11:25 am Sep. 8, 2011
The co-chair of the largest bloc of members in the New York City Council, Robert Jackson of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, said the group is likely to call for a formal probe into the NYPD's conduct after this week's West Indian American Day Parade.
"Obviously, Jumaane [Williams] is going to speak and address us about being handcuffed and detained," said Jackson, referring to his Council colleague who, along with Kirsten Foy, a legislative aide in the public advocate's office, had a violent run-in with police officers on Sunday.
"That is going to be raised today," said Jackson.
"I assume the caucus will take a position of supporting Jumaane Williams in asking for a thorough investigation and that this is not the type of behavior we expect," he said.
The police department is already investigating the September 5 incident that took place near Grand Army Plaza, close to where the West Indian American Labor Day Parade terminates.
One day after the incident, Williams, Foy and a number of city and state lawmakers gathered above the steps of City Hall, condemning the treatment of both men at the hands of officers on the scene. Both Williams and Foy identified themselves as city officials. They were released shortly afterward without being charged with anything.
Jackson said he was uncertain whether the 27-member Black, Latino and Asian Caucus would push for Council hearings to be held on that specific incident, or whether the they'd push for a broader review of the department's practices. (City Council member Letitia James said she's tried unsuccessfully to get hearings on police conduct.)
"Jumaane clearly says that if he was not a young black man with dreads and earrings, that this would not have happened," said Jackson. "Many people in the caucus believe that to be true."