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 26, 2020 – The “Summer of Cannibalistic Rats” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: It’s gonna be a hot and wet summer, de Blasio sets the city’s thresholds for reopening, where to get frozen cocktails, Melinda Katz breaks a promise, & more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 72˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.

The city remains on PAUSE, with 4/7 metrics met.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to biking to the beach, for the uninitiated. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist)

ConEd says the city should expect higher than usual electricity bills this summer in a combination of people being home more often and an increase in supply charges. (Collier Sutter for Time Out)

Also, this summer is predicted to unusually hotter and rainier than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Why stop the bad news train now? This year’s hurricane season has been described as “brutal,” with double the number of hurricanes expected with six major storms and 19 named storms expected in total. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The bad news train keeps on rolling. The city’s rats have depended on the trash from restaurants for hundreds of generations, with restaurants either closed or producing much less food waste, rats are getting desperate and aggressive. They don’t pose a threat to humans but are turning on each other, turning to cannibalization. (Mariel Padilla for NY Times)

The city will be contacting you if you’ve had exposure using the same technology that Uber uses to text you that your driver is arriving. (Rachel Kraus for Mashable)

Queens DA Melinda Katz is breaking one of her campaign promises less than a year into office. While campaigning, Katz claimed she supported the legalization of sex work, but according to DecrimNY she has been targeting the buyers of sex work as part of her new Human Trafficking Bureau. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News)

Errick Allen, an NYPD officer, was arrested on murder charges for fatally shooting his childhood friend in the head on Long Island. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

If you’re looking for a new apartment and pizza is your #1 priority, here are listings available near some of the city’s best pizzerias. (Localize.City)

As part of a new four-part plan to support nursing homes during the pandemic, the city will offer on-site COVID-19 testing to patients and staff at all 169 nursing homes across the city. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times)

Every public school student in New York City will soon receive $420 to help pay for food while school buildings are shut down, regardless of family income. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat)

The NYPD’s enforcement of social distancing measures continues to hit black and brown New Yorkers hardest, according to new data gleaned by the Legal Aid Society. (Mark Hallum for Brooklyn Paper)

The city has opened up 45 miles of open streets in May, surprisingly exceeding its own goal for the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Mayor de Blasio set new thresholds for the city to begin reopening, separate from the state’s thresholds. Fewer than 200 daily hospitalizations, fewer than 375 patients in the ICU, and a positive testing rate below 15%, all for at least 10 to 14 days. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

It’s not the mayor’s decision on when the city reopens, as Governor Cuomo said in a press conference on Friday “it’s a statewide decision across the board.” The city’s guidelines, if met before the state’s, only serve to confuse. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since the start of the pandemic, so the state is putting forward over $100 million towards a loan program for small businesses to help them amid the pandemic. Pre-applications start today. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro)

Anybody who believes they have symptoms or who has been in contact with somebody who has tested positive is now urged to be tested for Covid-19. Here’s how to get tested. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

At this point it seems like people are expecting Councilmember Brad Lander and Mayor de Blasio to botch the Gowanus rezoning. With both leaving power in 2021, will they rush a poorly-thought plan through or will both of their legacies be an empty promise for the neighborhood? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal)

New York will pay death benefits for essential government workers who lost their lives to novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What is the “new normal?” No one knows yet, but it could look something like the wall of vending machines full of N95 masks on Delancey Street. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Swimming at the city’s beaches remains banned, but the City Council is working on guidelines to help open the city’s waters to swimmers. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Video: A walk through an empty Grand Central Terminal. (ActionKid)

The woman who started the #ClapForOurCarers at 7 pm says it’s time to stop. Annemarie Plas says that people have shown their appreciation and its time for people in power to reward them and give them the respect they deserve. Plas started the clapping in the UK, we’ll see if her calls for it to stop are heard across the Atlantic. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times)

Daci Zudi was riding his bike when he was hit and killed by Faustino Rebollar Garcia, driving his pickup truck. For the death of Zudi, Garcia was charged with failure to exercise due care and driving without a license, both minor charges. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

If you’ve got a soft spot for doughnuts, three Doughnut Plan locations have reopened. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

The governor allowed religious gatherings of 10 or fewer people at the end of last week and was sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union, forcing the governor to change his executive order to allow non-essential gatherings of ten or fewer people across the state. The NYCLU seems to be pushing that responsibly distanced protests should be allowed, but it’s difficult to not see this being bused in other ways. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Where to get frozen cocktails. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation)

The amazing story of Alice, the elephant who escaped from Coney Island and swam the five miles to Staten Island. She retired to the Bronx Zoo, which is a whole other story. (Thomas Hynes for Untapped New York)

20 Michelin-starred restaurants still open. (Ryan Sutton for Eater)

Thank you to reader Ariana for today’s featured photo.

