“He came up on the bike, dropped the bike, took out a gun, and shot him in the head,” president of the Coalition to End Broken Windows (CEBW) Josmar Trujillo says, pointing towards the narrow walkway over the FDR.
“Cops that weren’t even on duty came out. There were at least 20 cop cars over there alone, [because] when a cop gets shot. The whole world stops.”
After the murder of police officer Randolph Holder, 33, in East Harlem, the world did stop, not just for the those mourning the loss of an innocent man - but also for the police reform movement.
“This was like the last straw for the DeBlasio Administration,” Trujillo adds. “After that a whole bunch of stuff around bail reform and court reform kinda hit a 180.”
Fellow activist and founder of the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), Bob Gangi, agrees: “The political narrative that came out of that [...] rolled back, in effect, the momentum of our movement.”
In an effort to switch the focus back to police accountability, Gangi needed to find a way to shift public focus back to eliminating harmful police practices, namely Broken Windows & Quotas. Since the attacks on NYPD officers, PROP - and other reform groups like them - could no longer depend on large turnouts for city-wide protests and demonstrations. Gangi would have to work with a fraction of the volunteers they had following the Eric Garner ruling, but still garner a large response from the public.
PARK SLOPE ACTION
The solution came in the form of a public demonstration, what Gangi calls the “Park Slope Action.” Picture activists approaching White residents in Park Slope, a gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn, with fake summons. PROP volunteers cited primarily jaywalking, an infraction strictly enforced in low-income communities of color in New York. The event managed to gather an increasingly large amount of press coverage and notoriety.
Gangi, eager to repeat the success, moved to build on the momentum with another similar demonstration. However, the problems of where and how to repeat it were stimied by the approaching cold weather. In the meanwhile, PROP kept moving:
“One of my approaches to political action is that you keep moving. You keep active,” Bob says. “You do petition days, reports, public forums, targeted actions - those are the kind of activities that PROP has engaged in since its first year.”
THE QUOTA PANEL
“Some of you might say Quotas don't exist, let me tell you something," Retired NYPD Detective Carlton Berkley bellows into the mic, "Quotas DO exist. They've existed before me, they exist now, and they'll continue to exist."
Enter PROP's NYPD Quotas Panel. Det. Berkley became one of the many voices that came to be heard during the Q and A. It was Gangi's hope that the 6 person panel of a current police officer, two attorney, police officer's wife and Trujillo would help inform and empower the local community... [read more on our website]
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