January 30, 2024
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Katal Joins Community Organizations to Demand City Council Override Mayor Adams’s Vetoes of the How Many Stop Act and Ending Solitary Confinement in NYC Jails
People Impacted by Rikers & Biased Policing Rally at City Hall to Reject the Mayor’s Regressive and Harmful Approach to Public Safety, Call on City Council to Act
City Hall, New York, NY – Today, members of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice joined with other community groups in a rally calling on the NYC Council to pass two public safety and accountability measures over the veto of Mayor Eric Adams – Intro 549A – Ending Solitary Confinement and Intro 586 – How Many Stops Act.
For decades, community groups have worked to end the torturous practice of solitary confinement in the Department of Correction due to the immense suffering and devastating harm it causes. Similarly, communities impacted by racist policing have long called for more transparency and accountability around the practices of the NYPD. On December 20th, 2023, The City Council passed these two common-sense reforms with veto-proof majorities.
On January 18th, Mayor Adams vetoed these two bills. The vetoes are part of a trend with Mayor Adams, who has fought hard against accountability and transparency measures in NYC’s legal system, chosen to cut essential services like education, libraries, re-entry programs, and more, all while prioritizing harmful criminalization, excessive and unsafe jailing, and austerity measures.
At today’s rally, groups and community members demanded that the City Council override the mayor’s vetoes and pass these bills that will promote safety, justice, and accountability.
Statements by the Katal Center
Kevin Valentine, Member of the Katal Center, said: “As a society, we have understood the negative implications of stop and frisk. And we cannot forget the disproportionate impact that this has on people of color. New Yorkers are being stopped and frisked simply because of the color of their skin. Corruption within the New York City Police Department has always run rampant. The Mayor’s veto of the How Many Stops Act is just another way to decrease the transparency of the NYPD. Part of what the How Many Stops Act is requiring cops to do is to document all street stops, investigative encounters, and consent searches, on order to increase transparency. There are cops complaining about the paperwork this will require, but it’s clearly a front to hide their discrepancies and discriminatory practices. It is also shameful that the Mayor vetoed the bill to End Solitary Confinement, for years medical experts have warned the public of the harms of solitary confinement. What the DOC is doing is isolating the person without dealing with the problem. I know from my own experience incarcerated in NYC jails that incarcerated people with a mental illness need access to care, not solitary confinement. This needs to be put to an end, and the bill to end solitary would do just that. The City Council must override the mayor’s vetoes of the How Many Stops Act and the bill to End Solitary Confinement.”
Melanie Dominguez, Lead Community Organizer at the Katal Center, said: “The Mayor’s veto of the How Many Stops Act and the bill to End Solitary Confinement is a setback for justice, fairness, and transparency in our City. Our communities deserve so much better. Katal has long supported these bills, and we stand with our allies who have led these campaigns in calling on the City Council to override the mayor’s ridiculous vetoes.”