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New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a directive this week that puts police at the center of renewed efforts to remove people exhibiting signs of mental illness from public spaces.
Former top cops say a culture of neglect at the NYPD has left inexperienced and poorly trained officers in charge of some of the department’s most sensitive cases.
Blind in one eye and at risk of losing vision in the other, 58-year-old Reginald Randolph is now on the verge of being sent to state prison to serve out a maximum of four years.
There has been a ‘parabolic increase’ in cities and states giving tenants a right to counsel to help fight evictions.
Under Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s leadership, Brooklyn’s unit exonerated just four people—a far lower rate than in previous years.
Only 7 percent of tenants in the state have legal representation in eviction proceedings. A bill in the Connecticut house is trying to change that.
A bill passed by the state legislature, but yet to be enacted, would offer access to counsel for low-income renters.
Creating a commission and a new deputy mayor of housing will give directly impacted people a much-needed voice in government—and help ensure a right to housing for all.
Activists are calling for a number of new policies to expand the reach of community land trusts.
Getting convicted of a “minor offense” inflicts serious, long-term harm. The state can and must divert more people to counseling, group meetings, or other interventions.
Ensuring renters have representation in housing court would help close a “justice gap” and be a life-saving intervention for those at risk of losing their homes.
Numerous city councils and state legislatures are debating giving renters a right to counsel, which can make the difference between stability and catastrophe.
After organizing to repeal the “walking while trans” ban, advocates in the state—and around the country—are looking ahead to the next fight.
In a forum with people experiencing homelessness, Democratic candidates criticized the mayor’s affordable housing plans, embraced a ‘right to housing,’ and rejected police intervention on homelessness calls.
In many of America’s major cities, the early efforts to reduce incarceration during the pandemic have been reversed.
The New York governor has released a plan to legalize marijuana, months after voters in the Garden State approved legalization in November. Advocates say the pressure could have ripple effects regionally.
The city says COVID-19 budget constraints will set back its plans to close the jail but people incarcerated there are suffering from the disease right now.
The party's national director tells The Appeal about candidates in New York, Washington, D.C., and New Mexico that the WFP would like to see oust the establishment.
Since the pandemic began, vital programs that enable children to receive free meals, such as the National School Lunch Program, haven’t been reaching the families in need of support.
Civil liberties experts say the Strategic Response Group’s recent crackdown on ICE protests is the most brutal suppression of protests in decades—and many of its officers are the subject of significant misconduct allegations, including a supervisor with 32 complaints.
Last week’s problems in New York were part of a widespread series of issues, both systemic and targeted, that are only now becoming fully apparent, activists say.
Research has shown only that police can be sufficient, not that they are necessary.
In the face of a pandemic and police violence, elected leaders have failed to keep us safe and to champion the voices of marginalized communities like mine. Now it is time to determine our own future.
Although the new law took effect in January, state data showing how courts are applying it won’t be available until July 2021. And without funding, courts in small towns and villages may never collect the data.
Prosecutors in states ranging from New York to Utah are using decades-old gang laws to target participants in the largest uprising against police brutality in U.S. history.
Administrative subpoenas—which do not require a judge’s approval—are typically used for the department’s internal investigations, but The Appeal has learned that they are being used in criminal cases.
Rates of reporting domestic violence are low in immigrant communities, where survivors of abuse often don’t want to involve the police. As an alternative, the de Blasio administration promised to fund community-based domestic violence programming—but those funds were delayed, and advocates fear programs with strong community ties may not meet the city’s requirements.
In New York, fewer people who have experienced sexual assault or rape have sought forensic exams at hospitals during the pandemic. But advocates suggest that’s not evidence of declining sexual violence.
Protesters believe law enforcement is looking for retribution after police arrested a woman Tuesday night and placed her in an unmarked van, a callback to recent events in Portland, Oregon.
