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Christopher Mathias
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New York Editor at The Huffington Post.

Entries by Christopher Mathias

Cuomo Settles Lawsuit To Guarantee 'More Humane Justice System' For New York's Poor

(3) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 12:09 PM

NEW YORK -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement that will bolster the state’s public legal counsel for the poor.

The settlement lays out a seven-year plan to overhaul the broken public defense systems in five New York counties in an effort to ensure...

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Rikers Island Inmate Says He Was Beaten And Sodomized By Guard

(16) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 5:39 PM

NEW YORK -- In the latest horror story to emerge from New York’s largest jail, an inmate claims a guard tied him to a hospital bed before beating and sodomizing him with a nightstick.

Bishme Ayers, 25, was arrested on an assault charge in July and brought to Rikers...

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Here's A Horse Running Wild Through The Streets Of Manhattan

(63) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 5:35 PM

A new video shows a horse running wild through the streets of Manhattan, and a group of activists say it’s even more evidence that New York City should ban horse carriages once and for all.

The video was uploaded to Youtube by the anti-carriage group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS). It shows a horse trotting freely on Eleventh Avenue near 37th Street at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, as two NYPD patrol cars give chase. Near the end of the short clip, it appears that the two cop cars attempt to box in the animal against a building.

According to the New York Post, the horse was being bathed at a Midtown stable when it ran free from its handler. Officers were eventually able to control the horse and return it to its stable.

"This is the latest example of why horse drawn carriages are not just inhumane but entirely unsafe in a city congested with cars, trucks and buses,” Allie Feldman, Executive Director of NYCLASS, said in a statement. “It's time for the City Council to act and get the carriage horses off the streets of New York City."

Stephen Mallone, a carriage driver and industry spokesperson, told HuffPost in a statement that “the horse is fine and back at work today. We thank the NYPD for its assistance in corralling the horse.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised during his campaign to ban carriage horses during his first month in office. In September, more than nine months after assuming office, he told reporters that “we’re about to see legislation introduced” regarding carriage horses. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said any vote on a bill banning horse carriages probably wouldn’t happen until next year.

The New York Daily News and actor Liam Neeson mounted aggressive campaigns earlier this year to save the carriage horse industry, with both campaigns arguing it provides good jobs....

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Study Links Stop And Frisk To Trauma And Anxiety In Young New York City Men

(39) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 12:36 PM

A new study suggests that aggressive policing likely has an adverse effect on the mental health of young men in New York City -- particularly young men who are black.

The study, released Thursday by the American Journal of Public Health, appears to show higher rates of feelings...

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Still No Charges 3 Months After Eric Garner's Chokehold Death

(111) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 7:37 AM

NEW YORK -- Chokeholds are dangerous and prohibited by the New York City Police Department. Yet on July 17, Officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped his arm around the neck of Eric Garner, who had resisted arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island. In a viral video...

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City Leaders Say Police Unions Have Obstructed Stop-And-Frisk Reform In New York

(55) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 2:59 PM

NEW YORK -- It’s a story Nicholas Peart has told many times. On his 18th birthday, he walked to a Brooklyn McDonald’s with his cousin and a friend. The McDonald’s was closed, so the trio sat down on a nearby bench and shot the breeze. They...

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Yes, It's Legal To Film The Cops -- And What's Been Filmed In Recent Months Is Appalling

(338) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 5:43 PM

NEW YORK -- It's becoming clearer and clearer that smartphones have ushered in a new era of police accountability. Since mid-July, when a bystander on Staten Island filmed the death of Eric Garner in a prohibited police chokehold, at least eight other unsettling videos, most of them captured...

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Lawmaker Calls Use Of Solitary Confinement For Teens On Rikers Island 'Torture'

(24) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 2:53 PM

NEW YORK -- New York City Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte said on Wednesday that he's ending solitary confinement for young inmates on Rikers Island, New York's largest jail facility. But advocates for prison reform say the practice could still take months to phase out, and emphasize that young...

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Outrage Sparked Over Video Of Teen Allegedly Being Punched Unconscious By NYPD Cop

(177) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 5:10 PM

A new video shows yet another alleged incident of excessive force by the New York City police department.