The Briefly for May 22, 2020 – The “The Beaches Will Be Open This Weekend” Memorial Day Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: A new plan for Long Island City, a threat to SantaCon, Scarr’s Pizza and McSorley return, late-night fireworks, restaurant reopenings to celebrate, and more

Today – Low: 60˚ High: 69˚
Possible drizzle in the evening.
This weekend – Low: 53˚ High: 65˚

Do you have blood? Can you spare some? The city’s blood supply is running “dangerously low.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

What are you doing to experience new things while staying at home? SNL’s Heidi Gardner is trying a new cereal each week. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

If the ban on city dwellers continues, City Council Member Keith Powers has threatened to cancel SantaCon and ban Long Islanders from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Please? Will you promise? (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After a week of back and forth, the city’s beaches will be open this weekend, but with no lifeguards and swimming won’t be allowed. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro)

Nathan’s is the biggest game in Coney Island hot dogs right now, but they got there by playing dirty. Coney Island’s original hot dogger is Feltman’s. (Alyson Krueger for NY Times)

McSorley’s is back after its longest closure since opening in 1854. (EV Grieve)

Scarr’s Pizza is back too. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie)

Archdiocese of NY shared a “Faith Forward” plan, which outlines a five-step plan to reopen New York’s churches. (Ron Lee for NY1)

Religious institutions can begin holding services, assuming they limit occupancy to ten or fewer people indoors, everyone must wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. (NY1)

Some suggested Memorial Day reading, care of the city’s independent book shops. (Danielle Valente for Time Out)

The mayor ran for office on the idea that he wanted to bridge the gap between the two New York Cities, but if you look at the neighborhoods that have received open streets and those that have not, he’s continuing in the tradition he rallied against by denying some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by the Covid-19 virus open spaces. (Julianne Cuba for Streetsblog)

State Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo has been removed from the Democratic primary ballot after being caught altering signatures and dates on her petition to remain on the ballot. (Ed García Conde for Welcome2TheBronx)

Central Park Park Ranger Ashley Whited rescued a team of orphaned ducks after a snapping turtle attacked and killed their mother. (Anthony Pascale for NY1)

The pandemic has shown what has always been possible, including to-go drinks from bars and restaurants. State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to sell to-go drinks for two years after the pandemic is over. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater)

This weekend kicks off the Loisaida Festival, digitally of course. (EV Grieve)

Here’s the latest plan from a giant developer for the “future” of Long Island City, leaning heavily on commercial property, with 10-to-12 million square feet of space on 28 acres of land surrounding the area that Amazon HQ2 never was. (Christian Murray for LIC Post)

Big companies like Facebook and Mastercard are rethinking massive leases in Manhattan after allowing employees to work remotely on an ongoing basis. Facebook is or was close to signing a lease int he Farley Post Office building next to Penn Station, so it remains to be seen if they’ll go through with the deal. I guess you could say it’s complicated 🥴. (Danielle Balbi for The Real Deal)

Video: Climbing to the top of the Woolworth Building, in what appears to be less than legal means. (Matt Coneybeare for Viewing NYC)

The mayor says the city could be on its way to start phase one of reopening in the first half of June. This is, of course, not a guarantee, and we’ll have to see how well the city fares during this holiday weekend as temperatures are looking favorable. One spike and we ain’t opening in June. (Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech for amNewYork Metro)

I don’t know if it’s welcome news, but it’s a step towards normalcy. Beginning on Monday, you can file lawsuits electronically for the first time in multiple weeks. (Brendan Krisel for Patch)

A guide to New York’s contact tracing programs. (Danny Lewis for Gothamist)

With the rise of MIS-C cases in the state, Governor Cuomo hasn’t made a decision about summer camps across the state, but it’s looking less likely. (Zack Fink for NY1)

176,000 students will be attending summer school, but it won’t be in person. The governor canceled in-person summer classes. The governor went as far as to say that it’s in question if schools will reopen in the fall. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an $8 million project to install a new pedestrian plaza beneath Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will replace a fenced-in parking lot, which is there today. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper)

What is New York without New York bars? (Megan Abbott for NY Times)

Ridership is on an uptick, so the Staten Island ferry will increase its rush-hour service. (NY1)

Fleet Week is still happening… virtually? (Ron Lee for NY1)

15 restaurants and bars that have permanently closed because of the coronavirus. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York)

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but that all-male restaurant panel the president has convened, which called him “one of us,” ain’t gonna help. (Chris Crowley for Grub Street)

Here are the CDC’s guidance on using cloth face coverings. (Norwood News)

Is this NYC’s oldest manhole cover? (Michelle Young for Untapped New York)

* Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with all these late-night fireworks? (David Cruz for Gothamist)

8 restaurant reopenings to be excited about this week. (Serena Dai for Eater)

Thank you to reader Shiloh for today’s featured photo!