NY police’s apparent slowdown creates unease in poor communities – by Wilson Dizard & Ned Resnikoff January 5, 2015 4:21PM ET

Analysis: Community members have yet to see an increase in crime, but say they feel less safe

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Activists say blaming them for police killings is a dangerous distraction – by Renee Lewis December 23, 2014 6:45PM ET

Some fear trend toward police reform is threatened by backlash against activists following murder of two NYC officers`

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Activists aligned with protests against police brutality and discrimination said Tuesday that comments linking their peaceful grassroots movement to the recent murder of two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers form a dangerous distraction from the issue the activists have worked so hard to elevate to a national conversation.

A mentally ill black man fatally shot two NYPD officers at close range in the city’s Brooklyn borough on Saturday, hours after shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. The shooter had posted Tweets saying he was taking revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown — unarmed black men killed by white police officers earlier this year.

After the Saturday killings, Patrick Lynch, the president of New York City’s largest police union, said police reform protesters and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have “blood on their hands — and some organizations aligned with the protest movement say they now feel pressure to disavow the murders, even though their actions have been largely peaceful.

“I think it (Lynch’s comment) reveals the danger of distraction, in part because the issue of police brutality against black people and people of color is being heavily opposed even as cities, states and even the White House are responding to these calls for police reform,” said Akiba Solomon, editorial director of Colorlines, a daily news website focused on racial justice.

“That was the story up until Saturday; now it’s about the effect these two police officers could have on the movement,” Solomon said, adding that some activists resented being linked to the actions of a “crazy person” who had nothing to do with their protests.

Expecting the movement against police violence to deny responsibility for the actions of a lone gunman resembles a tactic used earlier against the protests over Brown’s Aug. 9 death in Ferguson, Missouri. There, critics tried to “lump in the violence and looting with legitimate protesters, who have disavowed that behavior,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA champion, wrote in an opinion piece for Time magazine.

Abdul-Jabbar called such efforts to link the crime with the protests against police brutality “deliberately misleading in a cynical and selfish effort to turn public sentiment against the protesters.”

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NYPD Can’t Stop Changes to Stop-and-Frisk – By Adam K. Raymond July 30, 2014 3:53 p.m.

Photo: Seth Wenig/Corbis

A federal judge today told five different police unions they can’t stop broad changes to stop-and-friskthat Mayor de Blasio agreed to in a settlement earlier this year. The ruling opens the door for the NYPD to overhaul the practice that was ruled unconstitutional last August. In the 108-page ruling, federal Judge​​ Analisa Torres said the unions have “no significant protectable interests relating to the subject of the litigation that would warrant intervention.”

And so ends the department’s attempts to prevent stop-and-frisk reforms. Those changes, agreed to in January by the mayor and plaintiffs suing the city over what they said were illegal stop-and-frisks, include retraining officers, a new program that would put cameras on some officers, and an independent monitor to oversee the new process. Now they can finally go into effect.