Five Arrested During Citywide Marches Supporting Mike Brown, MO Teen Slain By Police

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Photo by C.S. Muncy. The Michael Brown protest in Midtown Manhattan.
Police "kettling" protesters in Times Square during the demonstration last night.
In 90 cities around the country last night, demonstrators marched in what was dubbed National Moment of Silence 2014 to honor Mike Brown, the teenager killed in Missouri by police last week, as well as other victims of police brutality. The marches were organized online in just four days by Feminista Jones, a writer and activist from the Bronx with a massive Twitter following. In New York, marchers massed in Bed-Stuy, Harlem and hundreds in Union Square; some of the Manhattan protesters made their way up to Times Square, where five men were eventually arrested during what both police and protesters alike called an otherwise fairly peaceful night.

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NYPD Wants Some Help With A Pretty Intense Brooklyn Robbery (Video)

Categories: Crime

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NYPD
NYPD is seeking help on an unsolved Brooklyn robbery.
The NYPD is asking for help with a robbery at a Brooklyn cell phone store, which was caught on a security camera in a pretty dramatic piece of footage.


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Podcast: How We Will Remember Robin Williams

Categories: Film and TV

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Williams in Moscow on the Hudson
On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly remember Robin Williams, who died on Monday. He was 63. They also recommend We Are Mari Pepa, a slight movie about growing up punk in Mexico, the Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan rom-com What If, and Lenny Abrahamson's Frank, the movie where Michael Fassbender wears a giant mask the entire time.

Listen below.

Upstate New York Farm Must Allow Gay Weddings

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Photo by Kelly Pfeister courtesy of the NYCLU
Jennifer, left, and Melisa McCarthy
An upstate New York farm has been fined by the state Division on Human Rights for refusing to host a wedding for a lesbian couple two years ago. Liberty Ridge Farm is located in Schaghticoke, New York, a 7,000-person town some 30 miles north of Albany. When Melisa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy decided to get married in 2012, as they told the press at the time, they thought Liberty Ridge would be the perfect place: they'd gotten engaged at an apple orchard, and getting hitched in Liberty Ridge's barn seemed like the perfect continuation to their rural theme. (According to court filings, the farm hosts blueberry-picking, pig races, and something called "pumpkin cannon shows.")

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Expedited Immigration Hearings Basically a "Conveyor Belt to Deportation"

Categories: Immigration
Some 52,000 unaccompanied infants, children and teens have been apprehended along the United States' Southern border since October of last year, and twenty nine of them appeared in federal immigration court in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday. They represent the first wave of some 10,000 individual cases that advocates estimate will be heard in New York in the next year. More »

Here's What the Daily News Robin Williams Cover Should Have Looked Like

Categories: Film and TV

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Alan Scherstuhl
We took the liberty of re-editing the Daily News' shameful Robin Williams cover. See the original version on the next page.

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NYC Public Advocate Calls for Faster Deployment of Police Body Cameras

Categories: Lawsuits, Legal

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NYC Comptroller's Office
Interactive map created by the New York City Comptroller showing claims against police.
Letitia James, New York City's public advocate, called Monday for the NYPD to hurry up and make with the body cameras, a proposal that emerged partly out of a court decision last year on the controversial stop and frisk program. Part of the ruling in Floyd v. City of New York called for a pilot program with small, wearable cameras to record interactions, which have been used in other jurisdictions with dramatic results.


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Cecily McMillan Asks Corrections Commissioner to Address "Desperate" Situation for Rikers' Women

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McMillan reading a statement at the Rikers gates after her release in July.
It seems pretty clear that the situation at Rikers Island, the jail that holds the vast majority of New York City's prisoners, is reaching some kind of critical mass. While no one has ever been under the impression that it's some kind of model facility, a recent, scathing series of reports has revealed just how bad things are: after a two year investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice found "rampant" use of excessive force by guards against adolescent inmates. Before that, in July of this year, an investigation by the New York Times found similar brutality committed by corrections officers against mentally ill inmates. Three guards have been arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into the jail, with correction officials darkly hinting there may be more arrests to follow.

In the wake of all that, Cecily McMillan, former Occupy protester and brief one-time resident of Rikers, is urging Commissioner Ponte to address what she calls the "desperate" situation at Rikers, particularly for women.

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How Two Cops Took on a Stash House in Crack-Era Brooklyn

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HBO's The Wire
Warren Bond played college football at UCLA and hoped to play in the NFL. He made it onto the Jets in 1982, but didn't play in any games. NFL players went on strike that year and Bond did not want to cross the picket line. In the meantime, he needed a job.

His brother-in-law, who was a cop, suggested Bond sign up for the police academy. The strike lasted just two months, but by the time it ended, Bond had decided that the career path of a police officer was more appealing than that of a football player. The starting salaries were similar, and the job security was much better.

He graduated from the academy in 1983. Within three years, he rose to the narcotics unit. There, he worked one of the most dangerous jobs in policing: undercover drug busts in crack-era Brooklyn

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Video: Chinese Dragon Boats Race for Cash & Culture In Queens

Categories: Video

At the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival held last weekend, August 9 and 10, in Flushing Meadows Park, nearly 200 boats raced down a 500-meter course in hopes of winning cash and prizes for their teams.

