Friday’s Headlines: Racial Bias of NYPD Revealed Again Edition
It’s “Stop and Frisk” — corona version. Ashley Southall of the New York Times had a bombshell story yesterday, revealing that 35 of 40 people arrested by the NYPD for not socially distancing in Brooklyn were black (the Daily News later matched it). The numbers were horrifying, but not all that surprising, given the viral videos of police beating up black kids under the auspices of enforcing pandemic rules.
Mayor de Blasio denied the NYPD has a racial bias problem, though he later sort of admitted it. He had no choice but to believe his own eyes:
Police officers aggressively “enforcing” social distancing in our community.
This occurred in East New York last evening.
Why are sunbathers who violate social distancing guidelines treated one way and young men in certain communities another?
This MUST end. pic.twitter.com/aEU1H4bcdn
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) May 5, 2020
In a related story, Streetsblog’s contribution to covering the NYPD’s racial bias was our coverage yesterday of so-called “jaywalking” tickets: Of 79 tickets issued in the first quarter of 2020 where the race of the alleged illegal crosser was known, 78 were handed to blacks and Hispanics. One — o-n-e, one — went to a white person.
In other news:
- In an effort to change the narrative, the NYPD called in school safety officers to encourage people to socially distance themselves. (NY Post)
- The city is going to enforce capacity restrictions at some parks. The mayor will announce full details today (NY Post, NY Times).
- It’s funny — on the same day that Uber gave all its Jump bikes and scooters to Lime as part of a new investment strategy — Paul Steeley White of Bird had an op-ed in the Daily News that suggested all is peachy in the scooter biz.
- Community groups are expressing confusion over how they can help the Department of Transportation expand the open streets program. Our friends at CHEKPEDS created a primer and a map. It’s just invaluable.
- Time for a little traffic in… oh never mind. The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Bridgegate convictions of former Port Authority official Bill Baroni and former aide to N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Bridget Kelly (NYDN). A Fort Lee businesswoman is upset at the ruling (NY Post).
- The city has installed more bike racks at Elmhurst Hospital, responding to how many health care heroes are biking to the front lines every day. (NYC DOT via Twitter)
- CBC videographer Uytae Lee has made a concise and passionate video about the coming carpocalypse that every politician should watch.
- Your move, Mayor de Blasio: Seattle says that 20 miles of its “open streets” will be closed to through traffic permanently (Seattle Times).
- Citi Bike launched in The Bronx on Thursday, albeit with just three racks (more to come!). Borough President Ruben Diaz hailed the start on Twitter. The Bronx Times had it, too.
- And, finally, sad news out of Brooklyn: Michael Halkias, who made so many people’s “dreams come true” at the Grand Prospect Hall, has died (NY Post). The Tabloid of Record also mourned Jimmy Glenn, the owner of Jimmy’s Corner, a great boxing bar conveniently close to the paper’s Sixth Avenue offices.