The Briefly for June 1, 2020 – The “Sworn to Protect” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Photos and video from the city’s George Floyd protests, Letitia James will be investigating, the city and state legislature’s reactions, and more

Today – Low: 52˚ High: 70˚
Clear throughout the day.

“When will it end? Amadou Diallo. 42 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Sean Bell. 50 shots. Police officers found not guilty. Eric Garner. Choked to death. Police officers let go by the Grand Jury. ” –Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens) on the floor of the House of Representatives

Video: The NYPD attempting to drive over a crowd of protestors. (@chieffymac11)

If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this situation.” -Mayor de Blasio (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Video: An NYPD officer grabs a mask of a peaceful protestor whose hands are in the air and pepper sprays him. (@AJRupchandani)

I really believe that the NYPD knows how to handle protests and respect whoever is protesting but I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason.” -Mayor de Blasio (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

2021 mayoral candidate Dianne Morales’s children were pepper-sprayed outside the Barclays Center. “The violence and brutality the NYPD unleashed on protesters was staggering. So much rage targeted toward the very people they are sworn to protect.” (@Dianne4NYC)

I’m not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation.” – Mayor de Blasio (Sally Goldenberg for Politico)

Video: An NYPD officer calls a protestor a “stupid f*****g bitch” and shoves her to the ground (Olivia Niland for BuzzFeed News)

“I want you to know that I’m extremely proud of the way you’ve comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger, disrespect, and denigration” -NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea

Photos: State Senator Zellnor Myrie was pepper-sprayed by the NYPD. (@zellnor4ny)

“If you or anyone else was inside that police vehicle surrounded by people, you would’ve had a really tough decision to make” -Mayor de Blasio (Ja’han Jones for HuffPost)

Video: An officer from the 44th precinct purposefully coughing on people in the Bronx. (@biggaballa__)

“Anyone who starts off without acknowledging the righteousness of the protest and how do we address the concerns being raised is having an honest conversation.” -NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)


“New Yorkers need a police department that respects them as citizens and human beings. Until then, this city that has suffered so much will suffer more.”
The Nation’s Largest Police Force Is Treating Us as an Enemy by Mara Gay for NY Times

“He should resign because his comments on Saturday night were brazen and disgusting lies. Two New York Police Department vehicles were filmed ramming into protesters behind a barricade. The mayor said the video was “upsetting” but claimed that it was “inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” adding that the officers had to “get out” of that “impossible” situation.”
Bill de Blasio Needs to Resign. By Defending Police Violence, He Has Betrayed New Yorkers by Mehdi Hasan for The Intercept.

“After years of disrespect and opprobrium, how did you expect things to turn out? By ignoring it, did you think it would just go away? That’s not how the world works.” – George Floyd protests are no time for us to ‘stick to sports’ by Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro

“Hitting police officers in the pocket and having them truly face prison time will in fact lead to less killings at the hands of the police. Let’s all make it a point to bring this discussion to every person we know and let’s put political candidates on the spot by asking them how they feel about this concept.” – Suing NYPD Officers Personally and Their Police Union for Violating Rights of Citizens Is The Change We Need by Kamal Smith for East New York News


The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Here is how to report police misconduct. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The mayor’s first term started with his taking credit for the beginning of Mayor Bloomberg’s ending of stop-and-frisk, followed by the death of Eric Garner. He campaigned on reforming the NYPD and finds himself at the end of his second term defending the NYPD beating, ramming, and pepper spraying his citizens. (Dana Rubenstein and Jeffrey C. Mays for NY Times)

In 2014, after the murder of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio vowed to veto a bill that would make a chokehold illegal. The City Council is planning on calling the mayor out on his bullshit by putting the bill forward along with a bill that would require the NYPD to create a disciplinary matrix for all officers that would create a disciplinary standard. The City Council should put the bill forward, regardless of the threat of a veto by the mayor. If Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want the chokehold to be illegal, he should be forced to show it. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1)

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is recommending that Officer Francisco Garcia face internal charges for punching and tackling Donni Wright during a social distancing stop on the Lower East Side earlier this month. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Photos: The Times’ most striking photos of the weekend’s protests. (Photos by Chang W. Lee, Gabriela Bhaskar, Stephanie Keith, Kirsten Luce, Demetrius Freeman, and Hiroko Masuike for NY Times)

As the NYPD attempted to make arrests at the Barclays Center protest, they loaded people onto an MTA bus. The bus driver refused to drive it and walked the bus. HE has the support of the Transport Workers Union of America and they will act “in solidarity” with the bus drivers of Minneapolis. (Hillary Hanson for HuffPost)

State Attorney General Letitia James will lead an independent investigation into the NYPD’s actions while responding to Friday night’s protest outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. (Robert Pozarycki for Brooklyn Paper)

