The Briefly for June 17, 2020 – The “Don’t Believe What Cops Say” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Playgrounds will open with phase 2, the mayor finally gets a coronavirus test, the AG’s hearing on NYPD interactions during protests, and more

Today – Low: 65˚ High: 74˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

You can watch the Public Hearing Via Video Conference on Police/Public Interactions During Recent Protests at that link at 11am on Wednesday.

Nine protesters detail their violent encounters with the NYPD. (Sydney Pereira, Jake Offenhartz, and Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Why the hell are NYPD cruisers playing ice cream man music? This isn’t an isolated incident and there is a video. (Luke Fater for Atlas Obscura)

The first wave of lawsuits against the NYPD has begun, with 18 notice of claims being lodged with City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office. (Reuven Blau for The City)

The lesson from yesterday’s story about the NYPD poisoning that never was is clear: Stop believing the police. (Ashley Reese for Jezebel)

The moment is demanding it, but is the NYPD capable of reform? (Nate File for Bedford + Bowery)

A new policy mandates that body cam footage when the NYPD’s weapons are fired. I hope we’re all ready for a million reasons why cameras “malfunction.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The 1.8 acre 50 Kent pop-up park will open on July 9 on a part-time basis from Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. (Greenpointers)

Mayor de Blasio announced that playgrounds will reopen in the city’s second phase of reopening. Yeah, it sucks, but we’re all fighting that same anxiousness in service of a greater good. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

It hasn’t been confirmed that we’ll be hitting phase 2 on June 22, and if we don’t, it’s because of assholes like Dani Zoldan on the Upper West Side, who has been running comedy shows inside Stand Up NY, the comedy club he owns. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side)

Oh, look, more assholes. State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and Councilman Kalman Yeger decided their community in Midwood has had enough of being careful and used a grinder to open the chains keeping the Kolbert Playground closed. (Lindsay Tuchman for NY1)

When CMJ announced it was coming back, a virtual festival wasn’t what we pictured. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

The stoop is the new bar. And the new restaurant. And everything else too. (Marie Solis for Gothamist)

A look at Dennin Winser’s hand-painted signs, which he’s offering for free for Black-owned businesses. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Sometimes a headline is perfect. A gay socialist could be the first LGBTQ person of color in the New York legislature. Get to know Jabari Brisport. (Molly Sprayregen for LGBTQ Nation)

Ahead of the June 23 primary, Attorney General Letitia James opened a hotline for election issues. If you haven’t applied for an absentee ballot already, you’ll be voting in person. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The city is providing free air conditioners for eligible households this summer. There are a few different guidelines to qualify and it’s best to check before it starts getting unreasonably warm. (East New York News)

Someone hung a noose inside Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. (Greg B. Smith for The City)

Should you sign a new lease right now? Rents look like they might be on the decline through the end of the year. (Nancy Wu for StreetEasy)

Kudos to the MTA for their creative social distancing decals on the subway. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped Cities)

We’ve all seen photos of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, but have you thought about it represents? It’s meant to be a celebration the start of the Space Age, symbolize the theme of the 1964 World’s Fair “Peace Through Understanding” and also a part of Robert Moses’s plans for New York City. (Lillia Paynch for Untapped New York)

Juneteenth isn’t a recognized holiday in New York, but we could be on the road to changing that. (Nick Reisman for NY1)

Photos: What Michelin-starred restaurant takeout looks like. (Gary He for Eater)

This year’s 4th of July hot dog eating championship will happen without a crowd and will be in a secret location, leaving this the first year in a long time without the competition at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. (Bao Ong for Time Out)

The U.S. Open tennis tournament will also be held without a crowd this summer. I hope they fill the stands with stuffed animals and sex dolls like the Korean baseball teams have. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Hospitals and group homes can now accept visitors with their discretion. (Emily Davenport for Gothamist)

Housing courts in the state are starting to reopen, but there’s some confusion over if evictions are allowed to resume. With no additional guidance, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks’s order from March halting evictions stands, but with pushback from eviction-hungry attorneys and landlords. (Georgia Kromrei for The Real Deal)

The state and city government is trying to get anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed to Covid-19 to get tested. If that’s the case, why were less than 100 prisoners tested over the first two weeks of June? (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

Never trust the first thing Mayor de Blasio says. After taking a sick day on Monday and spreading the message that he didn’t feel there was a need to get tested… he got tested. Everything de Blasio says is a three-day story. Day One: Thing happens. day Two: Mayor says something stupid, ruining credibility. Day Three: Mayor backtracks, becomes joke. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

