Tag Archives: Bill Bratton

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Partly cloudy. High 68. Winds WSW at 15 to 25 mph. Friday night: A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 49. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Art Gallery Opening and Reception at the Douglaston/Little Neck Library 

Meet artist-in-residence Dawn Steinberg, view her six gorgeous photographs that will be on display from May 1 to July 31 at the library’s art gallery, and enjoy stories, refreshments and conversation. Starts at 4 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two teens arrested in attempted abductions of girls in Queens

Two suspects wanted in connection to the attempted abductions of several young girls off the streets of Queens have been arrested, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Evidence points to different shooter in 1992 Queens murder

An Eyewitness News exclusive investigation has uncovered evidence that a man who has served more than 21 years for a murder in Queens may not have committed the crime. Read more: ABC New York

Bratton vows to crack down on drunken cops

A red-faced Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday he is furious with drunken cops who are humiliating the NYPD — and laid out a plan to keep his officers sober and “fire” the worst offenders, The Post has learned. Read more: New York Post

NYC teachers union, City Hall announce $4B labor agreement

City Hall and the teachers union have reached an agreement on a new contract that provides retroactive raises plus a 10 percent raise over seven years, with health care cost reductions promised by the union. Read more: NBC New York

Attorney: Teen was coerced into confession in fatal Coney Island fire

There was a change of tune Thursday for the Coney Island, Brooklyn teen accused of setting a fire that killed an NYPD officer. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Op-ed: New Inspector General has a tough job ahead


| oped@queenscourier.com

COUNCILMAN RORY LANCMAN

Philip Eure, New York City’s first New York Police Department Inspector General, has a tough job ahead of him — to make sure that the New York City Police Department is using best practices to keep us safe from a myriad of threats without compromising our civil liberties. I intend to work closely with my fellow members of the City Council to monitor his work and ensure that he is helping the police department accomplish both of these objectives.

As the new IG, Mr. Eure will provide oversight of some of the City’s most controversial policing practices, in order to build mutual respect between citizens and the police. The City Council voted to establish the Inspector General’s role last year, shortly after it became clear that the breadth of the City’s stop-and-frisk and Muslim surveillance programs were both divisive and, in the case of stop-and-frisk, unlawful. Appointed by the Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters, Eure’s role is to act as an independent monitor to the NYPD, reviewing the department’s policies, procedures and practices in broad strokes.

Mr. Eure, who headed the District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints, has a balanced record of oversight. During his tenure there, he addressed warrantless searches, convinced the District’s police department to adopt a one-week training program to teach officers best practices for interacting with the mentally ill (a relevant problem to New York’s own growing population of mentally ill offenders), and tightened up on “contempt of cop” cases (frivolous claims brought against police just trying to do their job).

However, New York is a city of unique challenges. New York employs a substantially larger police force than the District of Columbia (35,000 to 4,000, respectively), and serves what is the most diverse and concentrated urban population nationwide. The City has already taken positive steps to mend fences in communities affected by racially charged policing. Use of stop-and-frisk has dramatically receded from past years. Last week, Commissioner Bratton dissolved the police force’s Demographics Unit, which spied on Muslim citizens for no basis other than their religious affiliation. Sufficient oversight will be needed to ensure that information collected from the Unit is appropriately handled with respect to privacy and that the blanket surveillance of Muslims won’t be diffused into other units.

As IG, Mr. Eure’s ability to apply oversight is not confined to any one issue. Other review institutions, such as the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates individual complaints, or the federal monitor, whose primary purpose is to offer oversight in ending stop-and-frisk practices, have a much more narrow scope. Although public debate on the IG role gave most of its consideration to curtailing the use of stop-and-frisk and Muslim surveillance, the law establishing the IG office authorizes it to examine any and all policies the NYPD employs. For example, state law currently requires police to investigate every crash where a serious accident happens, a standard that Mayor de Blasio has promised to meet as a part of his “Vision Zero” initiative. However, advocates for pedestrian and cyclist accident victims argue that the investigations don’t always happen. The IG has the authority to examine NYPD training and protocol to make sure collision units are properly handling such accidents.