The video, obtained by The Brooklyn Paper and posted to YouTube on Oct. 8, shows a police officer apparently punching Marcel Hamer, 17, so hard that the boy is...

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Police Quotas Are Terrible, And The NYPD Still Seems To Be Using Them

(4) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 1:48 PM

NEW YORK -- If there's one subject on which New York City police unions and police reform advocacy groups seem to agree, it's this: Arrest quotas for police officers are terrible and counterproductive, and they sow distrust between cops and communities.

When NYPD Commissioner William Bratton took office in...

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At Tense Town Hall Meeting On Police Brutality, A Call For NYPD Commissioner Bratton To Step Down

(10) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 12:06 PM

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- When organizers turned off the lights Wednesday night, signaling the start of the town hall meeting at the Sunset Park Play Center, a projector beamed a video onto the gymnasium wall. The images appeared just to the left of a basketball hoop, and just above five stony-faced,...

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3 Men Arrested In Anti-Gay Shooting In Brooklyn

(21) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 12:01 PM

Editor's note: This victim in this story has been described in reports as a "man dressed as a woman." As we are unsure if this is correct or if the victim identifies as transgender or genderqueer, we have refrained from using pronouns and will update if and when the gender...

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Holder Backs Lawsuit Against Cuomo For Failing To Provide Legal Counsel To The Poor

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 11:33 AM

Attorney General Eric Holder, who will reportedly announce his resignation on Thursday, has lent his endorsement to a class-action lawsuit that accuses the state of New York and its Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, of failing to provide adequate legal counsel to the state's poor.

"To truly guarantee...

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Yet Another Employee Of New York's Largest Jail Arrested

(5) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 5:17 PM

NEW YORK -- An employee at New York's largest jail was arrested this week, marking the 11th time this year that one of its workers has been charged either for smuggling contraband or assaulting an inmate.

Forty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Taylor, who worked as a nurse on Rikers Island, allegedly smuggled...

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As Hate Crimes Increase, Officials Condemn 'Vile' Anti-Islam Ads In New York Subway

(203) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 5:49 PM

NEW YORK -- Earlier this month, Linda Sarsour and a colleague were standing outside the Arab-American Association of New York headquarters in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, when a man started chasing them down the street.

"He picked up a New York City Department of Sanitation trashcan and threw it...

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In New York, Justice 'Only Available To Those Who Can Afford It,' Says New Report

(21) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 3:26 PM

NEW YORK -- On Aug. 11, 2013, Donald Telfair says, he was brutally assaulted by three men who thought he had robbed them earlier that evening. The 46-year-old spent the night at a hospital in Suffolk County, New York, where doctors had to wire his broken jaw shut. Then, he...

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A Gondola From Brooklyn To Manhattan Might Be Expensive And Impractical, But We WANT IT

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:38 PM

A new plan would have New York City commuters riding high between Brooklyn and Manhattan, instead of sweating it out in cramped subways underground.

Daniel Levy, the president of New York-focused real estate search engine City Realty, wants the Big Apple to build a multi-million dollar, high-speed...

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Another School Bus Crash In New York City Injures 11

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 9:36 AM

Eleven people were injured in a school bus crash in New York City early Tuesday morning, PIX11 reports.

Nine children and two adults were taken to a hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening after the school bus crashed around 7:20 a.m. at Liberty Avenue and 183rd Street...

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Restaurant Takes Down Sign Advertising 'Straight Ice Cream' Amid Backlash

(45) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 4:56 PM

NEW YORK -- A New York City restaurant has taken down a sign advertising its "big STRAIGHT ice cream" that raised eyebrows over the weekend.

Owners of the beloved Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, which is across Seventh Avenue from Gallo Nero, first tweeted a photo of...

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New Yorkers Remind Us That 9/11 Is Much More Than Just A National Tragedy

(2) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 7:47 AM

On Thursday, family members of September 11th victims gathered to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the attacks. The annual ceremony brought together city officials and New Yorkers alike for a citywide moment of silence and reading of names to honor those who lost their lives.

Below are images and...

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