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Pols Rally for More Police Sensitivity

After two officials were arrested at this year's West Indian Day Parade, and hateful comments were posted by police officers on a Facebook page, area pols want to see more police sensitivity in communities of color.

On Saturday, elected officials and community activists rallied together at Grand Army Plaza to demand more accountability from the NYPD and to protest against aggressive policing tactics.

The location of the rally is along the route of the West Indian Day Parade, where Council Member Jumaane Williams and Kirsten John Foy, Director of Community Affairs for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio were  this year. In addition, the NYPD was criticized last month when officers joined  titled "No More West Indian Day Parade Detail.”

"In order to ensure more effective policing, there must be a more genuine bilateral relationship between police and the communities they serve," said Director Foy. "In this new year, let us recommit to renewing this relationship for all of our well-being, for the safety and security of communities and the police that patrol them."

"This call comes not only from communities of more color, which are disparately impacted by the department's unjust culture, but from those who believe that basic civil rights are owed to every citizen of this city,” said Council Member Williams.

At the event, which was also attended by Council Member Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, supporters presented and signed a resolution to formally acknowledge what they call the NYPD’s “culture problem” and sensitivity issues amongst communities of color. 

According to the Associated Press, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has defended the NYPD’s aggressive policing of “high-crime neighborhoods,” including stop-and-frisk tactics.  

The AP also reports that at the start of the rally, Council Member Williams made it clear that “this is not an anti-NYPD rally.”

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