QUEENS, NY – Costa Constantinides issued the following statement on May 30 concerning the previous night’s protests in Brooklyn against the recent police killings of several black men and women across America.
“The City knew people planned to protest last night, but failed to safely manage this demonstration. Instead, we saw unprovoked aggression from the NYPD, whose officers tackled, clubbed, and pepper sprayed demonstrators. I am calling on the City Council to immediately hold a hearing to investigate the breakdown last night.
“New Yorkers were protesting the police killing of innocent people in black and brown communities. The behavior of NYPD officers captured on video by multiple witnesses and media sources is simply unacceptable. It underscores why the NYPD is long overdue for sweeping reforms. Officers should be trained to de-escalate a situation without brute force, build community trust, and know they will be held responsible for their actions. Furthermore, we need to redirect funding away from the police-prison pipeline and into education, healthcare, and social services.
“None of this started overnight. This didn’t start with the murder of George Floyd, nor Eric Garner, nor Trayvon Martin. For generations, white people have more often than not walked free for alleged offenses that are a death sentence for black men and women. Sitting on a corner shouldn’t get you strangled. Walking to the store shouldn’t get you shot. Demonstrating your First Amendment rights shouldn’t get you beaten. We all have to do better, and I know as New Yorkers we will, by working together.”
Costa Constantinides currently serves in the New York City Council, where he represents western Queens and chairs the Committee on Environmental Protection. His legislative accomplishments include the Climate Mobilization Act, a Green New Deal for New York City, as well as the historic 80% reduction by 2050 of carbon emissions commitment. Costa lives in his native Astoria with his wife and son.
For more information, visit: www.votecosta.com.