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New York State Governments Are One of the Most Frequent Requesters of Twitter Account Information in the World

Last week, the Manhattan District Attorney's office subpoenaed Twitter, Inc. for any information the company might have pertaining to the identity of @bicyclelobby, a parody account created last year as a response to the ravings of Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz. The fact that two German artists claimed responsibility for the flags on Tuesday--and they have the video to back them up--only further confirms how absurd this request was.

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De Blasio and a Bunch of Other Mayors: The Economy's Still Not So Great

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Photo Credit: noheadlights via Compfight cc
Things are still pretty bad. And they're worse in the big cities.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with a group of city leaders from across the country, are trying to drum up some attention for what has turned out to be a lackluster economic recovery, especially within large metropolitan areas.

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Democratic Challenger Zephyr Teachout to Andrew Cuomo: "Game On"

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Photo by Anna Merlan
Teachout talks to her supporters outside the trial last week.
"I feel great," Zephyr Teachout said, actually seeming to mean it. "It's not fun to have anybody staring you down, and trying to knock you off your game. But all this has done is proved that I am a New Yorker."

It was Monday morning, a few hours before Teachout, the Democratic longshot candidate challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary, would find out if the Cuomo's effort to have her knocked off the ballot had been successful. In late July, two college students affiliated with the Cuomo campaign had filed legal challenges to Teachout's candidacy, arguing she hadn't lived in New York the requisite five years required to run. After a two-day trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Judge Edgar G. Walker was going to issue his decision at 2 p.m. In a greasy spoon diner near her campaign headquarters, working her way through a fruit smoothie and a plate of eggs over easy, Teachout was showing no signs of strain.

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Cheaper, More Addictive, and Highly Profitable: How Crack Took Over NYC in the '80s

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New Jack City
Crack popped up in Miami and Los Angeles in the 1970s. The Drug Enforcement Agency didn't pay it much mind then. It was nothing more than a different version of cocaine, the agency figured. Crack arrived in New York City in the early 1980s before most of the public had heard anything about it. And as we noted in last week's cover story, which explored how the crack era shaped policing strategies, the NYPD was ill-prepared for the crime wave the drug would bring.

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Yuri Sucart Faces a Decade in Prison After Years of Doing A-Rod's Dirty Work

via New York City District Attorney's Office
Yuri Sucart's arrest in 1993 set the stage for years of dependance on his famous cousin.
MIAMI -- It would be hard to imagine a character less suited to Alex Rodriguez's luxury lifestyle of private jets and South of Fifth condos than the shackled man federal agents led into the DEA's Weston, Florida headquarters last week.

On August 5, Yuri Sucart was clad in a baggy white T-shirt, ill-fitting black pants, socks and sandals. He looked more like a paunchy, balding soccer dad than a guy who'd spent decades in A-Rod's tight inner circle. Yet the truth is, no one was closer to the suspended Yankees superstar through his whole career than his older primo.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

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Warhol, Wizards, and Dolls: Here's the Cool Stuff of the Antiques Roadshow in New York

Categories: Film and TV

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All photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg
It was hard to avoid comparing the New York stop of the Antiques Roadshow to a low-key casino without the seedy underbelly. The temperature in the Javits Center on Saturday was meat locker-freezing, Rascal scooters zipped by every few minutes (often with paintings and other wrapped ephemera jammed in to the footholds and baskets), bottled water was $4, and everyone was there with the hope of big money.

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NYCLU Weighs in on Facebook Search Warrants in New York Court

Categories: Lawsuits, Privacy

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Photo Credit: bloomsberries via Compfight cc
The NYCLU thinks warrants sought by the Manhattan DA pose constitutional problems.
The New York Civil Liberties Union is throwing its support behind Facebook in a lawsuit the organization believes could have big implications for social media privacy in New York.

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From Prep Basketball Star to Murder Charge: It All Started With One Unlucky Shot

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Albert Samaha
Protesters at City Hall in April called on Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson to advance his review into convictions tied to Louis Scarcella.
Ronny Pondexter spent four years in prison for a murder he did not commit. In 1992, he had been arrested by Detective Louis Scarcella, the subject of last week's feature story. A woman testified that she saw Pondexter shoot a man below her window. She recanted her testimony shortly afterward and in 1996 the New York State Court of Appeals granted Pondexter a new trial. He was acquitted.

It is a wild and sad story. But the story Pondexter tells about how he ended up running the streets in the first place might top it.

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NYPD Releases Disturbing Video of Attempted Rape

Categories: Crime, NYPD, Rapes

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Screenshot via.
For the second time in three weeks, the New York Police Department has announced they're looking for a suspect who attempted to rape a woman in the stairwell of her apartment building. The department released a video of the most recent incident on Sunday, August 10. The crime took place at 1 a.m. on August 9 in a building in Crown Heights. The police report that the suspect approached the woman in the stairwell, tried to talk to her, then pushed her to the ground and attempted to rape her. The victim resisted and the suspect took off. The NYPD has released a version of the video that, while it doesn't show the actual attempted rape, does show the woman being attacked and beaten.

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Is It Legal to Ride the 6 Train Through the Abandoned City Hall Station?

Categories: MTA

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New York Municipal Archives
City Hall Station in its heyday
Consult any subway map printed in the last 69 years and it will tell you the 6 train dead-ends at Manhattan's Brooklyn Bridge Station. An older map would show the train's original track--the one it still uses everyday--loops through the now abandoned City Hall station before ending up on the north-bound side of the track and heading back to the Bronx.

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