January 30, 2014
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, this is truly a momentous day. I just want to start on a personal note. We’re going to hear in a little bit from Nicholas Peart, who wrote a very powerful op-ed – I think it was almost three years ago – that it was one of those moments, I think, here in our discourse here in our city when a lot of people started to pay attention and started to think differently about some of the things happening in the neighborhoods in our city. And, in our household, we talked more and more about the issues of police-community relations over the last few years. Chirlane and I talked about it in terms of the larger challenge in our city. We talked about it in terms of our own children. And we talked about the things that had to change, and what had to be done to bring about real unity between police and community, and fairness for every citizen in our city. I want to thank the First Lady for joining us today.
You may clap for her indeed. And we made a decision as a family to go to the Father’s Day March in 2012. And for Chiara and Dante, it was a very important moment to stand up and join with thousands of others calling for the changes we need to have a more safe and more just city. So, this has been a long road, and this is a moment, I think, of profound progress. And I want to thank everyone who is a part of this. You’ll hear from a number of them in a moment. First, some of the people you’re going to hear from – our police commissioner, Bill Bratton; our corporation counsel, Zach Carter; Vince Warren of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Donna Lieberman of the NY Civil Liberties Union; and Nicholas Peart, plaintiff in the Floyd case and, again, writer of that great op-ed. I want to thank the many advocates and activists who are here today and have been part of this effort for justice. They’ve been pivotal in bringing this issue to the fore over the last few years. I’ve had the honor of working with many of them in that cause. I want to thank our elected officials who are here today. Again, many of whom, have been leaders for years in the issue of bringing police and community together, and the issue of creating a more just society through that relationship. They include Public Advocate Tish James; Borough President Eric Adams; Congress Member Yvette Clarke; and Congress Member Hakeem Jeffries.
And I want to give a particular thanks to Eric Adams, who served this city for 22 years on the NYPD, but has also been a voice for making sure that safe streets equate with justice and fairness for all. And I want to note that we’re in the district of Council Member Inez Barron, who wanted to be here but unfortunately could not. Let me talk about where we are first – Brownsville Recreation Center. I’m truly honored to be in this place because it really symbolizes people fighting for a fair and just society. This is a special place, and it’s a testament to the community’s resolve. It’s a testament to grassroots leaders like the late Greg Jackson. He was born in Brownsville. Clap for him, indeed.
Mayor: Born in Brownsville, he went all the way to the NBA, and then, despite fame and fortune, he came right back here and invested in helping young people. And Greg once said: “If you can grow up and survive in Brownsville, you can do it anywhere in the world.”
Mayor: Well, what he did here, what community residents do here every day, is help kids do more than just survive. They help build up our young people, give them positive alternatives, help them on the right path. That’s what happens in this building every single day. When people do that work – especially in recent years – they have been working against a current – a current that’s been moving, sadly, in the opposite direction. And it’s been a policy that treated our young people, particularly our young people of color, like their rights didn’t matter as much in our society. We’re here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city.
We believe, in this administration – and I think this reflects the values of the people of New York City broadly – we believe in one city, where everyone rises together. We believe in respecting every New Yorkers’ rights, regardless of what neighborhood they live in or the color of their skin. And we believe in ending the overuse of stop and frisk that has unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men. We believe in our obligation – the most fundamental one that there is in government – to keep people safe. And the values and the strategies that keep people safe, and that really give us lasting safety, those values are not compatible with a broken and misused stop and frisk policy. Neither the police commissioner nor I believe it is acceptable when 90 percent of the people stopped and frisked are innocent of any crime. And so we are taking significant corrective action to fix what is broken.
I am proud to announce today, that the City of New York is taking a major step to resolve the years-long legal battle over stop and frisk, and that we have reached accord with the plaintiffs in the landmark Floyd vs. City of New York case. We are doing it through a collective commitment to fix the fundamental problems that enabled stop and frisk to grow out of control and violate the rights of innocent New Yorkers. What we are doing here today will increase the quality of policing in New York City. We have a new police commissioner committed to protecting New Yorkers’ constitutional rights, and bringing police and community closer together – something he began before even taking office, something he has done here and in other jurisdictions for years, and something he has continued to do for our city now since he took the oath of office. And with today’s legal action, we put in place new policies that will create real lines of communication between police and community, and ensure that policies are being carried out in a constitutional manner. The agreement we’re announcing today accepts the facts and the roadmap laid out in last August’s landmark Federal court ruling.
