New York Times is Wrong: NYPD Lawfully Thwarts Terror & Suppresses Violence
The New York Times is wrong in claiming in an editorial that the NYPD overstepped constitutional guarantees in protecting New Yorkers from violent crime and terrorism.
The Times continues to ignore the fact that the NYPD operates under a judicial federal accord in protecting New Yorkers against terrorism.
The Police Department also lawfully stops and questions individuals acting suspiciously and, in doing so, has dramatically reduced murders in the city’s most violent-prone neighborhoods.
In intelligence gathering, the NYPD adheres to set of federal guidelines known as the Handschu consent decree, which were approved and promulgated by a federal judge.
The guidelines recognize that the NYPD must be proactive in the investigation of terrorism. They begin with the statement of a general principle which says:
“In its effort to anticipate or prevent unlawful activity, including terrorist acts, the NYPD must, at times, initiate investigations in advance of unlawful conduct.
“The NYPD is authorized to visit any place and attend any event that is open to the public” and “to conduct online search activity and to access online sites and forums on the same terms… as members of the public.”
The Department is further authorized to “prepare general reports and assessments… for purposes of strategic or operational planning.”
Those who intimate that it is unlawful for the Police Department to search online or map neighborhoods have either not read, misunderstood, or intentionally obfuscated the meaning of the Handschu guidelines.
TERRORISTS KEEP TRYING
Before 9/11, there were terrorist attacks in each of the decades of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, including the first attack on the World Trade Center. There have been no successful attacks in the past ten years. It’s not as if would-be terrorists aren’t trying. To the contrary, they’ve attempted to kill New Yorkers in 14 different plots, among them, two homegrown plots in 2011.
In May, the NYPD arrested Ahmed Ferhani and Mohammed Mamdouh, after Ferhani purchased firearms, ammunition, and a hand grenade from an undercover officer. Ferhani said he wanted to bomb a synagogue in Manhattan. Ferhani and Mamdouh are now in custody charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and other crimes.
In November, the NYPD stopped another homegrown plot with the arrest of Jose Pimentel at his home in Washington Heights. Pimentel had spoken openly of his plans to attack post offices, police vehicles, and returning soldiers.
An NYPD undercover officer, working the JTTF in New Jersey was also responsible
For the arrest of two Jersey residents who tried to join terrorist overseas for training with the intent, in the words of one of them, to return to the US to “commit Jihad” here.
STOP, QUESTION, FRISK
NYPD critics also erroneously assert that the police are racially biased in making stops, ignoring the fact that we focus police resources where spikes in violent crime are the highest, and where last year 96% of shooting victims were minorities, mainly young men of color.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
NYPD tactics made a difference. Last year, murders in Brooklyn North fell by 16%. That’s almost four times the citywide rate of decline. Among African-American men between the ages of 16 and 37 in neighborhoods where NYPD/ Church Coalition churches are located the decrease was even more dramatic: 33%.
The critics also ignore the NYPD’s own diversity. In 2006, for the first time in our history, the rank of police officer became majority minority, with more black, Hispanic, and Asian officers than white. In December we graduated a Police Academy class of almost 1,600 officers. They came from 58 different countries and speak 62 languages. In January, we hired an equally diverse class of 900 recruits.
Declaration #1 from Piccolo occupation (via Facebook)
11:49pm - February 17th, 2012
We, the Piccolo Occupation, are putting our childrens’ education first. Piccolo has failed because CPS has refused to invest in public education. The school has struggled for years but you have taken out all the programs, classes and opportunities to learn. We have had 3 principals in the last five years. We have not been able to work with anyone on a long-term basis to address the chronic disinvestment in our school. CPS and City Hall have failed us and our children. Your goal is to privatize the education system by giving it to corporations that support the mayor. We have been ignored, you have ignored our children and now you are trying to make money off of them.
The Chicago Public Schools is in violation of its own remediation and probation policy. CPS is in violation of the Illinois School Code and the Illinois Civil Rights Act. CPS is in violation of Illinois Senate
Bill 630. Because of this, a moratorium has been introduced in the Illinois Legislative Assembly by the School Facilities Taskforce. We are enacting our moratorium for ourselves with this sit-in do to the fact that CPS not once has laid out the necessary corrective action for Brian Piccolo or Paolo Cassals along with the Local School Councils for getting them off of probation during the last five years.
The School Improvement Plans for Academic Achievement (SIPAA) at these two schools have lacked the budgetary resources to bridge the achievement gap of our student populations.
Furhter, the SIPAAs along with the budgets at the time of their signings have not had real community input. Therefor, these actions could very well be civil rights violations. At the recent CPS hearings, the former principle of Cassals testified that not once in the last five years had CPS met with her nor with the LSC about any of the necessary corrective action for Paola Cassals to be removed off of probation.
Because CPS has been not willing to meet with or listen to us, this is what we want:
1) A meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel
2) A meeting with at least five of the Chicago School Board members present
3) The removal of Piccolo and Cassals from the turnaround list
The parents and students of Brian Piccolo and Casals Elementary Schools wish their schools would be removed from the “turnaround” list and are speaking out on behalf of a better education for themselves and their communities. Follow the hashtags above to stay up to date on what’s going on and, if this matters to you (as it should), find out how to stand in solidarity & urge Mayor Emanuel to take note of their demands.