“I’m telling them that if that review looks at those videos and finds that there was improper police conduct there will be ramifications.” – Governor Cuomo (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Staten Island’s protest was led by Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, who finds herself mourning George Floyd, some of whose last words echoed those of her son. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

“I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing it, I’m tired of living it, I’m tired of being in fear. Something has to change.” Nearly a thousand protesters took to the streets of Jackson Heights and Woodside Saturday. (Angelica Acevedo, Jeffrey Harrell, Grant Lancaster, and Robert Pozarycki for amNewYork Metro)

The NYPD didn’t force every push in the city towards violence, as officers in Queens joined the Jackson Heights protest peacefully. (Zachary Gewelb for QNS)

A timeline of the nationwide George Floyd protests. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Photos: Burnt out cop cars, graffiti, and anger. Sunday morning around Union Square. (Photos by Stacie Joy for EV Grieve)

The mayor has appointed two of his own commissioners — Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett — to investigate the police response. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

Two Brooklyn residents and a Greene County resident were charged in connection with the use of Molotov cocktails in an attempt to destroy NYPD vehicles during city-wide protests early Saturday morning. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor edited a statement from the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, in a fashion that would suggest they took a neutral stance on police violence. Let’s be clear, they are not okay with the NYPD’s unnecessary reaction to this weekend’s protests. Read their full statement and their reaction to our cowardly mayor’s placation of the NYPD. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The state is ready to repeal a law known as 50-a, which protests police personnel records from public view. The state’s legislature has Governor Cuomo’s support to repeal the law. To quote Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell from Manhattan, “the pendulum swings both ways.” (Josefa Velasquez for The City)

Chiara de Blasio, the mayor’s daughter, was arrested Saturday night in Union Square amid protests. (NY1)

A palate cleanser: Video of the two baby guars that were born at the Bronx Zoo during the Covid-19 pandemic. We almost got through a full email without a mention of Covid-19. (Emily Davenport for Bronx Times)

The Briefly for May 28, 2020 – The “Can You Spare $9 Billion?” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Farewell to Train Daddy for real, Mayor de Blasio continues to be content to not lead, one of the happiest places in NYC, and more

Today – Low: 64˚ High: 69˚
Overcast throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met.

Andy Byford, you’re gone for real. Train Daddy is headed to London to become their new Transport Commissioner. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

When New York City beings phase one of reopening, does the MTA have a plan to allow that to happen? We’ve heard multiple ideas floated in the last few months for the subways, but the MTA hasn’t yet put forward their plan on how to deal with construction and manufacturing workers returning to their jobs. Stephen Nessen and Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

Curbed puts it best: Did New York City just give up on public transit? (Alissa Walker for Curbed)

Got $9 billion to spare? New York could use it. The city’s budget is due by the end of June and with a $9 billion hole to crawl out of, things are likely to get worse before they get better. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Say hello to Bobby Catone, the city’s biggest jackass. He plans on opening his Staten Island tanning salon to the public today in defiance of the governor’s orders. (Amanda Farinacci for NY1)

It seems that when people fled New York City, they also left behind their census forms. Also: An interactive map to see how you’re district is responding to the 2020 census. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

The coronavirus layoffs are hitting Black households in New York harder than white households. 44% of Black households have seen a layoff compared to 27% of white households, but 84% of Black voters feared reopening too quickly compared to 59% white. There’s a reason for that fear, more than double the number of Black New Yorkers have died during the pandemic than white New Yorkers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Photos: Construction on “Little Island,” the two-acre park being built on Pier 55 is progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

A bodybag protest was laid at the doorstep of city hall to show the plight of homeless New Yorkers, who crowd into the city’s shelters every night. Protesters demanded the city open up hotel rooms as an alternative to crowded shelters. (Toss Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Okay, we’re all sick of cooking every meal for ourselves, right? Here comes WoodSpoon to allow you to order home-cooked meals prepared by out-of-work chefs. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The New York Public Library is considering curbside service at libraries. Reserve your book in advance and swing by a kiosk to pick it up. If it can happen at Best Buy without the pandemic, it can happen at the NYPL during it. (Reuven Blau for The City)

A look inside a plasma donation center, which the Times is calling “one of the happiest places in New York.” (Eliza Shapiro for NY Times)

Beyond Sushi is opening a ghost kitchen in Long Island City. (Jacob Kaye for QNS)

The city has offered very little in terms of help for restaurant and bar owners and has offered absolutely nothing in terms of a plan for reopening. Not only have they offered nothing in terms of help, but Mayor de Blasio is also stepping up enforcement of bars and restaurants in nine neighborhoods. Where the hell has the “Nightlife Mayor” been on this? Isn’t this a job specifically designed for them to be helping with? (Erika Adams for Eater)

