FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2020
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NEW YORKERS UNITED FOR JUSTICE SLAMS BILL BRATTON FOR EXPLOITING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS
NYUJ Calls on Bratton to Apologize – Immediately – For His Reckless, Mean-spirited, and Inaccurate Comments about Criminal Justice Reform Amidst COVID-19
***NYUJ CHIEF STRATEGIST KHALIL A. CUMBERBATCH AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS***
(New York, N.Y.) – In response to former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s reckless, mean-spirited, and inaccurate comments about New Yorkers suffering from “two viruses” – one of them criminal justice reform – New Yorkers United for Justice Chief Strategist Khalil A. Cumberbatch called on Bratton to immediately apologize.
“Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Commissioner Bratton engaged in demagoguing when it comes to long, overdue criminal justice reforms – but it’s the first time he has exploited a devastating pandemic to stoke up fear and score political points. It’s shameful, wrong, and patently false to suggest criminal justice reforms are making us less safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Bratton knows that. He’s not trying to tell the truth, he’s trying to scare New Yorkers. At this moment, we need honesty and facts about long over-due reforms that make our state safer and fairer – what we don’t need are more of Bill Bratton’s lies and distortions.
“Now is the time for Bill Bratton to be quiet, and for Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio to step up and produce a plan that reduces the incarcerated population amidst the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails across New York. There is a humanitarian crisis with rising infection rates and a rising death toll in prisons and jails, where people cannot social distance and lack access to adequate sanitary products. The lives of incarcerated individuals, corrections officers, staff, vendors – and by extension – our communities, are in danger. It’s time to do the right thing.”
About New Yorker United for Justice (NYUJ):
New Yorkers United for Justice is a statewide coalition comprised of local and national non-profit organizations committed to supporting a movement that will bring much-needed criminal justice reform to New York State and ensure that policies promote safety and fairness. NYUJ aims for legislative urgency to fix a broken criminal justice system that punishes the poor and communities of color, tears families apart, and makes New Yorkers less safe. NYUJ believes that a system that ensures equal access to justice for anyone accused in New York State, regardless of age, race, ethnicity or social economic status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or religion, must be the standard.