It’s up to Mr. Eure to apply his influence creatively and collaboratively, working with Commissioner Bratton and the Police Department to strive for good relationships and the safety of New Yorkers. We on the City Council will be watching closely to ensure the highest quality oversight is administered.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny. High 61. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph. Thursday night: Clear skies. Low 41. NW winds at 15 to 25 mph, decreasing to 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Tone and Color Concert

The Quintet of the Americas, a woodwind group widely known for its expertise in South American music, performs Latin jazz, tango and other genres at Community Mediation Services 89-64 163rd St., Jamaica, 1 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Red Flag Warning issued in New York City due to brush fire danger

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday in New York City, meaning that a combination of dry fuels and weather conditions support extreme fire danger. Read more: ABC New York

1,000 additional police officers included in City Council budget proposal

The New York City Council unveiled its recommendations for upcoming budget negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio. Read more: CBS New York/AP

DOT chief wants Congress to look at federal gas tax

The city’s transportation chief on Wednesday said the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents a gallon does not cover what the DOT spends on the nations highways — and its a troublesome situation. Read more: New York Post

Bratton on NYPD Twitter backlash: We won’t quit social media

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton admits he was caught off guard after a Twitter request by the NYPD backfired in a very public way, but said Wednesday he has no plans to abandon social media. Read more: CBS New York/AP

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 51. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Mainly clear. Low 36. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Happy Hour with QNSMADE & SingleCut Beersmiths

Come hang out at SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria and try some locally made Queens craft beer. QNSMADE’s mission is to give a voice to the people that make up this borough and provide a space to bring together all the amazing things that are happening in the many pockets of Queens. With seven days left to go on its Kickstarter,  let’s come together and make this happen. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police arrest man accused of making anti-Muslim statements toward teen on Queens bus

A man wanted for making anti-Muslim statements toward a 15-year-old girl aboard a Queens bus while spiting at the teen and threatening to punch her has been arrested, cops said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Bratton issues new guidelines for jaywalking stops 

Less than four months after officers started cracking down on jaywalkers in New York City, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is telling officers to use more discretion when stopping people who cross the street illegally, according to law enforcement sources. Read more: NBC New York

EXCLUSIVE: City Controller Scott Stringer launching audit of Build it Back Hurricane Sandy home re-building program

The City’s troubled Build it Back program, which has only served a handful of Hurricane Sandy victims since the 2012 natural disaster struck, is going under the microscope. Read more: New York Daily News

Plane evacuated at JFK Airport after bomb threat: officials

A plane was evacuated at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday evening after a bomb threat was made, officials say. Read more: NBC New York

Contract talks heat up between transit workers, MTA

Transit workers came closer to making a deal with the MTA Tuesday more than two years after their labor contract expired, union sources told The Post. Read more: New York Post

Drag racers busted in Maspeth


| editorial@queenscourier.com

SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

Cops slammed the brakes on illegal drag racing after an early-morning bust Sunday in Maspeth led to six men facing possible jail time, authorities said.

Dozens of spectators crowded the streets at about 1:15 a.m. to watch the men drag race down Laurel Hill Boulevard between 48th and 58th streets, eventually leading to police blocking off the area.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is hoping that these arrests will discourage other drag-racing enthusiasts from taking to the streets.

“These arrests send a clear message that disregarding the safety and welfare of Queens residents will not be tolerated,” Bratton said in a statement.

The defendants — Michael Rivera, 21, of Manhattan; Shawn Marr, 19, of Uniondale; Michael James, 25, of Brooklyn; Antonio Nolesco, 23, of Manhattan; Edgar Lozano, 26, of Jamaica; and Edward Henry, 21, of St. Albans — were currently awaiting arraignment in Queens County Court, as of late Monday, on charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, vehicle and traffic violations and reckless driving.

“Drag racing poses a serious threat to public safety,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Such illegal speed contests have no place on the streets of our city.”

Brown said defendants Rivera, Marr, James and Nolesco were allegedly drivers in the drag races while Lozano and Henry were allegedly starters for several of the races. The drivers’ cars and smartphones were seized as part of the ongoing investigation.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Rain and snow showers this morning. Then becoming partly cloudy this afternoon. High near 55. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Monday night: Clear skies. Low 34. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Kaleidoscope

“The Kaleidoscope” starts at 8:00 p.m. at The Creek and the Cave at 10-93 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City. The Kaleidoscope is an experiment where friends and strangers get together and perform. Four improvisers create teams with whom they have never performed and will never exist again. Like a kaleidoscope:, every time you look you will see something different. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York City Council to hold hearing on Superstorm Sandy recovery

