Tag Archives | New York City

Lawsuits Against Police Are A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ For New York City

 In the era of smartphone video, cities may no longer be able to afford their police forces’ misconduct. The city of New York now budgets a whopping $180 million a year for payouts to victims of police brutality and wrongful arrest, New York World writes:

Lawsuits against the city’s police soared to a record 2,004 cases entering the courts in the year that ended July 1, indicat[ing] that the flood of cases brought against the New York City police — which have seen a 63 percent rise over the last decade — has not subsided.

Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled this week that the city is liable for hundreds of arrests the NYPD made during the Republican National Convention in 2004, opening up the possibility that plaintiffs could sue for false arrest and further exacerbate the problem.

For fiscal year 2013, now underway, the NYPD has budgeted $180 million for payouts.

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All Empire State Bystander Shooting Victims Were Shot By Police

An update from city authorities reveals that the tragedy by the Empire State Building this past Friday consisted of a disgruntled man murdering his former boss, followed by NYPD officers shooting nine bystanders. CNN reports the jaw-dropping details:

On a busy Friday morning in Manhattan, nine pedestrians suffered bullet or fragment wounds after police unleashed a hail of gunfire at a man wielding a .45 caliber pistol who had just killed a former co-worker.

The officers unloaded 16 rounds in the shadow of the Empire State Building at a disgruntled former apparel designer, killing him after he engaged in a gunbattle with police, authorities said.

Three passersby sustained direct gunshot wounds, while the remaining six were hit by fragments, according to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. All injuries were caused by police, he said Saturday.

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NYPD Paints Over Apartment Building’s Political ‘Murderers’ Mural

Doesn’t it kind of constitute vandalism for the police to deface the entire side of a property with black paint against the owner’s wishes? New York Magazine explains:

New York City graffiti artist Alan Ket has the permission of an Inwood building owner to paint freely on their outside wall, but the NYPD doesn’t care. DNAinfo reports that the department sent two plainclothes officers to cover up his latest mural yesterday, calling it a “bad idea.” The art featured the text “We know the real … Murderers,” the last word blown-up and bullet-ridden, surrounded by tombstones for various controversial organizations: McDonald’s, Halliburton, Shell Oil, Bank of America, that kind of thing. Oh, and the NYPD is in there too.

“I can’t confront them, because I don’t want problems,” said the building’s owner in Spanish. “There is no freedom of expression. It’s a bomb, and now here I am in the middle of a bomb.”

Read More at New York Magazine

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NYPD Creates Posters Featuring Anti-Brutality Activists’ Photos And Personal Info

You may not be a criminal suspect, but the police will feature you in a “wanted” poster if they don’t like you. Via DNAinfo New York:

The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them “professional agitators” who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

The flyer featured side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, and warned officers to be on guard against them. It was spotted by multiple people, including the couple, when it was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house last Thursday, where residents met for precinct council meeting.

“Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, which bears the NYPD shield and a seal of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division.

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New York To Implement Ban On Large Sugared Beverages

Photo: Russell Bernice (CC)

Photo: Russell Bernice (CC)

I’m massively against the consumption of super-sized HFCS-laden soda, but is New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg creating a mini “Nanny State” with his latest plan to outlaw any size of sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces? Michael M. Gyrnbaum reports for the New York Times:

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

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NYC Schools Want to Ban ‘Loaded Words’ From Tests … Like ‘Dinosaur’

Stegosaurus

Illustration: Hgrobe (CC)

Great job, NYC! Brian Vitagliano reports on CNN:

Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.

The banned word list was made public – and attracted considerable criticism – when the city’s education department released this year’s “request for proposal” on March 8, 2010. The request for proposal is sent to test publishers around the country trying to get the job of revamping math and English tests for the City of New York.

The Department of Education’s says that avoiding sensitive words on tests is nothing new, and that New York City is not the only locale to do so. California avoids the use of the word “weed” on tests and Florida avoids the phrases that use “Hurricane” or “Wildfires,” according to a statement by the New York City Department of Education …

Read More: CNN

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Name (And Eat) A Cockroach For Valentine’s Day

First drawing of ArchyVia ScienceDaily:

Valentines Day is upon us and there is no better way to say “forever” than with the gift of a cockroach.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is offering a light-hearted way to make sure your loved one knows your feelings are forever — with a roach in their name and a 100 percent solid dark chocolate COCOA-ROACH.

Last year thousands of hopeless romantics from around the world named real live Madagascar hissing cockroaches at WCS’s Bronx Zoo after their favorite loved one, “ex,” or mother-in-law. The zoo is again offering the opportunity to name a new crop of cockroaches for Valentine’s Day 2012. Each gift comes with a colorful certificate emailed to your loved one announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor.

To make the offer even sweeter, this year you can also purchase a COCOA-ROACH for that special someone — a genuine artisanal 100 percent solid dark chocolate likeness of a Madagascar hissing cockroach — the world’s largest member of the roach family.

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Take Off Your Pants And Ride The Subway

Today is No Pants Subway Ride day, in New York City and around the world, wherever subway (underground) trains are to be found (all sorts of places, not just the obvious ones like London's Tube and the Paris Metro). Started by comedy group Improv Everywhere, this is what it's all about:
The No Pants Subway Ride is annual event staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City. The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year. The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants. You can participate in the next edition, taking place this Sunday, January 8, 2012, around the world. [New York Details and Details for Other Cities]
A documentary about Improv Everywhere is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. Here's the trailer showing how No Pants started:
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Letter To The NYPD On Evicting The Protesters From Zuccotti Park

6183994286_7707032ecbAs of now, it appears that the forced removal and/or arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters at Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s behest has been postponed. Via n+1, an open letter to the police concerning their possible marching orders:

Last night, we learned that because of the complaints of Brookfield Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti Park, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered the Occupy Wall Street protesters to remove themselves and their supplies from the Park at 7 AM tomorrow. If the protesters don’t leave, Bloomberg likely will order you and your colleagues to forcibly remove and arrest the men and women who have come there to protest the policies, politicians, and financial leaders responsible for the continuing economic crisis. As concerned citizens, we ask you not to follow this order.

Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties claim that the protesters must be removed in order to clean the Park. Anytime thousands of people assemble in a small space, it is not easy to keep things neat.

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