It is the fact that we have indeed "been down similar roads before" that should most shake us from any temptation to believe that we are inherently "better than this." Historically, we have been both better than this and worse than this.
If the records are created, stored and controlled by the police, and by extension the city, any accountability they might create will be vulnerable to the whims of political calculus or bald-faced self-serving corruption.
In a classic example of the media being stenographers for law enforcement, DNAinfo delivers a piece built exclusively off of the word of police sources. Almost every single paragraph ends with 'police sources say', 'police said' or some other variation.
In a rarity for New York, the police officer who killed Akai was indicted by the District Attorney. Akai's family and supporters say that's not enough. They want police officer Peter Liang to serve time. But they've also made connections to other injustices that affect people throughout public housing.
It's a full court press from city hall as mayor Bill de Blasio's administration takes another step towards the 'tough on crime' persona he's begun to ...
Even as the city touts lower numbers of stop and frisks and legal advocates claim victory with a 2013 federal ruling against the NYPD's overuse of the tactic, people far from the mayor's press conferences and the offices of civil rights attorneys are continuing to be stopped by cops.
New York City is poised to push through new rules restricting visitors and packages to city jails that are likely to have significant negative consequences both inside the jails and for the families they will impact.
Justice does not arrive simply by acknowledging mistakes and empowering the same people who implemented the corrupt system we are now bemoaning as the central agents of reform. We must also have reparations for those who have been harmed.
It scares the hell out of me that we will not have another generation of good cops coming onto police departments because of the hatred and political environment. I don't want any of our family members or friends to join the police department, but I also don't want to live in a country where the people who should have been the cops don't want to be anymore.
The record number of exonerations of innocent prisoners last year shows that something is very wrong with our judicial system. If the saying "the proof is in the numbers" is true, then why is this system moving at a snail's pace to combat the causes of wrongful convictions?
As we work together to increase public safety for all New Yorkers, let's make sure not to walk back New York's progress to a new and successful approach towards public health and safety.
As a former NYPD Chaplain for 21 years, who served on the frontlines of 9/11, I sincerely express my condolences to the Holder Family and the entire NYPD family for the loss of Officer Randolph Holder.
There is no love lost between some communities in New York and the NYPD. There won't be a tremendous amount tears shed or moments of silence. Some will ask where this outpouring of grief from authorities was when cops had been the perpetrators and not the victims of violence.
With reforms like these who'll be surprised by the next high-profile incident of police abuse? Not me.
In late 2014, I was working as a hotel manager at a popular Manhattan property. It was a job highly regarded by many. But I hated it. I hated what I had given up in order to have that secure salary. So I did what any self-respecting person in my position would do: I quit and became a drug dealer.
The men and women of the world are once again disheartened to read yet another story about a black person being brutalized by the NYPD. We are also disheartened by the knee-jerk reaction from ivory tower police union bosses.