Members of the de Blasio administration and people affected by Superstorm Sandy are expected to speak Monday morning at a City Council oversight hearing. Read more: CBS New York

Report: Unpaid tolls rose on no-cash NYC bridge

The amount of uncollected tolls on a New York bridge skyrocketed after electronic E-ZPass systems replaced all cash toll lanes, according to a published report. Read more: NBC New York

With pre-k fight behind him, de Blasio to shift focus to affordable housing

Now that state lawmakers have closed a budget deal to fund prekindergarten in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is ready to turn to the next items on his sweeping liberal agenda. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Bratton raps Kelly and Bloomberg on stop and frisk

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton turned on the city’s former leaders Sunday, saying the department had a terrible morale problem when he took over because of the way his predecessor, Ray Kelly, and former Mayor Bloomberg used stop-and-frisk. Read more: New York Post

Obamacare website down as deadline arrives

People trying to apply and enroll for private health insurance through Obamacare before Monday’s midnight deadline are discovering the website is “currently unavailable.” Read more: NBC News

Corona man arraigned in child porn bust


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Corona man has been arraigned on charges involving promoting and possessing child pornography after he allegedly lured young girls through the Internet by convincing them they were playing a game, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Monday.

“This defendant is alleged to have coached seven young girls who he met online to perform various types of sexual acts which he then videotaped—convincing the girls that they were playing a game,” Brown said. “Once again, we urge parents to monitor their children’s Internet activities because there are sexual predators waiting to take advantage of their children’s innocence and trusting nature.”

Jorel Fowler, 23, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Friday on charges of use of a child in a sexual performance, promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to the district attorney. If convicted, Fowler faces up to 15 years in prison.

After receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children regarding a child luring and child pornography complaint involving a 12-year-old Oklahoma girl, with whom Fowler had allegedly been in communication earlier this year, NYPD detectives went to Fowler’s home on Feb. 20 and, with his permission, removed a laptop computer and iPhone, Brown said.

Seven videos, titled “Sarah,” “Tiffany &  Britney,”  “Katelyn,” “Julia,” “Gabrielle,” “Ashley” and “Alex” were allegedly recovered from that laptop. They supposedly included text and video conversations between Fowler and various girls, who were under 16 years old, and showed them taking part in what Fowler allegedly called “The Game.”

According to the allegations, Brown said, there are different levels to “The Game,” which awards points for performing different activities including sexual acts.

The recovered videos allegedly showed the girls going to each level of “The Game,” where they took off their clothing and displayed their body parts.

Fowler allegedly told police that he had been in touch with more than 10 minor girls, according to the district attorney.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Fowler or has any information about the case should call 718-286-6590.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 38. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: A few clouds. Low 18. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Dinner, a Movie and a Side of Reconciliation

Join savvy film and food lovers at Armondo’s Italian Restaurant for dinner and then head two blocks to P.S. 69 (77-02 37th Ave.) to watch Sardines, a short film about a child who goes to unusual measures to get her family’s attention, and the French feature film Tu Seras Un Homme (You’ll Be a Man), about a family coming together with the help of an outsider. $50, call (718) 429-8552. 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York City education takes center stage in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged his support to a massive pro-charter school rally Tuesday at the state Capitol as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged one more push in the state Legislature for his beleaguered pre-kindergarten funding plan -underscoring the political differences between the two powerful Democrats. Read more: AP

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to ride night subways to survey problems

New York City’s top cop says he’ll ride late-night subways to get a first-hand look at the quality-of-life problems straphangers face. Read more: NBC New York

De Blasio backers sue to block more charters

Mayor de Blasio is now getting friendly fire from his lefty supporters regarding the charter school space controversy. Read more: New York Post

House OKs bill rolling back huge flood insurance premium hikes

The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NYPD officers to be equipped with tablets in new pilot program

New York City police officers will soon be armed with a new crime-fighting tool: tablet computers. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Cloudy with rain and snow this morning becoming foggy with light rain for the afternoon. High near 40. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Snow accumulations less than one inch. Tuesday night: A few passing clouds. Low 29. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: NYC Compost Project hosted by Queens Botanical Garden: I Heart Worms for Families

