Criminal Justice ∙ Economy

A Safe and Fair City

New York City should be a safe place to live, work and play for all of us. And the NYPD should be able to do their jobs without citizens and communities, particularly people of color, fearing those that are meant to serve and protect us.

Public safety is a rising concern. The pandemic has already shaken people’s sense of security, making the recent rise in crime unacceptable. The city recorded nearly 450 homicides, the most in a decade.

At the same time, generations of Black, Brown, and LGBTQ New Yorkers have been failed at all levels of the criminal justice system - from the federal to the state to the city. Eric Garner, Kalief Browder and Layleen Polanco are among the most prominent recent tragedies. But as the hundreds of millions in civil settlements taxpayers must shell out for NYPD and Department of Corrections misconduct make plain, there are far too many instances of inhumanity, cruelty, and civil rights violations by NYC law enforcement every year. We must hold law enforcement accountable for civil rights abuses against those they are sworn to protect and serve.

The Yang administration will work with communities and law enforcement, as partners, to combat the rising levels of crime. We need to rid our neighborhoods of the flow of illegal guns. And we need to ensure that the NYPD is solving their cases and finding those who commit violent crimes.

It’s important that New Yorkers trust the NYPD and the entire criminal justice system. That will require major reforms in how the city’s law enforcement system operates. We need a just and safe city. We can do both at the same time.

The Yang administration will name a civilian Commissioner of the NYPD. We need the NYPD to fit into a larger criminal justice strategy. We also need more robust use of both technology and data to determine what is working. The Yang administration will expand “violence interrupter” programming to more neighborhoods and invest in different types of interventions and resources. The goal should be to defuse potentially violent situations, not escalate them. Community leaders will be integral to our efforts.

For the city to truly recover, we need all New Yorkers to trust that the city and the police are looking out for us and our communities. We have a lot of work to do to achieve that.

Read Andrew's February 16th, 2021 testimony to the Committee on Public Safety here.