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The United States Department of Justice INVESTIGATES the Yonkers Police Department

Yonkers City Council Committee Meetings Update! From Yonkers City Council Member Christopher A. Johnson

Yonkers – On Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 6:00pm a meeting of the Rules Committee of the Yonkers City Council commenced. Among the items introduced by the administration to the committee, was a resolution approving an agreement between the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the City of Yonkers.

In 2007, the DOJ launched an investigation on the City Of Yonkers, derived from allegations of discriminatory policing and patterned practices of excessive force by the Yonkers Police Department (YPD).  In 2009, after extensive review of department documents and interviews with various parties, the DOJ provided “detailed technical assistance” regarding policies and practices of the YPD with regard to “use of force, citizen complaints, investigations, supervisory oversight, and training” which resulted in “substantial revisions” of the agency’s policies and procedures. Some of the changes implemented included but were not limited to: (1) name tags for officers, (2) early warning systems, (3) revisions to the “use of force” reporting requirements, (4) community policing initiatives and (5) opportunities for enhanced training.

The City Of Yonkers YPD has denied that it has engaged in any pattern or practice of excessive force or engaged in discriminatory policing (the resolution does not include the findings of the DOJ with regard to the pattern or practice of excessive force).

The resolution does state that entry of the agreement is in the “interest of the public” and that the agreement does not “constitute any admission of wrongdoing or fault by the City or the YPD”.

After review of the resolution (which did not include the actual findings of the DOJ), the item was placed in the Budget Committee by the Chairman, Council President Liam McLaughlin since it is stated to have a “negative fiscal impact” to the city.  The resolution states that entering into this agreement “avoids diversion of federal and City resources to adversarial actions by the City and DOJ”.

unnamed-7“Summer has ended and the City Council is back in “full swing”.  As you are aware, every Tuesday the City Council meets, either for committee meetings or for City Council Meetings, where we vote on the business of the City,” Hon. Christopher A. Johnson, Council Member, 1st District, Community Services Committee, Chairman informed Yonkers residents in a email blast. “As your representative, it is important to keep you abreast of the happenings in the First District.”

“I have included details of two important items before the City Council, which I am sure you would like to pay very close attention. The first, is a resolution introduced by the administration with regard to a proposed agreement between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Yonkers. The second, is a resolution amending a Special Use Permit allowing AvalonBay Communities to build more than 600 apartments on the waterfront,” Councilman Johnson wrote.

A Budget Committee Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th at 7:30pm at Yonkers City Hall, 4th Fl. Upon the the potential passage of this agreement by the Council (Thursday, October 13th), the DOJ’s investigation will be discontinued.

On the same evening, September 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm the Real Estate Committee met under the leadership of its Chairman, Majority Leader John Larkin. The agenda included a  resolution proposing amending  a Planned Urban Redevelopment Special Use Permit on 80 and 94 Alexander Street, 35 Water Grant, 145 and 137 Alexander Street, 33C, 33F and 33 ½ Water Grant and 79, 85 and 91 Alexander Street.

Representatives from AvalonBay Communities presented the plans via PowerPoint to the members of the City Council. They desire to build in Yonkers because they believe they can attract millennials, expand the population and jobs, add to significant private and public investments underway and provide easy access to New York City.

The proposed project is located on the City’s Waterfront at the intersection of Ashburton Avenue and Alexander Street (Adjacent to the Greyston Bakery).

The three (3) buildings Sun East, Sun West (The Old DSS Building) and ATI site will be four to five stories and have 609 units; 71 studio, 291 one (1)bedroom, 238 two (2) bedroom and 9 three (3) bedroom units.  There will be 12,000 sq. ft. of amenities for the residential community and sixty-one (61) AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS.

The representatives were asked what the expected rents were for the apartment homes. Those expected costs for the units are:

Studios:                $1,780/mo.
1-beds:                 $2,100/mo.
2-beds:                 $2,900/mo.
3-beds:                 $3,400/mo.
Weighted avg.       $2,382/mo.

The project could create approximately eighteen (18) permanent employment position and 390 Construction jobs (with NO GUARANTEE of local hiring).

The three sites are included in the New York State Brownfield Clean Up and the cleaning of contamination is a benefit to the community. The Brownfield remediation has been completed and the completion of the two remaining sites will occur prior to construction.

A Real Estate Committee Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00pm at Yonkers City Hall, 4th Fl.

“Clearly, sending out this information less that 4 hrs before the start of the Committee Meeting suggest that a “Response” from any stakeholder was NOT REQUIRED,” Yonkers resident Gail Baxter tells BW.
“Consult your conscience to determine whether or not our City Council representation is adequate when advocating on issues related to quality of life issues in our District related to affordable housing & policing,” Baxter warns Yonkers residents & stakeholders. “Unbelievable! “

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AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

4 Comments on The United States Department of Justice INVESTIGATES the Yonkers Police Department

  1. I was fondled by a stranger in a park while I was out walking my dog. I went home to call the police (didn’t have my phone with me) and I told my father what happened. My dad was livid, immediately went to the park looking for the guy. My father detained him and when Yonkers police arrived and we told them what happened I could hear them making jokes about me being sexually assaulted. I heard on officer say “he grabbed her titties”

  2. They fucking beat me

  3. YPD and judge are extremely crooked . They arrested me 2 yrs. Ago for trespassing and I was in my own apartment and my name was on the lease and the damn judge didn’t even take a look at my lease….. smfh

  4. What are the permanent employment positions and where can one apply?

    Thank you,

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