The Doe Fund says it pays homeless and formerly incarcerated people New York City’s minimum wage of $15 per hour. But the nonprofit charges weekly fees that can drive their wages below the federal minimum of $7.25.
The advocates describe the reopening as unsafe and unnecessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizations in New York City have stepped in to help families with funeral costs and related matters in communities hit hard by the disease, but their money and resources are strained.
The COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests over police brutality are strengthening the case against mass incarceration, advocates argue.
As a ‘heat dome’ descends on much of the country and local governments scramble to provide safe refuges, concern grows over the effect of a disease that has ‘totally demolished the homeless people.’
New data obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request paint a dire picture of New York City COVID-19 testing in its jails.
Seth J. Prins,
Many city residents who’ve served time for sexual crimes have families who want them back, but a 19-year-old law keeps them away.
A representative board is needed to check the power of the NYPD and appropriately discipline officers for misconduct, they argue.
Reductions in budgets related to the novel coronavirus have slowed New York City’s plan to close Rikers by building new jails, and it’s becoming increasingly possible that the city will not meet its January 2027 deadline.
Workers report facing a difficult choice between earning a living and feeling safe and healthy at their job.
Federal prosecutors argue that damaging a police vehicle is a violation of federal statutes in part because the police department receives federal funding. Former prosecutors and law professors say it’s an absurd rationale driven by politics of the Justice Department.
Memos obtained by The Appeal and anecdotes from public defenders reveal how, for a week during protests over police brutality, the NYPD stalled cases by directing officers not to testify in court.
Essential workers say curfews put them at risk of police violence, even though they were exempt.
State Assembly members, senators, and city council members have said they will decline and donate funds from police and corrections officers as New Yorkers fill the streets to protest recent violence by law enforcement.
Many community development corporations assist not only tenants, but also a wider community of low-income people with a range of social services.
The governor’s requirements for release are too narrow in light of the threat from COVID-19, they say.
Some are striking because they can’t afford to pay the rent. Others are striking in protest against what they say is inhumane treatment.
As COVID-19 spreads, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio are slashing budgets, but leaving funding for police and prisons largely untouched.
The Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of 650,000 so-called Dreamers across the country. Lawyers say terminating protections for them during a pandemic would be 'catastrophic.'
The city has created the structural conditions that have engendered disproportionately high rates of infection and death among its Black and Latinx residents.
Darializa Avila Chevalier
Their proposals move beyond Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day eviction moratorium and call for suspending or forgiving rent payments longer term.
Local budget cuts enacted a decade ago left states and cities dangerously unprepared for COVID-19. We shouldn’t make those same mistakes again.
Taking emergency measures to protect homeless people from the pandemic is simply common sense.
Powerful interests exploited Katrina to enrich themselves and transform the city. As a reporter who covered the fallout explains, our government’s lax oversight means the same could happen now, leaving those who most need help behind.
The state, which accounts for roughly one-third of all positive COVID-19 cases in the country, is facing a rapid spread of the disease in its jail and prison systems.
Lawyers, judges, and advocates for migrant children wonder what it will take to close all 69 immigration courts. ‘I hope that it won’t take a death, but I worry that it will,’ one lawyer said.
Many programs for people on parole, probation, or supervision take place in group settings—the exact opposite of what public health officials are recommending in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Based on this analysis, New York City jails have become the epicenter of COVID-19,” a Legal Aid attorney said.
The Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies are intersecting with a highly contagious disease at a time when cities across the country are shutting down.
While those facing charges appear by video at arraignments, all others—attorneys, officers, the judge—are in the courtroom in close quarters, defense attorneys say.
Late Wednesday, the chief physician at the Rikers jail complex said on Twitter that judges and prosecutors must not leave New York City's jailed population ‘in harm’s way.’
The Metropolitan Police Department has discussed reducing arrests, but it has not formally announced any policy changes.
Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced the state would employ prisoners to make hand sanitizer, must prepare for the particular vulnerabilities of the state’s prison population to COVID-19, advocates say.