The mayor’s response to this entire crisis has been to sit back and let other cities lead. Instead of leading the city’s help and support restaurants and bars and small businesses, he sits on his hands and watches. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

RIP Larry Kramer, whose activism helped shifted the nation’s policies towards AIDS. (Daniel Lewis for NY Times)

Have you become the master of your kitchen under quarantine? Are you ready for a challenge? Step up to the word’s stinkiest fruit, durian, and make some desserts with this dessert box available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

Attorney General Letitia James filed an amicus brief on Tuesday as part of a coalition of 14 attorneys general who are hoping to keep the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of courthouses unless they have a judicial warrant or court order. (Noah Singer for Brooklyn Eagle)

With budget cuts looming large, CUNY plans to continue online courses through the fall semester, with only a small fraction of courses and services offered in-person. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

There is no specific place in the city to collectively grieve, but the Naming the Lost project has set up a memorial outside of Green-Wood Cemetery for people to post tributes to those who lost their lives to Covid-19. (Rose Adams for Brooklyn Paper)

A few neighborhood restaurants and bakeries selling housemade sourdough starter by the ounce, cup, and jar. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

“If we are going to make progress, we’ve got to address these things, and if this painful process is going to help us address this — there’s the yellow warbler!” –Christian Cooper on the Central Park incident, racism, his thoughts on Amy Cooper, and birdwatching in Central Park. (Sarah Maslin Nir for NY Times)

After the Central Park Karen story, State Assemblymember Felix Ortix and State Senator Brian Benjamin have introduced a new bill that would criminalize falsely reporting an incident to police and make the offense eligible for hate crime status. (Zack Linly for The Root)

Yesterday I made mention that Governor Cuomo was headed to DC to talk President Trump into helping the state’s infrastructure projects. He came back and declared good government “extinct” in America. I’m not a political scientist, but I’m not sure that’s a good sign. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

Interactive Map: New York City’s wisteria is in bloom, here’s where to see it. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Ruben Diaz, Sr. is an opponent of same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights and is also a Democrat. What does it mean to be a Democrat in New York City? (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

How to get hired as a contact tracer in NYC and what the job entails. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

The state’s legislature has effectively killed the rent cancellation bill, taking up a “totally inadequate” bill instead. In its place is a bill that gives landlords vouchers if a landlord’s tenants must earn 80% below an area’s income anad have been paying more than 30% of their household income on rent before March 30. The total budget would give 50,000 tenants two monthly vouchers of $1,000. For perspective, one-quarter of the city’s 5.4 million renters did not pay rent last month. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The numbers have slowed, but not enough for reopening. A look into who are the New Yorkers who are getting sick? (Andy Newman for NY Times)

Okay, what is going on with “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” being surreptitiously placed on the bookshelf in nearly every cable news interview? (Dana Rubenstein for NY Times)

A somewhat complete (for now) guide to beach food at Rockaway Beach. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates in the weekly restaurant update from The Infatuation. (Hannah Albertine for the Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Lizzy for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for April 27, 2020 – The “An Upward Failure of Epic Proportions” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The threat to the city’s restaurants, antibody tests are unreliable, the Governor cancels the Queens presidential special elections, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 49˚
Overcast throughout the day.

All eligible voters will receive a postage-paid absentee ballot application to vote in the June 23 primary. (Alejandra O-Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Grocery stores have adjusted to pandemic life, but seemingly no grocery store has had to make the adjustments the Park Slope Coop has made. Transitioning from an all-volunteer workforce to paid workers and turning the people of Park Slope, whatever you think of them, into patient and understanding shoppers. (Terri Ciccone for Eater)

One of the weekend’s most talked-about pieces is an essay from Gabrielle Hamilton, owner and chef at Prune on 1st between 1st and 2nd Ave for twenty years, about closing her restaurant and wondering if there’s a place in the city for it once the city returns. (Gabrielle Hamilton for The New York Times Magazine)

The governor us looking ahead to when the state can start taking baby steps towards reopening. “Phase one of the reopening will involve construction and manufacturing activities, and within construction and manufacturing, those businesses that have a low risk. Phase two would be more of a business-by-business analysis using the matrix that we’ve discussed: How essential a service does that business provide and how risky is that business.” There will be a two week period between phases where the effectiveness will be measured. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The mayor announced two task forces and a series of advisory councils that will begin the talks about restarting the city’s economy. In one of the most unbelievable examples of failing upwards, Chirlane McCray will be leading one of the task forces. McCray is the head of ThriveNYC, the mental health program which has spent $850 million of the city’s money with very little to show for it. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The current COVID-19 antibody tests are unreliable, according to the City Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, and can not determine if you’re immune to COVID-19. (Caroline Lewis, Sophia Chang, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Independent pharmacies will become COVID-19 test collection sites while the state expands testing to essential workers and expands capacity to 40,000 tests a day. (Matt Troutman for Patch)

