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Thursday’s Headlines: Bad Day for the NYPD Edition

The mayor signed into law a series of bills to hold the NYPD accountable. Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office

You know it’s been a bad day for the cops when even their reliable defender, the New York Post, runs a headline like “NYPD body-cam footage shows officer punching, dragging man off train.” The footage in question, taken May 25 and first reported by The City, shows an officer assaulting a homeless man who had the temerity to take up two seats on a COVID-emptied subway train. (Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance just jettisoned an assault charge the police had trumped up against the hapless individual, but he's still charging the man with the specious charge of resisting arrest.)

The body-cam video was only the latest tape that has exposed NYPD officers wreaking havoc on city streets or in transit. On Tuesday, a New York Times expose documented more than 60 instances in which cops used excessive force against Black Lives Matter protesters after George Floyd’s killing.

Mayor de Blasio has called such incidents isolated. But today's 10 a.m. presser will likely be dominated by questions about whether they truly are. As a result, the “NYPD Accountability Package” of bill he signed on Wednesday will likely be overshadowed.

In other news:

    • In more police (lack of) transparency news, the fiscally conservative Empire Center sued the MTA for withholding police records (NYPost, amNY).
    • The Post also wrote up the results of the recent City Council-Van Alen Institute Brooklyn Bridge redesign competition. (Streetsblog last week featured an entry.)
    • The least-chic borough (that would be our own abode, the Bronx) has gotten all its subway stations equipped with the MTA’s new contactless payment system (NYPost, NYDN).
    • Gothamist analyzed the federal “dysfunction” that is leading to the postponement of congestion pricing (as did Streetsblog earlier).
    • A longtime livable-streets advocate proposed a network of “Downtown Dining Streets” (Tribeca Tribune).
    • In other restaurant news, actor Sarah Jessica Parker fetched up among those demanding that Citi Bike move some docks so that her favorite Village restaurants can have outdoor seating. But Transportation Alternatives fired back at the real problem is cars, not Citi Bike (via Twitter).

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