Did you know that worms have five pairs of hearts? This unique hands-on workshop introduces kids (ages 5 and up, accompanied by an adult) to the life of indoor composting (red wiggler) worms! Make heart-shaped compost cookies for your plants; be prepared to get your hands dirty! Registration required—compost@queensbotanical.org. Starts at 3 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York vows to remove registered sex offenders from housing near schools

The State of New York has vowed to fix a troubling issue. Convicted pedophiles have been housed near city schools in violation of a state law. Read more: CBS New York

Trash, ice line New York City streets as snow falls

New York City has suspended alternate-side parking through the weekend due to solid ice and uncollected trash that line the streets, all while nuisance snow falls across the region Tuesday. Read more: ABC New York

New York City teachers union president proclaims back pay is ‘a big issue’

The head of New York City’s teachers union made it clear Monday for the first time that he was pushing the city for back pay for his nearly 100,000 members. Read more: New York Daily News 

Passengers trapped on tarmac after fuel truck hits police cruiser at LaGuardia

Hundreds of passengers were reportedly trapped on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport on Monday night. Read more: CBS New York

Bratton was kept in dark the night de Blasio’s buddy was sprung

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was kept in the dark when Mayor de Blasio made a late-night call to an NYPD honcho on behalf of a political ally who’d been busted, sources told The Post. Read more: New York Post

 

Two charged in counterfeit Super Bowl ticket operation


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens DA/Ticket photos courtesy of NYPD

Two men have been charged with running a counterfeit operation in Queens and elsewhere, allegedly manufacturing and selling tickets to the Super Bowl and NFL playoff games, District Attorney Richard Brown and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Tuesday.

The pair is accused of peddling the forged tickets to individuals on the streets of New York as well as across the country through the Internet.

They were also allegedly selling fake Super Bowl tickets to the NFL Commissioner’s Party at the Waldolf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, the NFL Honors Party at Radio City Music Hall, and parking passes close to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium where the Super Bowl is being played Sunday.

“The defendants are charged with not only running a lucrative illegal operation that allegedly ripped off the National Football League and sports fans alike by manufacturing well-crafted counterfeit tickets using state-of-the art equipment but creating a security nightmare for the NFL and the vast army of local, state and federal enforcement law agencies handling security operations at this Sunday’s Super Bowl by allegedly selling fraudulent parking passes to the MetLife parking facilities. Beyond that, individuals who bought tickets or passes through the Internet may be in for a rude awakening on game day,” Brown said.

Damon Daniels, 43, of the Bronx and Jamaica, Queens, and Eugene Fladger, 32, of Philadelphia are presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a forgery devices, criminal possession of computer-related material, trademark counterfeiting and conspiracy, according to Brown. If convicted, they each face up to seven years in prison.

Their arrests come following an investigation that began in December 2013 when the NFL’s Security Division notified the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division of an alleged counterfeit football ticket production operation, the district attorney said.

During the investigation, Daniels and Fladger were allegedly observed getting together right before an undercover officer, posing as a ticket buyer, met with Fladger in Queens, and bought tickets from him, Brown said.

The investigation also led to a search of Daniels’ girlfriend’s Jamaica apartment, where, according to prosecutors, police recovered a computer, a printer, a package of photo-grade paper, two tickets to the Super Bowl printed on the same photo-grade paper and a bag of half ripped, incomplete, first draft tickets which appeared to be printed on normal stock paper.

The fake tickets allegedly bore the official NFL logo and a bar code designed to be a replication of computer data that had been duplicated in order to fool stadium scanners, Brown said. The tickets, however, allegedly had defects— the printing on the tickets was washed out, there was a misprint on the back, the cutting of the tickets was not properly aligned, and various security features were missing. The parking passes and party tickets also allegedly featured washed-out printing and were not properly aligned.

 

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De Blasio swears in Bill Bratton as NYPD Commissioner


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC Mayor's Office Flickr

The city’s Police Department has officially changed hands.

Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly administered the oath of office to Bratton, 66, at Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon after he was officially sworn in as NYPD Commissioner during a private ceremony at Police Headquarters just after midnight on Jan 1.

Speaking before administrating the oath, de Blasio declared that the City of New York was in good hands with Bratton, dubbing him “the greatest police leader anywhere in the land.”

“Bill Bratton at his essence is a progressive crime fighter,” the mayor said.

This is Bratton’s second time as the city’s top cop. He previously led the NYPD from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Bratton replaces Raymond Kelly, who had been commissioner since 2002.