Those points include – one, a joint and ongoing reform process with direct police-community dialogue, ensuring that policies which are driving police and community apart are raised through a direct line of communication with the police leadership. Two, there will be, for three years, a court-appointed monitor to insure the police department’s compliance with the United States Constitution. And that limited period of oversight is contingent upon us meeting our obligations. Three, I want to emphasize as an explanation that this is a shorter window of monitoring than is customary, and that is in part because of our administration’s explicit commitment to reform, including the installation of an independent NYPD inspector general.
The fourth point I want to make – once this resolution is confirmed by the Federal District Court, the city of New York will officially drop its appeal in this case.
I want to personally thank one of the hardest working people I’ve worked with ever. Last few weeks, Zach Carter has shown how extraordinarily hardworking someone can be, even before they have formally walked into their new office. But our corporation counsel, Zach Carter, has played a pivotal role in bringing all of the parties together to a positive outcome. And I want to thank Nicholas Peart for his leadership and all the activists, the advocates, and the attorneys who fought for the rights of all New Yorkers over these many years, including the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Civil Liberties Union.
We are committed to a safe city, both for our communities and for the officers of the NYPD who put their lives on the line every single day. And we believe these steps will make everyone safer. What we’re putting in place here is a foundation of an even safer city. This will be one city where everyone rises together, where everyone’s rights are respected. Let me just say a few words in Spanish.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, I’d like to bring forward the police commissioner of the city of New York, Bill Bratton.
Commissioner William Bratton, New York Police Department: Good afternoon. Today’s actions by the mayor move us a significant distance down the road to final resolution of the stop, question and frisk controversy that has raged through this city for far too long. So I applaud and support those efforts and will participate very actively in moving toward implementation of the ultimate agreements that will be reached with all the parties concerned. The mayor referenced that, in a democracy, the first obligation of government has to be – the first responsibility has to be public safety. Let’s face it, stop, question, and frisk as it’s been practiced in this city for the last several years, has not met that obligation or responsibility. Instead of securing confidence, instead of securing legitimacy and procedural justice in this city for the residents, it instead has raised doubts and concerns about the police force in this city. And to that end, we need to have resolution.
Sir Robert Peel, back in the 1800s, talked about the police – that we are the people and the people are the police. We are a fabric woven together in society. And the tighter those fabrics – those threads are sewn together, the stronger our society is. In New York, because of this issue, that fabric has been torn. We need to mend it. We need to repair it. For too many young men in this city, particularly young men of color – hundreds of thousands over the last several years –knowing that the city had experienced historic crime declines, they could not understand the significant increase in stop, question, and frisk. And they understandably asked, why? Why me? For the many young officers in our department, also aware that the crime rates had gone down so significantly, but they were being encouraged to make more arrests, make more stops, make more questions and frisks as part of their day-to-day procedure. Those police officers were rightfully asking, why more? So the two entities – the public and the police – the two entities most affected by this policy and the inappropriate way in which it was being applied, shared a commonality of concern – why me? Why more? These actions that we are announcing today moving us toward a resolution, toward a comprehensive reform, are essential. They are necessary to ensure that the fabric of society that must exist between police and the community is in fact rewoven so that we come out of this process stronger than before, and we can do that. And the challenge is we must do that. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you very much.
And the man who worked tirelessly to make sure we could stand here today in unity, our corporation counsel, Zach Carter.
Corporation Counsel Zach Carter: More than 50 years ago, Martin Luther King spoke of a dream – that all citizens would one day be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. The action taken by the city today is a reaffirmation of its commitment to apply that principal to policing, just as it endeavors to do so in arenas of employment, public accommodations, education, and all other areas of government activity. No law-abiding citizen should fear the intrusion of law enforcement action simply because of the color of their skin. Today, we pledge our cooperation with the representatives of the community, the police, and the court to develop policies, procedures, and training to ensure that inappropriate considerations of race will not be a determinative factor in police decision making. We expect this collaborative effort to produce policies and procedures that support the men and women of the New York City Police Department and doing the vitally important job of keeping this city safe while, at the same time, respecting the rights and dignity of its citizens. Thank you.
