By IVAN MORROBEL
The New York City Bar Association was ready to put police reform at the forefront of the agenda, according to comments at a virtual panel on Thursday focused on over-policing and abuse in black and brown communities.
“Black lives matter and blue lives matter,” shouted the Bar Association president Sheila Boston at the start of the event.
The 90-minute dialogue featured guest speakers such as the Bronx Defenders Policy Counsel Dawit Getachew, Communities United for Police Reform Director Joo-Hyun Kang, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Deputy Director for Crime Strategies Deanna Logan, and New York City Police Department First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker.
After each speaker touched on systemic injustice, Kang showed a PowerPoint that revealed major issues related to police reform and discipline scandals that occurred over the years.
“The Police Benevolent Association repeatedly and consistently defends officers who kill, brutalize, and engage in misconduct.” said Kang “It’s important to recognize and state the fact that the police unions in New York City have outsized political power.”
As the discussion progressed, many references were made to problems that happened years ago, which makes it seem as though history is repeating itself.
“There’s a historical perspective that officers who don’t live in the city are therefore not invested in how they police the city, and that was the thinking back in the 1960s,” said Tucker.
The death of George Floyd had the entire country including New York up in arms a few months ago causing a feud between officers and civilians.
“I’m deeply concerned and invested in this issue. It’s dividing our nation, and we must figure out how to resolve all of this,” said Boston.