A conversation with Judd Apatow about his new film “The King of Staten Island.” (Molly Given for amNewYork Metro)

The Briefly for June 12, 2020 – The “Mr Mayor, Unlock This Playground” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The “blood in the streets” protest, the NYPD refuse to be interviewed online for the CCRB, a call to stop the Gowanus rezoning, and more

Today – Low: 62˚ High: 83˚
Clear throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 58˚ High: 73˚

Has the pandemic and protests made you think about starting getting involved on a hyper-local level? Maybe you’ve thought about starting a neighborhood association? The Times breaks down how to do it. (Katherine Cusumano for NY Times)

Do you know the Muffin House? The Muffin House? The Muffin House. The roots of the nooks and crannies of Thomas’ English Muffins are in New York. (Nicholas Loud for Untapped New York)

Governor Cuomo says that pools and playgrounds across the state can reopen. The city’s pools and playgrounds remain closed. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)

In the 1970s, the NYPD’s unions distributed a flyer called “WELCOME TO FEAR CITY” meant to keep tourists out of New York City, teaching them how to survive with the city’s crime. A new version of “WELCOME TO FEAR CITY” has begun to be distributed, but with the twist of how to survive the police when protesting in New York. (Jeremiah Moss for Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

The City has created a searchable memorial of nearly 1,000 New York City victims of Covid-19. Right now it only covers a little over 4% of the city’s victims, but they are working with journalism schools to expand the memorials one person at a time. (The City)

Governor Cuomo is deciding to use the political capital he earned on defending statues of Christopher Columbus, saying Columbus represents Italian-American pride. This argument seems to pop up more and more often, making me think it’s not a matter of if but when the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle is taken down. (Zack Fink for NY1)

People are calling for Police Seargeant Terri Napolitano to be fired for sharing a racist message on Facebook which showed President Obama being lynched with Hillary Clinton next in line for hanging. The Office of Court Administration suspended her for 30 days without pay, took away her gun, and launched an investigation. Napolitano has since deleted her social media accounts. (Jeanine Ramirez for NY1)

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but Manhattan’s rental vacancy rate is the highest it’s been in fourteen years. (Erin Hudson for The Real Deal)

“Unless people are interfering with a Barclays Center event, or there are safety concerns, we would not take action to have someone removed from our plaza.” Unfortunately, the NYPD has had a different opinion about how people should use the plaza outside the Barclays Center. (Norman Oder for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

Jahmel Leach is a teenager who was tasered in the face by the NYPD. After the NYPD tasered and arrested the minor, they never notified his family he was in custody because he was tall and they thought he was an adult. The mayor says he’s “really troubled” by what happened to Leach but hasn’t vowed any specific actions he’s going to take to get answers. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

America has historically sought to arrest and prosecute its way through community issues that could be dealt with by understanding the history of this nation, our states & our community. Frustration comes from a lot of these things being ignored in impoverished communities: education, finances and health services. COVID-19 has exposed these inequities. So what will the city do beyond policing? We should build a comprehensive plan that addresses these shortfalls and provide the community with a say in how it defines the safety of its own neighborhoods.
– Taylonn Murphy Sr. for Gothamist, New York City Must Actually Invest In Black Communities—Right Now

How to celebrate Pride in quarantine. (Gabrielle Lenart for Brooklyn Based)

Phase one of reopening has begun, but there has been an uptick in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, which trails about two weeks behind New York City’s massive protests. We are still under the threshold for phase two. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Politicians in Queens are calling to make a 1.3 mile stretch of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights permanently car-free. (Steven Vago for Streetsblog)

Render Stetson-Shanahan was found guilty of manslaughter for brutally killing Carolyn Bush, at their apartment on Sept. 28, 2016. He avoided murder charges by testifying that he had a mental lapse. (Christian Murray for Queens Post)

If you’ve wondered why there hasn’t been a leader to step up and speak for all of the city’s protesters, it because there isn’t one. The city isn’t being led by one voice, but by the voices of many. (Jan Ransom and Annie Correal for NY Times)

“The commissioner held a Twitter Q&A on Thursday morning, but took no questions.” Great job Commissioner Shea, great job. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

The award for most questionable headline and lead image combination goes to “Gay Pride embraces its roots by teaming up with U.S. black activists” by amNewYork Metro.