Mayor: Now I’d like to hear from some of the lawyers and leaders who have spent so much of their time and energy working towards this day and this reform. First, Vince Warren of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Vince Warren, Center for Constitutional Rights: Good afternoon. Today is a significant day in the fight for accountability for decades of discriminatory and unconstitutional policing in our city. After years of resistance from the previous administrations, we stand here today with the new administration, announcing an agreement to drop the appeal of the landmark ruling in Floyd vs. City of New York, accept the findings of the district court, and proceed with the reform process the court ordered. This is a major step. But I want to emphasize that this is the road ahead – that this road ahead is the most important one. We have a tremendous opportunity to make our city better and safer. We must not squander it. We need to bring all the stakeholders to the table and work on real reforms with real accountability.
Next week will mark the 15th anniversary of the murder of Amadou Diallo, who was standing in the doorway of his own building when he was gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets by New York City police officers as he reached for his wallet. For many New Yorkers, the Diallo killing crystallized the relationship between the police and communities of color. So, together with grassroots groups – like the National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement – the Center for Constitutional Rights filed Daniels v. the City of New York. The infamous street crimes unit was disbanded, and we reached a settlement with the city in 2003. But change did not happen. Constitutional violations continued and we were forced to go back to court to file Floyd v. the City of New York. And for 14 years we fought in court and we fought an intransigent city administration unwilling to admit that there was a problem, let alone work towards a solution. 11 years ago, we were at this very point but the difference now is that, unlike his predecessors, Mayor de Blasio has named the problem and has promised to drop the appeal and to embrace reform. Our job is to hold the mayor and the police commissioner accountable to these promises.
We will have a collaborative reform process that makes sure all stakeholders, including our community partners and activists, have a say in what the reforms look like. And we will have a court monitor to ensure that these reforms move forward. But this is where the real work begins. Nobody standing here is pretending this is mission accomplished. The problem has not been solved. The reality is, tomorrow a kid may be humiliated on his way home from school or someone on their way to the store will get stopped and frisked for no reason. And we urge all community members, who helped bring us to this day, to stay vigilant, participate actively in this process. Reform must start by including the voices of those who have been harmed. The legal questions have now been settled. We now will work to begin the real process of lasting concrete change to the NYPD and to the city of New York and I can’t wait to get started.
Mayor: Our next speaker may be considered someone too shy to speak in public because of her lack of strong views and opinions but I think we’ll give her a chance anyway – Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of New York Civil Liberties Union: This is a step up. This is indeed a good day. What a good day. I am so glad to be here at the same press conference with the mayor of the city of New York, the police commissioner, and corp counsel-to be, as well as the advocates and elected officials who’ve come and who we’ve worked with for many, many years. It’s a good day because we can today mark a really good step forward towards the change that New Yorkers have fought so long for and a step that brings us closer to closing the book on that tale of two cities. We are delighted that the city has announced its commitment to withdraw the appeal of the historic class action lawsuits Floyd and Ligon. Of course we understand that the culture of the largest police force in the country cannot change overnight, but we all know that change starts with the message from the top. And we believe in the good will and the good intentions of the new administration – what a change. There’s a lot of real work to do as we begin the process of making New York City a place where the rights and liberties of all people are protected, but we’re excited for the community that is experienced racial profiling first-hand to have a real role in identifying solutions and a willing partner in the new administration. That is a historic first for our city. And we look forward to working with the police department that wants to protect New Yorkers’ individual rights as much as it wants to protect their safety. Thank you so much and thank you, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: When I read Nicholas Peart’s op-ed a few years ago, I thought to myself, how far astray we’ve gone. This young man exemplifies everything we want for our young people, everything we want for our future – law-abiding, hard-working, good student, focused on his education. Nicholas is an example of how bright New York City’s future could be, but it’s not possible if he and other young men like him are not treated with the respect and the embrace and the faith that they deserve to feel if they are going to be our leaders of tomorrow. So I appreciate Nicholas for his strength, for his courage, for his powerful voice. And I think, because he stood up, it helped create that day when all of our young men of color – all of our young men, all of our young women – know that this city is for them and we look forward to the day when they are the leaders of tomorrow. Nicholas.