Bratton was also the Los Angeles Police Department’s chief from 2002 to 2009, and served as the Boston police commissioner before first coming to New York.

During his time with the NYPD, Bratton created tactics that are credited with cutting the steep crime rate in half, including COMPSTAT and real-time crime analysis.

“Who says you can’t come home again? And it is home and it’s great to be back,” Bratton said after taking Thursday’s oath.

Bratton promised under his watch policing in the city would be done constitutionally, respectively and with more collaboration.

He also vowed to bring more trust between New Yorkers and the NYPD, asking why in a city where the police have done so much to keep their citizens safe, “people don’t feel good about a [police] department.”

Bratton, who was long-rumored to be de Blasio’s pick along with NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro, was appointed by de Blasio on Dec. 5.

De Blasio ran for mayor on the promise to reform the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice, and again pledged to “reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy” in his inauguration speech Wednesday.

Though Bratton promised to “heal the wounds” caused by stop-and-frisk at his appointment announcement, critics are concerned over de Blasio’s selection of a commissioner who they call the “widely-credited ‘architect’ of stop-and-frisk.”

New Yorkers Against Bratton, who made the statement, planned a protest Thursday outside of Police Headquarters, following de Blasio’s swearing-in of Bratton.

“We are committed to opposing Bratton’s return as NYPD Commissioner. We ask that the mayor remove Bratton immediately and work with the community in selecting a commissioner that will signify a break from the past-not a continuation of it,” the group said in an email announcing the protest.

-With additional reporting by Maggie Hayes

 

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De Blasio sworn in as 109th mayor of New York City


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos via NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/Official Photos by New York City Mayor's Office

Updated 1:30 p.m.

The Bloomberg era has ended and the de Blasio administration has begun.

New York City’s 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio, was sworn in during a ceremony at his Park Slope, Brooklyn home just after midnight Wednesday, followed by a formal inauguration on the steps of City Hall later that day.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman officiated the New Year’s Eve oath of office, which was also attended by the mayor’s wife Chirlane McCray, daughter Chiara and son Dante.

“From the beginning, this has been our family together reaching out to the people of this city to make a change that we all needed. I want to thank you for having brought us to this moment,” de Blasio said after taking the oath in front of his home.

“To everyone this is the beginning of a road we will travel together,” he added.

Former President Bill Clinton swore in de Blasio on the steps of City Hall with a bible once owned by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

De Blasio previously served as a regional director in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration and managed Hillary Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. Both endorsed de Blasio for mayor in the general election.

Before administering the oath, Clinton said it had been a “great joy” for his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and him to see de Blasio’s progress “because he has served with such passion and because he represents with his family the future of our city and the future of our country.”

Telling New Yorkers “our work begins today,” in his inauguration speech de Blasio pledged to expand the pay sick leave law, require big developers to build affordable housing, stem the tide of hospital closures, reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy and ask the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes to provide universal, full-day pre-k and after-school programs for middle schoolers.

“We won’t wait, we’’ll do it now,” he said.

“Let me be clear: When I said I would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it.” he added.

A thousand tickets were reserved for the general public to attend the public swearing-in ceremony, with de Blasio pledging that it would be an “inauguration for all New Yorkers.”

Several dozen New Yorkers from across the city were additionally invited to join the mayor on stage. The group included a Queens engineer who emigrated from Bangladesh, according to de Blasio.

Mayor de Blasio takes the subway with his family to his City Hall inauguration.

Queens resident and the 2014 New York City Youth Poet Laureate, Ramya Ramana, read an original poem at the inauguration, which she dedicated to de Blasio.

Ramana, a first generation Indian-American, grew up in the borough and recently won the New York Knicks’ Poetry scholarship to St. John’s University, where she is a first-year student, according to the mayor.

Letitia James, who is succeeding de Blasio as public advocate was also sworn in at City Hall Wednesday. The councilmember is the first woman of color to hold citywide office. Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President since 2006, was sworn in as city comptroller, replacing John Liu.

 

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De Blasio names Bill Bratton next NYPD commissioner


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr/Policy Exchange

In a much anticipated move, mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Bill Bratton as the city’s top cop  on Thursday, promising to “heal the wounds” caused by stop-and-frisk.

“He has combined the best of tradition and the best of innovation in an extraordinary career of achievement,” de Blasio said.