Congressmembers Max Rose and Yvette D. Clarke along with Mayor de Blasio ar asking the military to rename General Lee Avenue in Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton army base. (Michael Gold for NY Times)

The city will spend $3 million to helping 100 restaurants in the city forced to close by the novel coronavirus pandemic subsidize paying 1,000 furloughed or fired workers at $20 per hour for at least six weeks and serve 53,000 free meals to people in communities hardest hit by the virus. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

A dumpling automat is opening in the East Village, confusingly named Brooklyn Dumpling Shop. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

The city will spend $3.65 million to give roughly 3,300 young people in paid 6 to 8-week online summer youth programs this year. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

As a resident of New York City, I am writing to demand that a moratorium be placed on proceeding with the Gowanus Rezone Proposal, which incorporates parts of Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens, until the city’s needs can be reassesed. In the wake of COVID-19, with both the city and state budgets in crisis, the economy in free fall, and as many as 20% of Americans having lost their jobs—including a disproportionate number of people of color— this plan is woefully out of step with what the city needs right now, or what it can afford.
– Voice of Gowanus, Demand a Moratorium on the Gowanus Rezone

The Alliance for Quality Education and The Dignity in Schools Campaign NY today denounced the mayor’s comments and refusal to remove NYPD officers from public schools. (Allie Griffin for Queens Post)

The Yankees are distributing $50,000 in scholarships among five different college-bound seniors, at $10,000 apiece, with one student coming from each borough through The Stonewall Scholars initiative. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Demonstrations and protests continue into week three as protesters spilled red paint to represent “blood in the streets” on Thursday, symbolizing “the blood militant forces such as the police cause black people to shed.” It created a powerful image. (Debora Fougere for NY1)

How to calculate how much rent you can afford right now. (Localize.City)

1,109 Civilian Complaint Review Board investigations are awaiting police officer interviews, but the police union will not allow officers to be interviewed online. What bullshit. (Eileen Grench for The City)

Where to get a restaurant-made picnic spread in the city. (Luke Fortney for Eater)

Thanks to reader Jenny for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for June 5, 2020 – The “Black Lives Matter. Say Their Names.” Weekend Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: An open letter from the neighborhood around the Barclays Center, the NYC memorial for George Floyd, calling for a repeal of “Walking While Trans,” and more

Today – Low: 68˚ High: 77˚
Rain throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 60˚ High: 82˚

Terrance Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, was in attendance for a memorial service for George Floyd in Cadman Plaza on Thursday afternoon. Speakers included Terrance Floyd, Cirlane McCray. Mayor de Blasio (who was showered with boos and calls for his resignation), Attorney General Letitia James, members of New York’s congressional delegation, and Reverend Kevin McCall. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

Photos: Workers from Bellevue Hospital demonstrated and knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd on Thursday, the length of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck to kill him. (Ben Fractenberg for The City)

Breonna Taylor was killed by a police officer in Louisville, Kentucky in her own home. A Wednesday night protest through Brooklyn was in her name to ensure she is not forgotten in the national Black Lives Matter conversation and her family can achieve the justice they deserve. (Emmy Freedman for Bedford + Bowery)

“The incidents that took place over the last several days in the neighborhoods surrounding the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where members of the NYPD showed that they are not capable of de-escalating protest activity without an egregious use of force are inexcusable. As organizations who have committed to ensuring that our neighborhoods remain places where commerce, retail, livability and safety are actualized, we will not settle for harsh policing as the answer — not now, not in our neighborhoods, and not in our City.”
-Hundreds of residents, politicians, and civic organizations that border the Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s central hub for protests, Community Letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

There was an 1845 New York law that said it was illegal for two or more people wearing masks or any face covering from congregating in a public place. It was repealed by the state’s legislature. Maybe next time I try to wear my horse mask to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, I can do so in peace. (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

The city is allocating $500,000 in grants for Bronx businesses that were recently vandalized and looted, up to $10,000 for each business. The city worked with SOMOS Community Care to help secure funding. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

Jamel Floyd, an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, died on Wednesday after corrections officers pepper-sprayed him in the face for being disruptive. (Aidan Graham for Brooklyn Paper)

The NYPD’s poor handling of protesters doesn’t stop after their done beating them on the streets. Once inside One Police Plaza, arrestees denied due process, held for over 24 hours, and are subjected to increase risks of Covid-19, according to the Legal Aid Society. (Rosa Goldensohn for The City)