Nicholas Peart: Good afternoon, everyone. I decided to take part in the Floyd case because I was tired of the same scenario of seeing my peers being stopped and frisked. I myself have been stopped and frisked a number of times and I understand very well of the psychological consequences that it has for a person who has been stopped and frisked from the time he was 14. Now you carry that burden of being illegally stopped and frisked into your adulthood. So I decided to stand up – stand up for my community. This is a small part of a larger battle that we have. I think the city is going in the right direction by appealing this but again, we have a long battle ahead of us. Taking part – partnering with the Center for Constitutional rights, along with Communities United for Police Reform, we have done some – we have made some significant steps – very, very significant steps. Also, I just – I am tremendously grateful that this is getting the attention that is needed because again, this has been happening for years, decades. And you know, the Brotherhood-SisterSol, which I am a member of and an alumni of, they have done tremendous advocacy work around this issue. So, again, I would like to thank the mayor and also the Center for Constitutional Rights for, you know, just bringing this attention to this issue. Thank you.
Mayor: I just wanted to note, we’ve been joined by one of our colleges in city government, our Council Member Darlene Mealy. Thank you very much for joining us. And with that, just want to emphasize to our friends in the press, let us do on-topic questions. On topic, Grace?
Question: I just wanted to get a better understanding of the process in terms of getting sign off on the oversight – having oversight of the department for three years, and then you’ll withdraw the appeal?
Mayor: Let me have the corporation counsel explain it to you.
Corporation Counsel Carter: No, the appeal will be withdrawn – what’s happened today is that we made an application to the Court of Appeals, where this case has been pending, to remand – or actually return this case to the district court so that we can present our agreement to the district court, which includes submitting to the orders that were originally issued by Judge Scheindlin. And with the modification that the length of the monitorship will be three years, assuming that there’s been substantial compliance with –with the order. Immediately upon the ratification that we expect from – by the district court of our agreement, we will immediately move to dismiss the appeal.
Question: And how long was the original order? How long was the monitor supposed to be in place?
Corporation Counsel Carter: It was not time limited.
Question: [Inaudible] just a matter of weeks to see if the appeal will be withdrawn? What’s the sort of timeline –
Corporation Counsel Carter: It depends on when the case is calendared by the district court.
Mayor: So I asked the corporation counsel to help me translate – and I mentioned to the commissioner just now – the constant translation here from legalese to English. So, I’m going to try the simple version. As soon as the federal court ratifies this agreement, we will drop the appeal. And also with the court’s approval, we will settle the case. There are two related actions, both that we all intend to pursue together, but require both of them, the court’s approval. Marcia?
Question: Mr. Mayor, I know you already spoke about extensively about stop and frisk [inaudible] recommended a number of changes. I’m wondering the kinds of changes that you’re looking for and among the things they suggested were police officers possibly wearing cameras to document when they do make a stop, question, and frisk. And I’m wondering if you have some kind of a [inaudible] once this process is –
Mayor: So just one clarification – the court addressed the previous policy, the previous way it was approached. And we obviously have a very different policy. On the specific question of the reforms that the court put forward, let me let corporation counsel speak to that, and perhaps Commissioner Bratton would like to comment as well.
Corporation Counsel Carter: Let’s start with the general reforms, and I’ll turn it to Commissioner Bratton in respect to the issue you raised – with respect to the cameras. The district court’s order provided a great deal of flexibility in the crafting of remedies that will ensure that policing will be done in a way that doesn’t inappropriately take into account the issue of race. And so it required the monitor, and in consultation with the police, community representatives, and the city, to come up with procedures and policies and a program of training that would accomplish just that. The district court also made a recommendation, with respect to cameras. Commissioner Bratton has had some experience with that himself. And so I’ll turn to him with respect to that issue.
