Plainclothes officers have been involved in some of New York’s most infamous cases of police violence, and have been accused of racial profiling
NYC mayor Eric Adams addresses Times Square subway killing
New York City mayor Eric Adams is planning to reinstate a controversial plainclothes police unit that’s been accused of racial profiling and brutal tactics, as a spate of recent high-profile shootings has shocked the city.
“We will not surrender our city to the violent few,” Mr. Adams, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer, said on Monday as part of a newly announced slate of policies to combat gun violence. “I want to be clear: This is not just a plan for the future — it is a plan for right now…gun violence is a public health crisis. There is no time to wait.”
The move comes after a pair of shocking shootings: an 11-month-old girl hit by a stray bullet in the Bronx, and two officers who were shot on Friday while responding to a domestic call in Harlem, leaving one dead and another critically injured.
The NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit was disbanded in 2020, as weeks of Black Lives Matter protests captivated the city.
“This is 21st-century policing,” then-police commission Dermot Shea said of his move to dissolve the units, which have been accused of unconstitutional and violent treatment of communities of colour. “The key difference — we must do it in a manner that builds trust between the officers and the community they serve.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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