Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund sent a letter to the New York City Committee on Public Safety urging officials to reject the current draft of the New York City Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan urging City officials to reject the plan in its current draft. The Draft Plan is comprised of vague and undefined proposals that would ultimately increase police presence in Black and Brown communities, dramatically expand investments into police programs and budgets, avoid changes to police discipline, and omit the dynamic and transformative policing practices that advocates communities most impacted by police discrimination and violence have called for repeatedly.
In the nine months since Governor Cuomo signed EO 203 requiring all government entities with police departments to develop a Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Plan, the City failed to adequately solicit and understand communities’ public safety and policing concerns before drafting the Plan. The Draft Plan invests significantly more funding in law enforcement and fails to allocate resources for much needed community services. The Draft Plan increases law enforcement presence in vulnerable communities, creating a risk of continued over-policing and disproportionate criminalization for members of these communities. Though it promises to review and examine racism within the department, the Draft Plan does not outline a plan to actually address and change the City’s decades long history of racially discriminatory policing practices.
The Draft Plan falls short of its proposed goal of transformative change in the City’s public safety system. The City should not increase investments and resources into the NYPD’s already-large budget through additional law enforcement officers and programs in under-resourced communities. It should instead invest in the programs and services that will build long-term sustainable public safety and enhance the well-being of communities. We urge the council to reject the Plan in its current form, and draft and present a plan with meaningful community engagement with time for public comment.
Read the full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.