Commissioner Bratton: Two things – that we’ve already announced the appointment, and he will begin in three weeks – the appointment of Benjamin Tucker to be the new deputy commissioner for training, and coincidental with moving into the new police academy. And he has been hired very specifically to, among his priorities, address this issue – embracing and implementing – the implementation of the policies that will come out of this settlement and the settlement discussions. As for the issue of cameras, body cameras, American policing in its totality is moving very quickly in that direction. This is not a new concept, it has been underway for a number of years, and as recently as yesterday I met with people in my office looking at where it is currently being experimented with in the Los Angeles Police Department. The city of Rialto, California probably has the most advanced program in the nation. It’s been embraced by American policing, so New York will benefit from that fact that this is not a new concept, but one where policies, procedures are already in place that we can beg, borrow, and steal from so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Question: What kind of changes do you see happening specifically in how police conduct their business in New York City?
Commissioner Bratton: Well first off, that – the idea of having a resolution of what are the guidelines, what are the policies, what are the practices that we have to put into place. Right now we’re in this kind of no-man’s land that – and so I’m accepting of this process and this move to a settlement, because I need to, as police commissioner, be in a position to say to my officers, “This is how you police constitutionally, this is how you police respectfully, this is how you police compassionately” – and that these are the guardrails that you have to stay within. And police need that guidance, and this settlement, I think, will indeed provide that. And the quicker we move down this road, the better for all concerned.
Mayor: Okay. Let’s go, Dave.
Question: Mr. Mayor, could you explain [inaudible] what’s your message to the [inaudible] continue the appeal [inaudible]? How would that work? And also, what if the appellate court says no to you because they’ve had some problems with this judge before?
Mayor: Well, I just want to say before Corporation Counsel comes up – look, I think this represents an extraordinary step forward. And I think there’s a lot of unity here about the fact that this really puts us on a pathway to reform and one with real accountability. We want that accountability, because we want to achieve the reform and bring police and community back together. I would hope that, you know, other parties out there would see that this is a constructive step and one that’s going to work, and would honor that. Also very hopeful that the judge will see this as the historic step forward it is, but that’s obviously the judge’s discretion.
Carter: With respect to the Court of Appeals, we’re actually accepting an invitation from the Court of Appeals, because in its mandate it actually invited the parties to ask permission to go back to the District Court to resolve this matter, and we’ve simply accepted their invitation, so I don’t expect – I would be surprised if they would rule in a way that was inconsistent with that.
Question: [inaudible] we’re all aware with this judge [inaudible]?
Carter: I think that’s irrelevant.
Question: Yes, a question probably for corporation counsel – what are some of the policies that the two sides have so far devised [inaudible]?
Carter: Well, this is the beginning of the process. It is at this point that the parties will sit down together to talk about the specific remedies, the specific procedures, the specific training modules, specific documentation that will be necessary to ensure that there’s compliance with the district court’s orders with respect to the use of race in police decision-making.
Question: [inaudible] disagreement so far?
Carter: Like I said, we are sitting down to talk about all of those things now. The process begins now. So there – there are no disagreements that I’m aware of, sorry.
Question: [inaudible] Has anything yet been agreed to?
Carter: We’ve agreed to sit down and discuss what the specific remedies are going to be going forward.
Question: [inaudible] Judge Scheindlin’s order demanded that you do that, so – so beyond that, what is – what has so far been decided upon?
Carter: One of – I think that one of the smart things about Judge Scheindlin's remedial decision is that it left a lot of room for all the interested stakeholders – representatives of the community, plaintiffs council, the police, my office – all interested stakeholders to put on their thinking caps and figure out ways to actually give effectiveness to what she intended in terms of compliance with her orders, all right? – her order that the New York City Police Department comply with the Constitution, as she interpreted it, with respect to whether – the situations in which you can and cannot take race into account when you’re making policing decisions. The work of putting flesh on the bone is yet to be done. We’re just getting started today.
