NYPD Officers Who Raped Brooklyn Teen Get Probation + Panel Recommends Eliminating Gifted & Talented Programs

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  • Two NYPD officers who raped 18 year old Anna Chambers were sentenced to no jail time in a secretive court hearing last week. Eddie Martins and Richard Hall had pleaded guilty to 11 charges and admitted they had sex with Chambers while she was held in their custody. The light sentencing comes on the heels of the acquittal and firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner in 2014. 

  • The family of Eric Garner filed a lawsuit seeking to bring Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neill before a judge to answer questions about their handling of Garner’s killing. The family also filed a freedom of information request seeking exhibits and transcripts from the disciplinary trial of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was fired last week. The lawsuit relies on a rarely-used section of the City Charter, allowing any five citizens who pay taxes in the city to request a formal judicial inquiry into alleged violations or neglect of duty by a public official.

  • A panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio to desegregate New York City public schools has recommended the elimination of all gifted and talented programs in City schools. The recommendations would overhaul the admissions processes of the City’s public schools and is likely to set off one of the most contentious battles of the de Blasio administration should he choose to implement them.

  • New York State is encouraging residents to vote on a new design for the state’s license plates, but the new license plates will continue to be madeby incarcerated people earning an average of 65 cents per hour. Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie’s bill to raise the prisoner minimum wage to $3 per hour has stalled in committee. However, earlier this week Governor Cuomo signaled that he supports a raise for incarcerated workers.

  • Three years after the Department of Correction ostensibly ended solitary confinement for 18 to 21-year-olds, advocates say City jails have implemented a new form of extreme isolation. Known as “separation status housing,” this re-branded solitary confinement is applied to inmates discovered with contraband items, often regardless of age or other considerations. 

  • The City’s plan to construct new homeless shelters is lagging behind schedule, leading to a growing reliance on hotels as shelters. One City-funded housing non-profit was recently found to be housing people in hotel rooms with dangerous wiring hazards, defunct plumbing, and broken furniture.

  • Construction worker injuries and deaths are rising within the city, with immigrant and non-union workers most at risk. A recent report found 92 percent of construction deaths on private work sites were non-union workers. The latest was a 48-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant who died from a preventable structural collapse last week in the Bronx.

  • bill before the state Senate and Assembly seeks to provide economic assistance to Taxi Medallion owners. The value of Taxi Medallions crashed in 2014 and has not recovered since, leaving millions of workers in dire situations. The bill would create a loan guarantee program to help medallion holders with debts of up to $175,000 per medallion. 

  • Friday was the end of the public comment period for a development seeking to build a warehouse store on the Graniteville Wetlands and Forest on the western shore of Staten Island. Community organizers are still seeking to prevent the development, which was enabled by a zoning variance approved by Council Member Deborah Rose in 2017 over objections from the community.

  • NYCHA is reportedly driving away women staffers thanks to a toxic work environment cultivated by General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo.

  • Recent City Council legislation aimed at tracking required reporting from City agencies has revealed an enormous amount of missing reports.

  • The lack of sufficient bike and pedestrian infrastructure on the new $700 million Kosciuszko Bridge has drawn criticism from activists and Comptroller Scott Stringer.


  • Housing activists Marcela Mitaynes and Phara Souffrant Forrest are challenging Assembly Members Felix Ortiz (District 51, Sunset Park) and Walter Mosley (District 57, Clinton Hill) in next year’s Democratic Primary.

  • Robert Antonacci (District 50, Suburban Syracuse), one of the few Republicans to win a marginal State Senate seat in the 2018 general election, has declined to run for a second Senate term next year. His departure after only two years has set off fears within the State Republican Party of a mass exodus now that the party is in a powerless minority.

  • Tony Avella, an ex-IDC State Senator from Northeast Queens who was knocked out of office in last year’s Democratic primary, intends to run for his old District 19 City Council seat in 2021.

  • Jerry Goldfeder, the lawyer who represented Tiffany Caban during the Queens DA recount, wrote an op-ed about how New York’s election laws disenfranchise voters

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