Over a century ago, the subways had their own baseball league. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City endorsed incumbent Yvette Clarke for Congress over anti-LGBTQ Chaim Deutsch during a five-hour virtual endorsement meeting ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Six maps to help you discover the city from home. (Lillia Panych for Untapped New York)

What happens when a roommate defects from NYC because COVID-19 is coming and rent is due? (Kate Mooney for Curbed)

The best, and more importantly worst, frozen grocery foods. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

On March 1, NYC had one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, research shows it was closer to 10,000. (Caroline Lewis for Gothamist)

The first thing Time Out’s staffers are going to do when life returns to “normal.” Personally, I’m looking forward to going to my band’s rehearsal space and playing my drums again. (Will Gleason for Time Out)

The best secret menu items available for delivery. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

AOC was the only Democrat to vote against the federal government’s $484 billion relief package. (Christian Murray for Sunnyside Post)

AOC’s district is the epicenter of the fight against COVID-19 in a city that is already the epicenter of the fight against COVID-19. In an opinion piece, she lays out three policies that a stimulus must include, like $2,000 monthly payments as a first step. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for amNewYork Metro)

The special election for Queens borough president is canceled by executive order by Governor Cuomo. The winner was going to serve until the end of the year, which seems pointless at this point. Acting President Sharon Lee will remain president for the rest of the year. (Michael Dorgan for Sunnyside Post)

The L train construction is complete and ahead of schedule. (John Del Signore for Gothamist)

Remember when congestion pricing was going to happen and the money the state made from it was going to fix the subways? lol. (Yessenia Funes for Gizmodo)

The Metropolitan Opera is continuing its free performances every night this week. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)

New York Sports Club is reimbursing its members for fees during the pandemic, marking this the one time NYSC has done anything that appears to be remotely friendly to the city, even if it was forced by the state’s attorney general. (Sophia Chang for Gothamist)

RIP Richard Hake, beloved WNYC anchor. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

The lost wedding ring on the Upper West Side lost during the 7pm clap? It’s been found! (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

The worst people in the city this weekend were the joggers without masks. Another good reason to never start running. (EV Grieve)

Jane’s Walk NYC honors Jane Jacobs with a series of free neighborhood walking tours every year, with this year’s offering to be a completely remote event during the first week of May. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

The NYPD and the Department of Transportation are against opening streets for pedestrians and cyclists, adding to the complete lack of creativity from this administration when it comes to easing the pain of a multi-month quarantine for this city. According to former city officials and epidemiologists, it is something that is achievable. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

A look at the city’s roofs, which have become an oasis for those who have access to them. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Eataly, “the world’s largest artisanal Italian food and beverage marketplace,” received a Payroll Protection Program small business loan. Along with their loan, Eataly provided employees an option to receive a paycheck that covers only a portion of missed wages or continue on unemployment and resign. If they resign, they will be ineligible for unemployment. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Eataly gets its loan, but restaurants like the Lower East Side’s LES Enfants de Bohème have not heard back about their application. With $15,000 in bills, while remaining closed, they could be among the half of the city’s small restaurants that may not make it through the pandemic, according to Krishnendu Ray, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. (Rebeca Ibarra for Gothamist)

Five weeks after New York City moved to remote learning, 19,000 students who requested devices still don’t have them. (Alex Zimmerman and Jessica Gould for Gothamist)

Need a kitchen staple and don’t want to fight the grocery store lines? Try a restaurant. The Times shines a light on places like Glou + Glick and M’s Original in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which are both buying items like eggs, sugar, flour, and hand soap wholesale to ease the stress of needing a single item. (Elspeth Velten for NY Times)

Breaking down the Giants’ complete 2020 NFL Draft. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Breaking down the Jets’ complete 2020 NFL Draft. (Joe Pantorno for amNewYork Metro)

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, approximately 35 percent of the city’s roughly one thousand food pantries, soup kitchens, and mobile pantries have closed, creating the shocking visuals from last weekend showing a line for food in Queens that was 20 blocks long. (George Joseph for Gothamist)

If you’re someone who has fallen in love with Governor Cuomo, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame is heeding your call. You can pre-order Governor Cuomo bobblehead and the money raised is going to the Million Mask Challenge and the Protect the Heroes fund. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Have we gone too far? Gothamist is calling Governor Cuomo “the Don Draper of politics.” (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Maybe there’s something to this Cuomo idolization, he’s enjoying at 77% approval rating, with 90% support amongst Democrats, 73% with Independents, and 53% with Republicans. By comparison, the president’s approval rating is at 43%. (Joseph Spector for Democrat & Chronicle)

Eater’s top picks, the Eater 38, have been updated for all the restaurants on the list remaining open. (Carla Vianna for Eater)

Thanks to reader Arden for today’s featured photo.