Mayor: Okay. Two on the right side there – Melissa and then in front. Melissa –
Question: Question for Commissioner Bratton – so, is it correct to understand then that you have not given any specific instructions to the NYPD, to your police officers so far [inudible] in terms of how they should change their practices? Is that what you mean by [inaudible], or have there been any changes [inaudible]?
Commissioner Bratton: During the now 30 days I’ve been commissioner, I’ve had a number of messages that have gone out to the troops as recently as this morning at CompStat reinforcing that, as they go about their business, that we want them to be policing lawfully – cannot break the law to enforce it – respectfully, compassionately. That – as I’ve already mentioned, one of the reasons I’m so supportive of this process moving forward is before I start developing new policies, procedures, and guidelines, that I want to ensure that they’re not going to be challenged by – whether it’s the inspector general or the monitor or various civil liberties groups who are involved here. We all need to, collectively, as quickly as possible, come to agreement on how do we train and supervise and monitor our officers. So, in terms of the issues – have there been an additional training, etcetera, at this juncture, over the last 30 days? No, but there’s been reinforcement that as you go about the business of policing you are to do it under those three overall guidelines.
Mayor: I want to just note – I think the commissioner has said this very powerfully and repeatedly. In fact, from the moment he was sworn in at 1 Police Plaza, I think he made clear this is the direction that the NYPD is going to go in, and it’s going to be a more effective direction for everyone involved. And now we are taking another step towards making that very specific in a way that every community member and every officer can understand together – and that’s going to be another part of bringing police and community together. Yes –
Question: Judge Scheindlin had recommended that there be a community facilitator. Will that facilitator be in place to help hammer out some of this agreement?
Carter: Yes, the facilitator remains in place.
Question: This is for the police commissioner. Mr. Commissioner, do you have any evidence or understanding that there were [inaudible] stop-question-and-frisk under your predecessor?
Commission Bratton: I think it’s quite clear that the officers were being strongly encouraged through the CompStat meetings that they were expected to produce activity and that – in my opening comments I talked about the officers themselves were asking that – why more? That crime is down, that we’re the cops on the street – we don’t quite understand why we’re being pushed to do more and more when there’s less and less crime. So, quotas? I don’t think we can use the term quotas. But were they being pushed to do more? Well, I think that’s clearly understood. The unions, for example, were strongly opposed to a lot of the stop-question-and-frisk activities of the department. So, while they voiced objection to some of the issues we’re discussing here, they are very supportive of the idea that there was too much going on and they were not supportive of that.
Mayor: Yeah, I want to mention that, you know, this – this is what the democratic process is supposed to do, and that includes the judicial process. It’s supposed to bring up the truth of what’s happening in our society, and oftentimes truths that are being ignored. I think the court case, including the tape that we heard, is part of that – one of the court cases – one of the federal cases. You know, we got a window into the situation. And what we saw was something where there was obviously an incessant push for officers to make stops, regardless of the impact of the results writ large of those stops. And I think the commissioner is 100 percent right – not only was that an unjust policy, it caused a rift between police and community. It caused real damage to the self-respect of a lot of our young people. And from the officers' point of view – and I heard this – over the last year, I cannot tell you how many officers told me, obviously confidentially, that they felt that being pushed to meet some kind of standard like that was, in fact, undermining their ability to do their job, undermining their ability to have the kind of constructive relationship with the community they needed so they could do intelligence-gathering and find out where the actual criminals were. It was taking up a lot of time and energy that they could have been focusing on real, substantial criminal activity, instead of stopping thousands of people, the vast majority of whom were innocent. So I learned a lot from beat cops in this process about how dissatisfied they were. And I have to say, if you spend time around police officers in this city as I have over the last 20-plus years, they are professionals, they're the best trained professionals in police work in the United States of America. They want to be able to do their job as they're trained to do it, and the previous policies were not allowing them to do that. Yes sir.
Question: [inaudible] holding this news conference in Brownsville [inaudible]? But what’s your message directly to the young black men [inaudible], waiting to play basketball right now in this gym?
Mayor: I hope – I hope they’ll forgive us.
Question: [inaudible] the same black community that’s concerned that gun violence may go up if stop and frisk is really [inaudible]?
