Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elected Officials Speak Out Against Hateful Language By NYPD Officers Exposed On Facebook

December 6, 2011

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis at (212) 788-7081

Elected Officials Speak Out Against Hateful Language By NYPD Officers Exposed On Facebook
Outrage Follows Police Officers Found Making Disparaging Comments Concerning West Indian American Day Parade, Community

New York, NY— Individuals affiliated with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) have been found making offensive and disrespectful comments on the social networking website Facebook regarding the West Indian American Day Parade in Central Brooklyn, an annual multiday event that unfolds over the Labor Day weekend.

In the Facebook group, entitled “No More West Indian Day Detail”, posters were found referring to parade participants as “animals”, “savages”, and “filth”, and the parade overall as a “scheduled riot”. In fact, the language was so inflammatory that some posters sent out the warning that it could be exposed to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.

In early November 2011, Council Member Letitia James joined State Senator Eric Adams, Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries, and Council Member Jumaane Williams to urge Mayor Bloomberg to appoint an independent commission to investigate corruption within the NYPD. This request followed a number of recent well-publicized scandals involving New York City police officers including ticket-fixing, evidence tampering, and drug-planting; as well as overall policies such as unlawful surveillance activity and discriminatory stop and frisk tactics.

“These comments are deeply bigoted, and suggest that these officers view their duty as some kind of war against the communities they have sworn to protect,” said Council Member Letitia James. “This attitude mars the integrity of the department and is reminiscent of a time before community policing was established as NYPD policy. When officers suggest ‘dropping a bomb’ on a community, I have to question not only their commitment to their duties, but the degree to which they value basic human life.”

“Such deeply offensive remarks don’t belong anywhere, anytime in our City,” said Comptroller John C. Liu. “The Officers who were responsible for these comments don’t represent the NYPD, but do reinforce concerns about biased policing. The NYPD needs to get the bottom of this.”

“The comments made by these police officers are disgraceful and need to be investigated immediately,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I know that these views do not represent the entirety of the police force, but unfortunately, this only serves to reinforce distrust of the police among communities of color.”

“I cannot say that today's report surprises me, based on the growing avalanche of these stories coming from every corner of New York City,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams. “Yet, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have maintained their deafening silence towards this issue. These comments come out in the wake of other concerning statements from NYPD officers, including a racially motivated arrest on Staten Island in April where an officer said he ‘fried another n-----’, as well as racist language captured in wiretaps during the ticket-fixing investigation in the Bronx.”

The 2011 West Indian American Day Parade saw a total of nine shooting victims, with four of those victims shot along the parade’s route. Those who lost their life include Denise Gay, 56, who was shot while sitting on a stoop with her daughter. Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed the violence on gun-accessibility.

WHO: Council Member Letitia James
NYC Comptroller John Liu
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio (Representative Kirsten Foy)
Representative Yvette Clarke (Representative Latrice Walker)
Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
Council Member Jumaane Williams
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Robert Jackson
Council Member Brad Lander

WHEN: December 7, 2011
1:00 PM

WHERE: steps of City Hall


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