Manhattan’s DA Cy Vance wants to hold looting suspects without bail, looking to Governor Cuomo to bypass state laws and calling for more “judicial discretion.” (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates reports of police misconduct, has logged more than 500 complaints related to the George Floyd protests during six days. (Rose Adams and Kevin Duggan for amNewYork Metro)

You can file a complaint of police misconduct to the CCRB online.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined three specificities to accompany his demand that the NYPD’s budget is reduced by $1.1 billion. A hiring freeze and a reduction of police officers to pre-de Blasio numbers (35,000), a 5% cut in overtime, and better disciplining of officers to reduce brutality settlements. When it comes to the settlements, I would assume that the city’s comptroller knows this, but police brutality settlements come from a separate budget than the NYPD’s budget. In 2018 the city paid $237.4 million to settle lawsuits, but that was in addition to the NYPD’s budget. Every settlement that the city has to make with victims of the NYPD’s disgusting acts of violence is additional money they are taking from the city’s budget. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

The NYPD has begun taking bikes from protesters. There have been multiple reports of bikes being confiscated with no paperwork on retrieving them once they are seized. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

“What pressing responsibilities have so occupied these two officials that they do not have the time to make sure the safety of New Yorkers is protected and the rights of New Yorkers are respected? How is it possible that after so many reports of police misconduct, they still can’t be bothered to supervise the police?”
-The New York Times Editorial Board, Mayor de Blasio, Open Your Eyes. The Police Are Out of Control

New York’s Street Vendor Project released a statement in “unconditional solidarity” with the Movement for Black Lives. This may seem like a quizzical statement to report on, but silence in compliance. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Donald Trump Jr has decided that his new target for trolling is City Councilmember Justin Brannan. Good thing he doesn’t have anything better to do. (Andrew Sacher for BrooklynVegan)

Mayor de Blasio’s plan for the MTA to reopen on Monday would serve about 8% of riders as 200,000-400,000 will return to work next week. The MTA has installed hand sanitizer dispensers at some stations and is looking to distribute two million face masks to those who need them. The subway will continue to cease overnight operations from 1-5 am. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

How will people stay safe on the subways when returning to work? “I really want to push back on the notion we can solve everything all the time.” -Mayor de Blasio (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Train operators and conductors have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections among subway workers, according to internal documents. the MTA had a ban on face masks that was lifted only days before the state went on pause. (Jose Martinez for The City)

Governor Cuomo is urging that between protests, New Yorkers find time for a Covid-19 test. Free Covid-19 tests have been expanded to all New Yorkers. (Maya Kaufman for Patch)

Dentists offices will reopen for business on Monday. (Robert Pozarycki for Bronx Times)

NYC is on track to start phase one of reopening on Monday. (Erik Engquist for The Real Deal)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Congressmember Eliot Engel in his primary against Jamaal Bowman, despite Engel being caught on a live mic saying “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” when asked about vandalism in the Bronx. I would imagine that Pelosi feels a pressure to endorse established Democrats against challengers, but this feels egregious. (Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris for Politico)

Request an absentee ballot to vote in the June 23 primary before June 16.

A look at Francesca “Sol” Chaney’s Black Supper, a free food program only for Black people who might be protesting nearby or simply need a pick-me-up. (Emma Orlow for Time Out)

Republican City Councilmember Eric Ulrich (whose website appears to be a dead Squarespace site) is making some big talking about calling for the City Council a vote of no confidence in Mayor de Blasio. In the last few months, he’s also demanded the firing of Commissioner of Health of the City of New York Dr. Oxiris Barbot. He will hit his term limit on the City Council in 2021 and has made multiple failed attempts to be elected to a higher office since his 2009 election. (1010 WINS)

A look at new outdoor art exhibitions coming this summer. (Howard Halle for Time Out)

The MTA is calling for 60 miles of bus lanes in all five boroughs for the city’s phase one reopening to ensure that it can get New Yorkers to work. The mayor, a noted coward when it comes to leading, was noncommittal. (Dave Colon for Streetsblog)

A map of all the subway stations equipped with OMNY readers. (MTAPhotos)

More than 90 organizations signed onto a letter addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo and other top lawmakers in the state urging them to ensure forthcoming criminal justice packages include repeal of a discriminatory loitering law frequently used by law enforcement to stop, profile, and arrest innocent transgender women of color. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Our libraries are returning, here are their reopening plans. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

An interactive NYC map that shows the closest bit of nature to your home. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

13 NYC restaurants supporting the Black community. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

Thanks to reader Mike for today’s featured photo of the Geoge Floyd Memorial in Brooklyn!