Blacks in Law Enforcement of America believes that Law Enforcements’ purpose is to protect and serve. Not to contain the poor, the economically disadvantaged, or to take advantage of those who cannot fight back or have a real voice in the matter at hand.
History has proven, that in many cases, Law Enforcement Professionals are no different than the greater society. They sometimes bring negative attitudes and or stereotypes to the communities they serve that can adversely affect their decisions and the fairness of their enforcement actions.
Transparency in policing is necessary for democratic accountability. Without basic information on how police activity impacts the lives of New Yorkers, it is difficult to build real trust and relationships between police and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. And without complete data on police enforcement practices and their associated outcomes in the criminal legal system, it is equally challenging for legislators, policymakers, and police officials, themselves, to understand and evaluate the full extent to which police practices, in reality, are aligned with oft-stated goals of promoting effective and equitable policing.
Police Statistics and Transparency (“Police STAT”) S1830A/A5472 that would allow the state to capture and publicly report vital information about policing, including:
The total number of people who die in the course of an arrest each year, including demographic information. Across the nation, advocates and policymakers are insisting this important statistic be reported.
The total number of arrests and tickets for violations and misdemeanors each year and information on their dispositions. Violations and misdemeanors are the most frequent law enforcement charges, and the least transparent. They are also the acts our legislature has determined are the least serious—things like riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, possessing an open container of alcohol and disorderly conduct.
The race, ethnicity, age, and sex of people who are charged with violations and misdemeanors. Limited available data on violations in New York City shows serious racial disparities: from 2002-2014, nearly 81 percent of tickets went to Black and Latino residents.
The location of enforcement activity and arrest-related deaths. We know that communities experience policing differently, yet we don’t have the critical data to measure—much less reform—unfair impact. Geographic reporting will help complete the picture of low-level enforcement throughout the state.
As Black Law Enforcement Professionals, we support the Police Statistics and Transparency (“Police STAT”) Act (S.1830-B/A.5472-A).
We are asking all that will support this legislation to contact Assemblymember Abinanti 518-455-5753 and Assemblymember Pretlow 518-455-5291 and ask them to vote YES on A.5472a? Also, contact the Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and ask her to bring the bill to floor for a vote.