Mayor: Well, I'll start that, and then I'm sure Commissioner Bratton has something to add. First of all, in a democracy, we have to respect all of our people. And I keep saying that our young men of color – our young people of color – are our future leaders, and will form the backbone of this city in the future, and we need to respect them as such. And let's face it – for decades, they have not experienced that kind of respect. So we've set up a contradictory dynamic in a democratic society – we've said everyone is equal, everyone has opportunity, but we haven't treated people that way – from our official government organizations, from people in uniform, from policies of the government. So we have to recognize that we have to resolve that contradiction to begin with, or we can't have the kind of properly functioning society that we need to have. I have to say that another thing that's very true is people are motivated to good by hope, and they're motivated to good by having a sense of belonging and ownership in society. And when the incessant message is “you don't really belong, you really aren't a stakeholder” – and that's what the overuse of stop-and-frisk implicitly said – by definition, it's not going to create a healthier, more complete society. It's not going to create a more perfect union. So that's why I think we're all so resolute. I also think something that unites us all is we believe in the United States Constitution. The commissioner has often said, “You cannot break the law to enforce the law.” So perhaps another way of looking at this is we have to bring our practices fully in line with the foundational document of the republic. And I don’t think there’s anything more important you can do in government. Finally, we believe this will make us all safer. I said it throughout my openings remarks. So I’d say to any young person, I’d say to any parent, I’d say to any senior citizen, in Brownsville or any other community, this will make us safer. We have – I will say with absolute belief – the finest police commissioner anywhere in the United States of America. We have the finest police force anywhere in the United States of America – finally united with the community in the way that should have happened years and years ago. We will find this city safer because the communication will be there, the partnership will be there. We’re going to actually allow the police to do their job and to be safer themselves in the process, and I think you’re going to see something that results in a – a more unified society and a safer society. So we’re convinced this is the pathway forward. Let me let the commissioner add.
Commissioner Bratton: The reality is that constitutional or lawful policing, respectful policing ultimately is effective policing. And that’s just not a trite phase – it’s the reality. And I look to the reality of Los Angeles, where I spent seven years. While driving crime down every year to rates almost as low as they are here in New York, we also, every year, improved on our relationship with our minority communities, to the extent that in 2009, when I left, the numbers were more than two thirds of African American and Latino respondents to polling in the Los Angeles Times and a separate study conducted by Harvard University – they had favorable ratings of the department. My understanding – in the four years since I’ve left, those numbers have improved even more as crime has continued to go down. So why am I so passionate about this issue in this city? Well, I’ve seen it work in another city, and it can work here. So that’s the – the issue is that as stop-question-and-frisk declines does that necessarily mean a constant increase in crime? No, not at all.
Phil Walzak: Couple more, guys.
Question: Question for you – will Peter Zimroth continue to be the outside monitor? Also, Judge Scheindlin has laid out a fairly specific roadmap for precincts where the cameras would be put in place – high stop-and-frisk area police precincts. Will those be the precincts where the cameras will be?
Carter: Yes, Peter Zimroth is the attorney who’s been designated as – as the monitor under the order, and there’s been no change with respect to that. With respect to the implementation of the order, with respect to cameras, I am sure that that will be implemented with regards to current reality. Given the precipitous drop in stop-and-frisk, whether it’s one precinct or two and how – and which precincts they – those are going to be matters that are going to be resolved by the monitor in consultation with the community and with the police and with my office.
Question: And just to quickly follow up, who will be the arbiter in three years of whether the city’s is in compliance with this settlement?
Carter: Ultimately, it’s the court. Ultimately, it’s the court.
Phil Walzak: Last question, guys.
Question: The goal is to be in full compliance with the judge’s decree. What’s the reason for the three-year [inaudible]?
Mayor: For the three-year timeframe? Zack –
Carter: Well, for one thing we have a very positive change in circumstances that has been institutionalized in New York City – and that’s the creation of an independent Inspector General for the Police Department. And so what is envisioned is that what is temporary with respect with respect to the three-year monitorship, those responsibilities will naturally migrate over time to the Inspector General. And obviously that is permanent in reliable external oversight.
Mayor: Thank you, everyone. Thanks very much.