The Briefly for June 8, 2020 – The "I Guess This Is Phase One?" Edition

Are you absentee voting this month? (You should be absentee voting this month.) Here's how to make sure your absentee vote counts. (Ethan Geringer-Sameth for Gotham Gazette) The absentee ballot deadline was extended to June 23. Get your application in now. (Matt Troutman for Patch) Here we go, phase one. Here's what it means. (Brendan Krisel for Patch) The mayor announced he would end the city's curfew one day early because, according to him, there had been a night without violent protests. In the reality that the rest of us live in, a lawsuit from the NYCLU, the Legal Aid Society, the Thurgood Marchall Civil Rights Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights were about to force the mayor to lift the curfew and three different district attorneys in the city refused to charge most protestors that were arrested. (Ali Tufan Koc and Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery) A protest of the mayor is expected on Monday morning (or was expected, depending on when you read this) to push de Blasio into actually enacting police reforms. The march, which includes members of the mayor's administration, isn't organized by the same people who wrote the open letter tot he mayor, but it shows how unified the city is in its disgust over the mayor's ability to talk a lot and do very little. (Yoav Gonen for The City) As Minneapolis already has, activists are calling on the NYC Department of Education to cut ties with the NYPD. Chancellor Richard Carranza, appointed by the mayor, does not favor a "counselors not cops" approach to school safety. Since 2014 the school safety budget has increased by 25% and while the school budget for next year is decreasing under the budget already revealed by the mayor, the budget for safety is increasing. (Alex Zimmerman for The City) What can the city do with the NYPD's $6 billion? Quite a bit. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed) Thursday night's NYPD ambush of peaceful protesters was, according to Commissioner Dermont Shea, "executed flawlessly." It included beating and arresting legal observers, medics, pepper-spraying a pregnant woman, and featured Terence Monahan kneeling with protesters one moment and directing officers to arrest the protest's leaders the next. The NYPD claimed that "interlopers" were to blame for the police violence but a video of what happened shows otherwise and the NYPD has yet to show any evidence of this. (Jake Offenhartz and Nick Pinto for Gothamist) A look at the NYPD's strategy of "kettling" protestors, which shows a shift in police tactics towards aggression. Of course, the mayor has defended this practice, saying it is sometimes necessary for public safety. I'm not sure which public he's referring to. (Ali Watkins for NY Times) Does the name Terence Monahan ring a bell? It should because he was the person in charge of the city's response to protesters during the 2004 GOP convention. In 2004 the protesters had been told they could march and were then arrested en masse. Charges were dismissed against all 227 arrested. The city later settling a lawsuit with the protesters for $18 million. (Greg B. Smith for The City) Terence Monahan has a legacy of brutality. (Peter Rugh for The Indypendent) Governor Cuomo announced a "Say Their Name" package of bills which would criminalize making a false race-based 911 call, ban chokeholds, revise 50-1 (unknown what this means), and assign the Attorney General an independent prosecutor for matters related to the death of unarmed citizens caused by law enforcement. (Anna Quinn for Patch) The state’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus has their own package of 13 bills they've unveiled which also adds mandates for body cameras for state and MTA police, establishes strangulation as a crime mandates medical attention for people under arrest, and more. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist) “We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense.” -Mayor de Blasio, talking big, one more time. He says "literally in the course of the next three weeks" because it literally has to get done because of the city's budget, not because he wants to enact reforms quickly. (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times) Two NYPD officers were suspended for violence against protesters. One is the officer who pushed a woman to the ground and the other the officer who pulled down a protester's face mask and pepper-sprayed him. Just two. (John Del Signore for Gothamist) Next, suspend every cop who covered their badge number during the protests with the bullshit excuse of the covers being "mourning bands." (Adam Nichols for Patch) Photos: East Village storefronts show their support for Black Lives Matter. (EV Grieve) In comparison, the award for "the shittiest tribute to victims of racial violence" goes to the Museum of Ice Cream's "I Scream For..." painted boards. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie) Returning to the subways today? Here's what you need to know. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times) The MTA clearly has a plan for people who will be riding the subway. It may not be a perfect plan, but it's a plan. The mayor? Come on, you know he doesn't have a plan based in reality. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

"This week and going forward, you might notice some other helpful additions to your local station — like new hand sanitizer dispensers and new signs reminding you how to keep yourself safe. You’ll also see floor markings, floor decals, and new directions aimed at communicating with you clearly about how to safely move around our system.

-Sarah Feinberg, acting President of MTA New York City Transit for amNewyork Metro, MTA is glad to have you back for the NYC reopening

With June 8's phase one reopening of the city, you might be asking a few questions that are closer to home, like "will my building's gym/pool be opening soon?" Get ready for a complicated road back. (Joanne Kaufman for NY Times) The city will begin testing sewage for Covid-19, to get an idea of how the virus is spreading hundreds or thousands of people at a time. (Anna Quinn for Patch) Governor Cuomo signed a bill into a law that will grant death benefits to Covid-19 frontline workers' families. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro) A peek into what remains of Park, a Chelsea restaurant that abruptly closed last year and appears to be slowly taken over by trees. (Michelle Young for Untapped Cities) If you're like me, at this point in the summer you'd have ridden the Coney Island Cyclone multiple times. If you've been missing the anticipation of the climb of the first hill and the exhilaration of the drop, these 360° videos of the Cyclone and Thunderbolt are gonna be as close as we can get for a while. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan) Last Wednesday night the city's known Covid-19 death toll hit 0 for the first time since March 12. (Matt Troutman for Patch) James Bennet, who oversaw the editorial pages of the NY Times, is out. The paper blames it on "a significant breakdown of our editorial process" because of the Senator Tom Cotton editorial which promoted violence against protesters. (Gus Saltonstall for Patch) RIP Kanela, a red-headed Siberian husky and the unofficial mascot of Welcome2TheBronx. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx) In 1982, the MTA thought they could paint their cars brilliant white to prevent them from being spray painted. "The Great White Fleet" idea was as stupid as it sounds. (Kevin Walsh for Forgotten New York) A bit of news that passed by in the insanity that was Memorial Day weekend and every single day since then, the City Council banned the use of the terms "alien" and "illegal immigrant" on official city documents. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post) Central Park West's mystery manhole cover. (Ephemeral New York) Apartment Porn: A $3.5 million townhouse in Prospect Heights with outdoor space, amazing woodwork, and one of the most wildly-colored bathrooms I've ever seen. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft) A list of lists: A roundup of NYC's Black-owned restaurant lists. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater) Thank you to reader Michael for today's featured photo!