Eric Garner's Death: How a Video Undermines a Police Narrative

The NYPD's internal report about the death of Eric Garner explained what happened through the eyes of the officers at the scene. As the Daily News first reported, one officer said that Garner "resisted arrest" while being apprehended in Staten Island last week. He was "struggling" with Officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo, who "attempted to place him in handcuffs."

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Video: De Blasio Addresses Death of Man Strangled by NYPD Officer

Cut to 31:45 into the video see the beginning of the press conference.

On Thursday night, Staten Island man Eric Garner, 43, known affectionately as "Big E,"died while being arrested after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold. Garner, a father of six, was reportedly asthmatic. A disturbing video of the incident posted on Live Leak shows that Garner repeatedly said "I can't breathe!", sounding close to tears, as the police held him to the ground. The Staten Island Advance reports that Garner, who stood over 6 feet and weighed more than 350 pounds, was a fixture in the neighborhood who sometimes sold loose cigarettes for 50 cents apiece. Witnesses have said that Garner was trying to break up a fight in front of a beauty supply store.

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De Blasio Appoints Richard Emery to Chair Police Oversight Board

NYC's new Civilian Complaint Review Board chair has a long history of civil-rights advocacy. | photo: Vincent Desjardins via Flickr
After a long vacancy, New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board will have a new leader at its helm. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a city hall news conference this afternoon that longtime civil-rights attorney Richard Emery will assume the chair of the agency. The CCRB is an independent body that reviews citizen complaints against NYPD officers and sends recommendations for disciplinary action to the police commissioner.

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Gunman Opens Fire on Man Sitting on Bed-Stuy Stoop

Screenshot via NYPD video
Grainy surveillance footage of the gunman
The NYPD is circulating a particularly chilling surveillance video this morning, one which shows a man strolling up to a house in Bed-Stuy very early on the morning of Sunday, July 6, and shooting at a man seated on the front stoop at close range.

The NYPD says the victim is a 25-year-old man, who was sitting on the steps of 184 Macdonough Street around 1:10 a.m. In the video, he and the gunman appear to be having an animated conversation for a few minutes. The gunman then looks around, reaches into his waistband, pulls out a handgun, and fires at least twice. As he's shooting, he turns and flees.

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The NYPD's a Little Confused About How the Freedom of Information Law Works

Categories: Journalizing, NYPD

Image via Dave Hosford
They've apparently had the details wrong for, um, a few years.
The NYPD hasn't had the best track record when it comes to fulfilling requests under New York's Freedom of Information Law. Demands for NYPD documents under FOIL -- which is supposed to make accessing public information simple and relatively quick -- routinely lead to lawsuits and long delays.

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Central Park Five Settlement: From a Tough on Crime Era to an Era of Reconciliation

On Thursday, the men wrongfully convicted of the 1989 rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park agreed to a $40 million settlement with the city. The amount corresponds to the roughly 40 total years the men, known Collectively as the "Central Park Five," spent in prison after their conviction. Based on this calculation, Karey Wise, who spent 13 years in prison, the most among the five, will receive the most money the city has ever paid for a wrongful conviction.

The crime was high profile, and so were the trial, the eventual exonerations, and the long battle for a monetary settlement.

When the men were arrested, the city's (and the country's) primary criminal justice concern was public safety. It was the tough-on-crime era. As they reached their settlement, the criminal justice headlines are focused on wrongful convictions. It is an era of reconciliation and of learned lessons.

And now the city is trying to figure out how to apply those lessons.

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Family of David Ranta, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 23 Years, Sues City for $15 Million

The police line-up in which David Ranta was falsely identified as a murderer.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's review of 90 questionable convictions, the tarnished reputation of former detective Louis Scarcella, the seven exonerations in Brooklyn in 2014, the renewed focus on police and prosecutiorial misconduct during New York City's crack era--it all started with David Ranta.

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As Wrongful Convictions Mount, the NYPD Announces Reviews of Murder Arrests

Categories: Justice, NYPD

Protesters rallied against wrongful convictions on the city hall steps last month.
In 1997, Roger Logan was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison. Prosecutors said that he had killed Sherwin Gibbons on the night of July 24 after somebody stole Logan's gold chain during a dice game earlier that day.

The strongest evidence against him was an eye witness who, at the trial, identified him as the killer. Aisha Jones testified that she had seen Logan, then 36, around the neighborhood throughout the day. She had seen in him playing dice in the afternoon, and she had seen him fire ten shots in the vestibule of a Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment building.

Seventeen years later, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office has released Logan, and a judge has vacated the conviction because, as it turns out, Jones couldn't have possibly seen Logan doing all of those things, the D.A.'s office discovered -- she had been in police custody almost all day.

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Increase in Shootings in the Bronx, Brooklyn North, and Queens South This Year

Categories: Crime, NYPD

bk1bennett via Compfight cc
Summer is here. Memorial Day has passed and on June's first weekend, thirteen people were shot over a nine hour stretch spanning Saturday night and Sunday morning. The number of shootings traditionally rises with the heat. More folks outside for more hours. More rubbing shoulders and more getting on nerves.

This is never good news, but it is especially worrisome for those who live in areas where the number of shootings has already risen.

In the Queens South Patrol Borough, there were 50 shooting victims through May 25th, seven more than the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics. In the Bronx, there were 131 shooting victims over that stretch, up from 103 last year. And in the Brooklyn North Patrol Bureau, there were 124 victims, up from 103.

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Political Activists Say the NYPD Still Silent After Its Undercover Cops Were Exposed

Categories: NYPD

Tessa Stuart
Harry Bubbins, Robert Jereski, and Matt Metzgar filed their complaint on Tuesday.
Tuesday was NYPD Inspector General Phillip Eure's first day on the job; it was also the first day that the job existed at all. The office was created (and vested with a $5 million budget) by the City Council over the veto of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year, and Eure, who previously headed up Washington D.C.'s office of police complaints, was appointed by the Department of Investigation on March 28.

In a statement shortly after the announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio called independent police review "a critical component" for improving public safety and the NYPD's relationship with the community.

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