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Friday’s Headlines: Blue Flu Edition

12:17 AM EDT on July 17, 2020

Police brass deny it, but there is mounting evidence that cops have come down with a serious case of blue flu. The Daily News reported that arrests are down 62 percent from the same period last year, even as Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Dermot Shea are claiming that violence and lawlessness are up. And the Times reported that police officials are offering lots of excuses, including the alleged need to shift resources to protests, plus a current climate that is "hostile" to police.

So what is it?

Well, we know what Shea believes — he slammed lawmakers, including his boss-on-paper, the mayor — for a slate of long-overdue police reforms (such as the criminalization of chokeholds) that he says are "handcuffing the police" (NYDN, NY Post). As a result, Chief of Department Terence Monahan says cops' morale is at an all-time low, as the NY Post reported (reminder, chief: the morale of police officers is higher than the morale of the people brutalized by police officers, so on that note, we present a link to the Times's police brutality video story for a second straight day).

Meanwhile, the city's police unions simply can't read the room — seeking to delay or entirely undermine a recently passed state reform that will let New Yorkers see allegations of brutality against cops. (Gothamist)

In other news:

    • Like Streetsblog, amNY wrote up a blockbuster series of demands to get the NYPD out of transportation enforcement and policy.
    • The two-faced Staten Island Advance — a Dr. Jekyll persona that supports bike riding and a Mr. Hyde named Tom Wrobleski who defends drivers at all cost — went with Jekyll on Thursday with a piece about local efforts to foster unity through bike rides.
    • Over at the Carbon Tax Center, Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff looks at the prognosis for climate policy if Joe Biden wins the White House (it's a big "if").
    • Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Defense Council is very excited about New York State's plan to install 53,773 Level 2 charging stations and 1,500 Direct Current Fast Charging stations throughout the state by 2025 (um, that's not very far from now).
    • Gov. Cuomo says he'll crack down on restaurants that don't enforce social distancing guidelines or serve booze without requiring a food purchase. Restaurateurs say he should order a beer — because he's nuts. (NY Post, NY Times)
    • Vote count update: Assembly Member Felix Ortiz has been defeated in the Democratic primary by Democratic Socialist, and would-be AOC squad member, Marcela Mitaynes (amNY). Earlier this year, StreetsPAC had endorsed a different Ortiz challenger, Katherine Walsh.
    • We don't think anyone should be driving between New Jersey and New York, but it's downright concerting when the Lincoln Tunnel slowly starts willing with water. (NY Post)
    • And, finally, all hands on deck: the Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op will be building 50 bikes for essential healthcare workers this weekend at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. Here's the info.

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