Originally published November 24, 2022
Progressive Democrats on the New York City Council are pushing to abolish the database that the NYPD uses to track gang activity in and around New York City, and to prevent any other database from being formed. Progressives are working around the clock to ensure that criminals are able to run rampant and the city turns back the clock to the 1970s.
“This bill would abolish the police department’s Criminal Group Database (Database) and prohibit the establishment of a successor database with the same or substantially similar features,” says the description of the bill in the NYC Council website. “Pending the ultimate destruction of records in the Database, no employee of the city would be permitted to access the Criminal Group Database for law enforcement purposes.” This bill gets the full endorsement of the Council Progressive Caucus, which tweeted, “We are proud to support this crucial piece of legislation to abolish the NYPD Gangs Database. This unaccountable and racist surveillance tool has no place in our city.”
The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council has 34 members out of the 51 total members of the NYC Council. They control a 67% supermajority of the council, so if they want anything done, it happens.
This bill, which was introduced in May, gained traction as a report on the Gang database is expected to be released. The report, which began in 2018, is scheduled to be released by the end of the year. In September, a protest in Brooklyn brought greater attention to the bill. As per Gothmaist, “New York City criminal justice advocates called on the City Council to abolish the NYPD’s gang database, decrying the listing as the new ‘stop and frisk’ on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.”
Any modifier to the word “justice” means that no justice will be found. Climate justice, social justice, and criminal justice are all euphemisms for the same radical leftist ideology that the same people push all the time.
One of these radical leftists is Tiffany Caban, who was a dozen votes away from becoming the District Attorney for Queens, but now sits on the City Council. Caban, who was one of the sponsors on the bill, calls the database, “a tool in a failed toolbox as part of a system that is selling us false safety.”
The reason why the progressives hate this database is that of the 18,000 names that are reportedly in the database, the overwhelming majority of them are people of color. In fact, according to 2018 testimony by Former Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea, 99% of the people in the database are black or Hispanic.
There are two ways of looking at that statistic. The progressives look at that and say that the database is the problem, so let’s get rid of the database and prevent any other database from replacing it. That’s what the bill is.
Another way of looking at that is to ask some questions. What is happening in the black and Hispanic communities that so many young members (the average age of someone on the database is 27) are either in gangs or suspected to be in gangs? Is there massive data missing from the database of white gangs that we don’t have? What can we do to make this database more accurate and inform the parents and families of the people on the list that their loved one may be in trouble?
Nope, none of that for the progressives, because that harms “equity.” Equity means we must all end up in the same place. If that means lowering the bar on acceptable activity so fewer black people are in jail, then so be it. The prison population must reflect the general population, regardless of actual crimes being committed. (Never mind that the prison population is 90% male, which far exceeds the general population. Men aren’t a marginalized group.)
Former NYPD Detective and Congressman-elect Anthony D’Esposito weighed in on this story. “Not only do the far-left NYC radicals let violent offenders out of jail via [cashless bail],” he tweeted, “but they also want to prevent the [NYPD] from tracking GANG MEMBERS now too? We should provide MORE resources to anti-gang PD units, and not help criminals evade arrest.”
Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of public information, defended the database. “Calls to abolish the NYPD’s Criminal Group Database are misguided,” Phillips said in a statement. “It would be irresponsible for the NYPD to not understand these groups.”
Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams have made criminalizing gun owners a core aspect of their respective platforms, so they should be against getting rid of the database. According to Phillips, a “significant portion” of city shootings each year are members of a gang, and police need to understand gangs’ size, scope, members, and the crimes they’ve committed in order to combat gang violence.
If the database is purged for equity, that will be another step in preventing the NYPD from properly doing their job. As the crimes in the city get worse, and those who can are fleeing en masse, a complete collapse of the Big Apple is inevitable. This is what the City Council calls “progressive justice.”