The Briefly for June 5, 2020 – The "Black Lives Matter. Say Their Names." Weekend Edition
Today - Low: 68˚ High: 77˚
Rain throughout the day.
This weekend - Low: 60˚ High: 82˚
Terrance Floyd, George Floyd's brother, was in attendance for a memorial service for George Floyd in Cadman Plaza on Thursday afternoon. Speakers included Terrance Floyd, Cirlane McCray. Mayor de Blasio (who was showered with boos and calls for his resignation), Attorney General Letitia James, members of New York's congressional delegation, and Reverend Kevin McCall. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery) Photos: Workers from Bellevue Hospital demonstrated and knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd on Thursday, the length of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck to kill him. (Ben Fractenberg for The City) Breonna Taylor was killed by a police officer in Louisville, Kentucky in her own home. A Wednesday night protest through Brooklyn was in her name to ensure she is not forgotten in the national Black Lives Matter conversation and her family can achieve the justice they deserve. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)
"The incidents that took place over the last several days in the neighborhoods surrounding the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where members of the NYPD showed that they are not capable of de-escalating protest activity without an egregious use of force are inexcusable. As organizations who have committed to ensuring that our neighborhoods remain places where commerce, retail, livability and safety are actualized, we will not settle for harsh policing as the answer — not now, not in our neighborhoods, and not in our City."
-Hundreds of residents, politicians, and civic organizations that border the Barclays Center, Brooklyn's central hub for protests, Community Letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
There was an 1845 New York law that said it was illegal for two or more people wearing masks or any face covering from congregating in a public place. It was repealed by the state's legislature. Maybe next time I try to wear my horse mask to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, I can do so in peace. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York) The city is allocating $500,000 in grants for Bronx businesses that were recently vandalized and looted, up to $10,000 for each business. The city worked with SOMOS Community Care to help secure funding. (Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro) Jamel Floyd, an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, died on Wednesday after corrections officers pepper-sprayed him in the face for being disruptive. (Aidan Graham for Brooklyn Paper) The NYPD's poor handling of protesters doesn't stop after their done beating them on the streets. Once inside One Police Plaza, arrestees denied due process, held for over 24 hours, and are subjected to increase risks of Covid-19, according to the Legal Aid Society. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City) Manhattan's DA Cy Vance wants to hold looting suspects without bail, looking to Governor Cuomo to bypass state laws and calling for more "judicial discretion." (Brendan Krisel for Patch) The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates reports of police misconduct, has logged more than 500 complaints related to the George Floyd protests during six days. (Rose Adams and Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro) You can file a complaint of police misconduct to the CCRB online. City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined three specificities to accompany his demand that the NYPD's budget is reduced by $1.1 billion. A hiring freeze and a reduction of police officers to pre-de Blasio numbers (35,000), a 5% cut in overtime, and better disciplining of officers to reduce brutality settlements. When it comes to the settlements, I would assume that the city's comptroller knows this, but police brutality settlements come from a separate budget than the NYPD's budget. In 2018 the city paid $237.4 million to settle lawsuits, but that was in addition to the NYPD's budget. Every settlement that the city has to make with victims of the NYPD's disgusting acts of violence is additional money they are taking from the city's budget. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog) The NYPD has begun taking bikes from protesters. There have been multiple reports of bikes being confiscated with no paperwork on retrieving them once they are seized. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)
"What pressing responsibilities have so occupied these two officials that they do not have the time to make sure the safety of New Yorkers is protected and the rights of New Yorkers are respected? How is it possible that after so many reports of police misconduct, they still can’t be bothered to supervise the police?"
-The New York Times Editorial Board, Mayor de Blasio, Open Your Eyes. The Police Are Out of Control
New York’s Street Vendor Project released a statement in “unconditional solidarity” with the Movement for Black Lives. This may seem like a quizzical statement to report on, but silence in compliance. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street) Donald Trump Jr has decided that his new target for trolling is City Councilmember Justin Brannan. Good thing he doesn't have anything better to do. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan) Mayor de Blasio's plan for the MTA to reopen on Monday would serve about 8% of riders as 200,000-400,000 will return to work next week. The MTA has installed hand sanitizer dispensers at some stations and is looking to distribute two million face masks to those who need them. The subway will continue to cease overnight operations from 1-5 am. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft) How will people stay safe on the subways when returning to work? "I really want to push back on the notion we can solve everything all the time." -Mayor de Blasio (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Train operators and conductors have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections among subway workers, according to internal documents. the MTA had a ban on face masks that was lifted only days before the state went on pause. (Jose Martinez for The City) Governor Cuomo is urging that between protests, New Yorkers find time for a Covid-19 test. Free Covid-19 tests have been expanded to all New Yorkers. (Maya Kaufman for Patch) Dentists offices will reopen for business on Monday. (Robert Pozarycki for Bronx Times) NYC is on track to start phase one of reopening on Monday. (Erik Engquist for The Real Deal) Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Congressmember Eliot Engel in his primary against Jamaal Bowman, despite Engel being caught on a live mic saying “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn’t care," when asked about vandalism in the Bronx. I would imagine that Pelosi feels a pressure to endorse established Democrats against challengers, but this feels egregious. (Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris for Politico) Request an absentee ballot to vote in the June 23 primary before June 16. A look at Francesca "Sol" Chaney's Black Supper, a free food program only for Black people who might be protesting nearby or simply need a pick-me-up. (Emma Orlow for Time Out) Republican City Councilmember Eric Ulrich (whose website appears to be a dead Squarespace site) is making some big talking about calling for the City Council a vote of no confidence in Mayor de Blasio. In the last few months, he's also demanded the firing of Commissioner of Health of the City of New York Dr. Oxiris Barbot. He will hit his term limit on the City Council in 2021 and has made multiple failed attempts to be elected to a higher office since his 2009 election. (1010 WINS) A look at new outdoor art exhibitions coming this summer. (Howard Halle for Time Out) The MTA is calling for 60 miles of bus lanes in all five boroughs for the city's phase one reopening to ensure that it can get New Yorkers to work. The mayor, a noted coward when it comes to leading, was noncommittal. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog) A map of all the subway stations equipped with OMNY readers. (MTAPhotos) More than 90 organizations signed onto a letter addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo and other top lawmakers in the state urging them to ensure forthcoming criminal justice packages include repeal of a discriminatory loitering law frequently used by law enforcement to stop, profile, and arrest innocent transgender women of color. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News) Our libraries are returning, here are their reopening plans. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out) An interactive NYC map that shows the closest bit of nature to your home. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out) 13 NYC restaurants supporting the Black community. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation) Thanks to reader Mike for today's featured photo of the Geoge Floyd Memorial in Brooklyn!