This is Bratton’s second run as commissioner, following his first stint from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He will replace Raymond Kelly, who has had the top cop spot since 2002.

De Blasio’s campaign platform sat staunchly against the controversial police tactic and made it clear he would not keep Kelly.

“We’ve seen an approach that has too often alienated communities,” de Blasio said. “This has caused a lack of partnership between police and community.”

Now, he said we need to “heal some of the wounds and reopen communication between police and community.”

Bratton, 66, said one of his goals is to bring these groups together “in a collaboration where there is mutual respect and there is mutual trust.”

“We need to ensure that police are not the flashpoint for disruption, disturbances and anger,” he said. “It [policing] must be done compassionately. It must be done consistently.”

Bratton was long-rumored to be de Blasio’s pick along with NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro.

The police veteran with nearly five decades experience is coming from a run as the Los Angeles Police Department’s chief from 2002 to 2009. He also served as the Boston Police Commissioner before first coming to New York.

During his time with the NYPD, Bratton created tactics that are credited with cutting the steep crime rate in half, including COMPSTAT and real-time crime analysis.

“Bill Bratton is the leading national voice of community policing, of a progressive and proactive approach to policing, focusing on the collaboration between police and community,” de Blasio said.

 

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Political Roundup: Another poll shows strong voter support for de Blasio


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ROUNDUP

HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB

Poll finds support for de Blasio, if not all his ideas

New York City voters want to keep Raymond W. Kelly as police commissioner. They want more charter schools. And nearly half of them support the Police Department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic. Read more: New York Times

Obama: No shutdown talks “with a gun held to the head”

President Barack Obama told reporters Friday that he won’t negotiate with Republicans to end the budget standoff “with a gun held to the head of the American people.” Read more: NBC News 

Bill de Blasio considering Bill Bratton for old job as police commissioner

Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton could be back at 1 Police Plaza if Bill de Blasio is elected mayor. Read more: New York Daily News

Bloomberg defends DC police, and remembers Democratic shutdowns

Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning defended the police officers involved in yesterday’s shooting at the Capitol, saying they faced the same kind of instant judgments as officers in New York City. Read more: Capital New York 

New York state credit card surcharge law blocked

A federal judge has ruled that a New York State law that bans merchants from imposing surcharges on customers who pay by credit card is unconstitutional. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 86. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.Tuesday Night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 73. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.5 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Live at the Gantries with Christel Rice

Traditional Irish flute player and Philadelphia native Christel Rice has created a sensational and unique style with her music. She studied with the late Michael Rafferty of Ballinakill, Ireland where she learned the regional style of flute playing. Come see her preform for free tonight at Gantry Plaza State Park. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Glendale property owner in talks to lease vacant Cooper Ave. land to local nonprofit for a homeless shelter

A Glendale property owner is mulling a plan to turn a former factory into a shelter for the homeless, though community leaders have vowed to fight it. Read more: New York Daily News 

Vallone urges emergency lanes on Queens Boulevard

Forget bike lanes and pedestrian plazas: It’s time to accommodate emergency responders navigating Queens’ deadliest road, a lawmaker says. Read more: New York Post

Congressional Candidate Meng comments on her father’s bribe charges

As Democratic congressional candidate Grace Meng picked up the endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch at City Hall on Monday, she spoke publicly for the first time about her father’s arrest on wire fraud charges. Read more: NY1

Judge who accused cop of assault says Queens DA is whitewashing probe

The Queens judge who accused a cop of striking him in the throat with a military-style chop says the District Attorney’s probe appears to be a sham. Read more: New York Daily News 

DOE finds almost 70 percent of city students live in poor households

At Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, 65 percent of the students live in households that earn under $30,000. That is double the figure of just three years ago. While Hillcrest saw one of the biggest jumps, student poverty has increased citywide. Read more: NY1

Bratton makes rounds

Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is signaling his interest in succeeding Commissioner Raymond Kelly, holding private meetings with potential mayoral candidates during which he’s discussing public-safety strategies and his desire to return to service. Read more: Wall Street Journal 

Veteran officer, gunman die in Texas shootout

A routine serving of an eviction notice to a man living near the Texas A&M University campus turned deadly for Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann when the resident opened fire on him, leading to the death of the law enforcement officer and another man before the gunman was killed. Read more: AP