, Agnes Johnson gave an impassioned response. “You wanna know what I want?” she asked. “I want what you want! I wanna be able to walk in to my community without a cop stopping me, asking me where I’m going! I want my children to be able to travel, to have a right of public ability to travel without being stopped! Why would you even ask me what I want after all this time? Where have you been?!”
“How are you gonna say you’re concerned about the citizens and the safety of our youth when you’re murdering them in record numbers?” questioned Nicholas Heyward Sr. (pictured in second image below), whose son Nicholas Heyward Jr. was shot to death by an NYPD officer in 1994 while playing with an orange toy gun. “Record numbers of innocent, unarmed people are being gunned down by the police and these cases are being covered up.”
“The fact that officers think they can get away with this [brutality]; their supervisors cover their tracks,” Trujillo quickly added after Heyward spoke. “We know from the case of [Daniel] Pantaleo, [the officer who choked Garner], that the supervisor didn’t even write that there was a chokehold involved or issue a report. So this goes beyond bad apple police officers, this goes to supervisors, this goes all the way to the commissioner.”
Watch NYAB speak here:
After their conference, New Yorkers Against Bratton entered the city council meeting, raising their hands whenever Commissioner Bill Bratton (pictured left of center in first image below) made comments they found inaccurate in homage to Michael Brown. For example, NYAB raised their hands when Bratton stated that nobody can ever legally resist arrest (which isn’t entirely true) and that people should seek justice through the court system.
See more pictures below: