Today Brooklyn NAACP joined with other social justice groups for a City Hall press conference to address an important issue inexcusably absent from Mayor de Blasio's State of the City address yesterday.
Mayor de Blasio touched on key challenges that many New Yorkers face on a daily basis -- however, a glaring omission from his speech (full text here) was the mention of the broken relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, which has arguably been THE powder-keg issue of his first year in office.
The omission was a missed opportunity to lay out his solutions for how, as leader of this City, he intends to make better and stronger the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they pledge to serve. It was a missed opportunity to speak to the communities in his City who have been protesting for their very lives and for the rights we as citizens are entitled to. And it was certainly a missed opportunity to address the individuals and families that have experienced unjust and, far too many times, deadly treatment at the hands of law enforcement and for whom true justice remains unrealized.
As thousands of New Yorkers have joined together in protest against police brutality and for greater accountability, the message has been clear that bold leadership is needed from the Mayor and Commissioner Bratton to create meaningful solutions that will keep both our City's people and police officers safe. Yet this is a message that yesterday's State of the City failed to respond to. In light of recent announcements around the NYPD's new anti-terror unit -- of which PEACEFUL protesters were named first among key targets -- the lack of any mention of police-community relations or the mass demonstrations that took place throughout the city on this issue is alarming.
We who care about justice and peace are deeply disappointed that Mayor de Blasio's speech failed to touch upon this very important aspect of the “state of our city”. We strongly urge him to introduce policy changes in the coming months that speak directly to these critical issues and how his Administration plans to address them.
Brooklyn NAACP will continue to advocate and push for the greater reforms necessary to protect the rights and safety of our communities.
We hope to count on your support as we continue to fight this fight.