Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding the imposition of an 8 p.m. curfew in New York City and related police enforcement conduct:
“As the weekend approaches, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to impose an early evening curfew in New York City continues to be misguided and deeply destructive to police-community relations, as demonstrated by video evidence of unwarranted and excessive police violence. This curfew has served to facilitate attacks on peaceful protesters and place residents at unnecessary risk of arrest or a court summons, which can have long-term negative consequences. Mayor de Blasio must lead more effectively in this time of crisis. LDF calls upon him to devise a better solution for allowing protesters the time and space to voice their rightful demands, while ensuring public safety, police accountability, and freedom of expression and assembly in the country’s largest metropolitan area.
“New York City’s decision to impose a curfew directly undercuts the very objectives protesters are seeking to achieve – accountability for racist and violent police behavior. Providing law enforcement with a curfew mandate simply gives them another excuse for engaging in unduly confrontational and aggressive policing, especially against communities of color, which always endure the brunt of police violence. The New York City Police Department’s egregious violence against peaceful protesters under the guise of curfew enforcement speaks to this reality. We urge Mayor de Blasio to immediately rescind or revise the curfew and use city resources to facilitate constitutionally-sanctioned protest instead of fomenting chaos.”
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.