At least one error led to a wrongful arrest, according to a Freedom of Information Law request, underscoring the need for better oversight of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, advocates say.
Kyle C. Barry
In two articles, the Times asserts a ‘spike’ in crime since the passage of bail reform in New York, an increase that the articles themselves note they can’t prove.
Adam H. Johnson
A civil suit claims that an officer who shot a 46-year-old stagehand in Midtown Manhattan should have de-escalated the encounter.
Despite dire-sounding headlines, the state’s cash bail reforms are having a positive impact on the people they are meant to help.
Logbooks were seized as part of an inquiry into misconduct allegations against high-ranking officers in the division that investigates sex crimes.
Misconduct complaints against officers in the NYPD’s 34th Precinct have risen for three years straight. In 2018, 15 officers had complaints against them substantiated, the most of any precinct in New York City.
A City Council Committee considers a bill on NYPD surveillance today.
Advocates say the removals are more evidence of a troubling and unregulated law enforcement tool, overseen by the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The billionaire and former New York City mayor defended the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Americans and mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun possession, among other policies.
Recent violent arrests in the city subways should make New Yorkers question the push by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to hire 500 new transit police.
The mayors of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco wrap themselves in the language of progressivism, but when it comes to the criminal legal system they’re Trumpian.
The New York Post used a tragedy to target bail reform activists, rather than point to the challenges of a failed mental health system and poverty.
The mayor claims that building new jails is the only safe way to close Rikers Island jail complex, but the City Council shouldn’t fall for this Faustian bargain.
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
Police and prosecutors claimed facial recognition technology wasn’t at the center of a shoplifting case, but defense attorneys say it was the sole basis for probable cause to arrest.
Establishment candidate Melinda Katz declared a narrow victory in the New York City borough’s district attorney primary, but progressive Tiffany Cabán pushed the race to the left on issues like marijuana and sex work.
In 2017, the Manhattan district attorney pledged not to pursue criminal charges for subway fare evasion. Now the MTA is increasing the system’s police presence.
New York City just paid Jose LaSalle of the Copwatch Patrol Unit nearly $900,000 over claims of false arrest related to the 2016 incident, but his fight for justice is far from over.
Rashad McNulty entered a guilty plea in a series of federal gang indictments in New York that have been criticized as racist and overly punitive. But before McNulty was even sentenced, he died in jail. Now, his family is seeking justice.
New NYPD data show that in 2018 the department closed nearly 500 rape cases due to an alleged lack of participation from victims and had a declining clearance rate for rape, raising questions over its handling of sexual assault.
Richard Cannon was making gains after being released from prison. Then one arrest changed the course of his life.
Banishing people from the subway will only marginalize them without addressing the problem.
As they await statewide action to eliminate cash bail, city councilmembers are looking for ways to reduce the financial burden on families of incarcerated people.
The decision also held that the city’s routine storage of DNA profiles from nonconvicted people in a permanent database violates state law.
A new Bronx Freedom Fund report documents these extended pretrial lockups, which threaten people’s jobs and destabilize families.
People caught vaping marijuana oil face the same charge as for low-level heroin possession.
Arrests that result in dropped charges and dismissals are supposed to be sealed. But until recently, the NYPD used these records to target turnstile jumpers.
The exceptions to the policy change could actually worsen the racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests, defense attorneys told The Appeal.
State Senate candidate Julia Salazar explains how sex workers’ rights is a key part of reforming criminal justice in New York.
Melissa Gira Grant
News of the victory is spreading rapidly to other cities.
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
Families are torn apart by the criminal justice system every day.
Josie Duffy Rice
As part of International Whores' Day, hundreds gathered in New York City to protest new anti-sex work laws.
Activists in New York City are engaging in profound acts of resistance against over-policing in the subways. Politicians are listening, but are they really hearing them?
Edgar De Leon