Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

After NYCLU request gets police barricades pulled back, organizer of neighborhood letter says other policing issues deserve response

A note yesterday from the North Prospect Heights Association:
Barricades to be Pulled Back
We would like to update the community on the status of the barricades that encircle the 78th Precinct, encompassing a large part of north Prospect Heights. Yesterday the New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the NYPD stating the barricades and request for IDs are unconstitutional and unreasonable, and demanded they be withdrawn.

The letter states " the Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. Stops of the sort here, which are not based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing and are untethered from any meaningful standards to prevent abuse, are unlawful. The Due Process Clause protects the freedom of movement and right to travel. And the Equal Protection Clause protects against disparate treatment based on race, skin color, ethnicity, and national origin. In its current form, the police perimeter in Prospect Heights violates each of these constitutional guarantees."
"The residents of Prospect Heights have a right to access public streets and their homes without being subjected to weeks of arbitrary and invasive search and seizure by law enforcement. The police perimeter that the NYPD has maintained for almost two weeks in the neighborhood is unreasonable in light of any legitimate police purpose. It is unlawful and we ask that it be removed now."
In response the NYPD has agreed to “pull back significantly.” The NYCLU anticipates it is likely there will continue to be a heightened police presence in our area, but our community and the public should be able to come and go freely without ID checks or questioning at any barricades. This change is being implemented with immediate effect. If anyone is still being stopped at checkpoints this morning, or moving forward, or experience other issues related to policing in our area, please reach out to us or the NYCLU, (212-607-3300).
More still on the table

That said, that is neither a direct nor full response to the letter launched by several Prospect Heights-area organizations (including the North Prospect Heights Assocition) and many individuals calling to for police accountability and more.

I asked organizer Crystal Hudson for comment. She said other issues weren't resolved:
The NYPD response referred to here was their response to the letter NYCLU sent. Our community letter was written to the Mayor (though we copied the two local precincts - 78 & 77 - on our letter), and we have not yet received a reply from the Administration.
While the NYPD pulling back their barricades in the community is a great first step to returning public streets to the people, and allowing residents and visitors alike to move safely through the neighborhood without the threat of unwarranted interactions with the police, it is just that: a first step. We are still seeing peaceful protestors being chased and beaten relentlessly, and it was just a few days ago that 16-year old Jahmel Leach was brutally assaulted by an officer. Our community letter asks for a clear commitment to transparency and accountability, as well as a reduction in the $6B NYPD budget so that crucial services, programs, and infrastructure can be wholly invested in.

Comments