Scott Stringer Goes After Stop-and-Frisk, Does Not Criticize Ray Kelly In The Process

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Sam Levin
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at City Hall today.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is expected to run for mayor, pushed forward his campaign against the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy with a press event this afternoon featuring Martin Luther King III.

But as he continues his public appearances on the matter, Stringer seems to face the tricky task of criticizing the current practice of police stops without coming down too hard on the leader behind the policy, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly -- who incidentally could end up running for mayor himself.

Stringer, likely looking to appeal to minority and outer borough voters, appears committed to loudly opposing stop-and-frisk in its current form. Stop-and-frisk disproportionately targets communities of color and does very little to actually prevent crime (only nine percent of stops typically result in arrests), critics say.

And Stringer, who praised Kelly when he asked him about rumors of his mayoral bid, has repeatedly said that everyone should be concerned with stop-and-frisk, even people that look like him.

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After Multiple Court Appearances, OWS Charges Dropped for City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez

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City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, talking to reporters about his arrest back in November.
Turns out City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was not "resisting arrest" or "obstructing governmental administration" on the day of the infamous clearing of Zuccotti Park in November when the New York Police Department raided Occupy Wall Street at the height of its protests.

Or at least those charges have been dropped -- nearly five months after he was first arrested.

Rodriguez, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and has become a loud voice for Occupy Wall Street, was arrested on November 15th in the dramatic early morning eviction of OWS's camp city in Zuccotti Park.

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William Bratton, Former NYPD Commissioner, Gets Free Parking; Exclusive NY Post Jokes Ensue

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The Post reports this morning on William Bratton, a former NYPD commissioner who apparently has a permit that lets him park anywhere in the city. For free!

So what's up? Bratton was spotted Wednesday parking his Lexus SUV in a "no standing zone" for an hour, and is said to have had a permit "for official use only...emblazoned with two NYPD shields and expires Feb. 1, 2013." Government officials have since told the paper these placards are only supposed to be "for official use" which would disqualify someone like Bratton, who no longer works for the City. Some NYPD top brass counter that "former police commissioners are entitled to placards."

Runnin' Scared reached out to the NYPD for clarification. The tabloid, true to Post form, has already called Bratton both a "fishy commishy" and a "perk jerk." Of course, the Post's arsenal of jeux de mots is never ending. Some predictions for the paper's follow-up?

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Charles Barron on Ramarley Graham and Trayvon Martin: 'This Madness Must Stop'

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As New York and the rest of the nation demand answers about Trayvon Martin's death, Councilmember Charles Barron delivered a message on the steps of City Hall this afternoon that was alternatively angry and somber.

Barron, joined by Ramarley Graham's parents and the family of Jateik Reed, asked that the February killing of Graham not be forgotten in light of the Sanford, Fla. shooting. Barron, alongside councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Melissa Mark-Viverito, voiced solidarity with Martin's relatives, calling for police accountability and an end to racial profiling.

But Barron, as well as the other electeds and community leaders present, delivered yet another message: Blacks and latinos had had enough, they said, and tension in New York's minority communities could soon come to a critical point.

Indeed, talk at the press conference quickly moved from Ramarley to riots.

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Brad Lander, Jumaane Williams to Ray Kelly: NYPD Must Have Oversight

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Lander
Councilmembers Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams want answers.

At a City Council budget oversight hearing today, they grilled NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly about how the department spends money -- specifically when it comes to surveillance and terrorism. But Kelly couldn't really say.

Lander and Williams, along with other council members, want to know exactly what happens to the cops' cash. And they think the best way to oversee the department is by creating an inspector general's office.

"Commissioner Kelly asks us to trust him that NYPD officers are following the law, but he either could not or would not tell us what the NYPD is spending our money on," he said post-hearing.

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Author Asra Q. Nomani: The NYPD Should Spy on Muslims

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As the fallout over NYPD's Muslim spying scheme continues -- even prompting Chicago's top cop to pledge against blanket monitoring of Islamic communities -- some have taken a drastically different approach to the issue.

While Mayor Mike Bloomberg has defended the NYPD's controversial practices, Asra Q. Nomani, author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam and co-director of the Pearl Project, has outright promoted the department's techniques in a new Daily Beast op-ed.

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Cop Feels 'Terrible' About Killing Unarmed Bronx Teen Ramarley Graham: Report

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Richard Haste, the cop who shot and killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, feels "terrible" about the unarmed teen's death, but thought he was in "mortal danger" when he pulled the trigger, according to the Daily News.

Haste told a co-worker he thought the Bronx teen had a weapon that fateful Feb. 2.

A source told the News: "He thought he was carrying, that's why he did what he did. He had a split second to react."

"He didn't want the kid to die. He feels bad. But it happened very fast."

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Cops: Morgan Stanley Banker Stabbed Cabbie, Used Racial Slurs

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A top honcho at Morgan Stanley, William Bryan Jennings, has been charged with stabbing a Middle Eastern cabbie with a pen knife and using racial intimidation, cops say.

The banking behemoth says that the Americas co-head of fixed income and capital markets has since been put on leave, according to the New York Times.

Here's what supposedly went down: On Dec. 22., Jennings took a cab from a New York charity gala to his $3.6 million Darien, Conn. home. When he got there, he refused to pay the $200 fare, the cabbie claims. He's also said to have become abusive and started using racial slurs.

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Stop-and-Frisk Critics Unite Under One Police Reform Campaign

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Criticism of the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices have come from a wide range of elected officials and advocacy groups across the city. Now, in an effort to bolster the campaign for increased police accountability, dozens of organizations are joining forces under the umbrella of one campaign that aims to make the topic of police reform a major one in the upcoming mayoral election.

The new coalition, Communities United for Police Reform, or CPR, is officially launching this month with a "Week of Action" starting Sunday and has already brought together, thus far, around 30 organizations that support the cause.

Earlier this month, the Voice ran a cover story on the city's controversial policy, which allowed cops to stop more than 600,000 people in 2010. The largest age group is males 15 to 19, the majority of New Yorkers stopped are black and Hispanic, and overall, only nine percent of the stops result in arrests.

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Councilman Jumaane Williams: Cops Must Give Out Business Cards After Stop-and-Frisks

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Councilman Jumaane Williams has continued to put pressure on the NYPD to improve its strained relationship with minorities.

Williams, who has long demanded that Mayor Mike Bloomberg hold the city's cops accountable, will propose three police-reform bills next week -- and one calls for cops to give out business cards after performing stop-and-frisks.

First reported by the New York Daily News, the proposed law would protect New Yorkers from illegitimate police searches.

Cops would also be required to tell prospective perps that they do not have to agree to a search.

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