Jumaane Williams on Flatbush Unrest: "What Happened Here in the Past Couple Days Is Wrong"

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Nick Pinto
City Council member Jumaane Williams called for calm this afternoon at a press conference on the corner where Kimani Gray was shot to death by police.
After three successive nights of protest and unrest in East Flatbush following the shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray by police, City Council member Jumaane Williams held a press conference this afternoon to call for calm.

"What happened here in the past couple days is wrong," Williams said. "There are people -- well-intentioned as they my be -- who are coming into the community and capitalizing on a terrible situation and making it worse."

Williams blamed outside agitators for the numerous arrests made in recent nights, as police on horses and in riot gear have clashed with angry youths.

Read More:
- Tensions Mount After Police Fatally Shoot Brooklyn Teenager Kimani Gray
- Eyewitness "Certain" Kimani Gray Was Unarmed When Police Shot Him
- Police and Protesters Clash at Kimani Gray Vigil in Brooklyn


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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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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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Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and Tish James Introduce Resolution in Support of Occupy Wall Street

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C.S. Muncy
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at the Nov. 17 OWS Brooklyn Bridge march.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of Washington Heights announced on Twitter this afternoon that he and two other City Councilmembers -- Jumaane Williams and Tish James -- have drafted a resolution in support of Occupy Wall Street. The council is meeting today and will vote on the resolution [correction: they're not voting on it today, oops]. The resolution almost seems like a logical next step from the city council members who have been the most consistently attached to the Occupy protests. Rodriguez was even arrested the night of the Zuccotti raid, and Williams was arrested during the OWS "Day of Action" on November 17.

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Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Member, On Being Arrested at Occupy Wall Street

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Ydanis Rodriguez, sporting a cut over his eye that he said police gave him at Occupy Wall Street.
Ydanis Rodriguez, the City Council member who was arrested near Zuccotti Park two nights ago, gave a press conference at City Hall this morning, his face still showing cuts and scrapes where he says police forced his face into the pavement.

Rodriguez told reporters he didn't go down to Zuccotti Park Monday night intending to get arrested. When he was tipped off to the 1 a.m. police raid Monday night by one of the occupiers, Rodriguez, who represents Washington Heights, drove downtown and started walking to the park.

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Second Council Member Alleges NYPD Mistreatment

A second City Council member has now come out with claims of bad treatment by rank-and-files police officers at a parade. In a remarkable letter sent today to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's office and with Speaker Christine Quinn's office copied, Upper West Side Dem. Gale Brewer recounts her own "recent experience with a belligerent and over-reactive officer" at the Gay Pride Parade in June.

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