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NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams Rips NYPD, Says He Wouldn’t Have Been Arrested If He Was White

Tuesday September 6, 2011 1:23 PM - 6 Comments

councilman-jumaane-williamsA NYC councilman detained by cops at the West Indian Day parade said today that it wouldn’t have happened if he was white. And Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) blasted claims from the NYPD that the confrontation turned physical as a “bald-faced lie.”"Some comments were made by the NYPD saying that a punch was thrown,” said Williams, who was handcuffed by police along with a top aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio while entering a restricted area on his way to a Brooklyn Museum reception after the parade.

“That saddens me,” Williams said of a statement released late Monday by NYPD spokesman Paul Browne who said a police captain at the scene had been punched by an “unknown individual.”

“Telling a bald-faced lie, particularly to the people that they’re lying about disturbs me,” Williams said. “How can we take seriously what the police will say in the future if they will lie to us about this. I defy the police to find one shred of evidence of any police officer punched in that incident.”

Williams and de Blasio aide Kirsten John Foy held a press conference outside City Hall Tuesday to denounce the incident - and call for policy changes in the NYPD.

Both stressed that they admire the police and work closely with officers, but called for changes in the way that young black and Latino men are treated.

“We do have to acknowledge that if I did not look the way I look - young, black, with \[dread\] locks and earrings … we are sure that things would have been handled differently,” said Williams.

“The vast majority of people who would disagree with this statement are not black and Latino.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he was looking into the incident and had asked his internal affairs department to investigate.

“I don’t know what transpired,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I don’t know exactly what was said. I don’t know what led up to the arrest and hopefully we’ll be able to get that information quickly.”

Williams and Foy were surrounded by a dozen other elected officials at their press conference, including nearly all of the Democrats running for mayor in 2013 - de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Controller John Liu and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

All called for an investigation and improvements to NYPD protocol in dealing with young minority men.

One elected official even went so far as to compare civil rights in New York to South African Apartheid.

“Each and every day, we’re hearing more and more about the violation of civil liberties in this town,” said U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn).

“We are quickly moving to an apartheid situation here in the city of New York where we don’t recognize the civil liberties and the civil rights of all New Yorkers.”

She noted that she was considering taking her concerns to the U.S. Department of Justice.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}

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6 Responses to “NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams Rips NYPD, Says He Wouldn’t Have Been Arrested If He Was White”

1. Comment from ernie
Time September 6, 2011 at 4:41 PM

he probably did punch the cop and now wants to blame police for it

2. Comment from resident
Time September 6, 2011 at 5:18 PM

If he sues, you’ll no why he’s making a big stink, money!!!

If he is just pointing out that police are harsh on the black community, then I’ll take him seriously.

3. Comment from Hakoras Hatov
Time September 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Mr. Williams was right there for us when Yosef Robinson z”l was murdered. He is one of the good guy’s.

4. Comment from Come on
Time September 6, 2011 at 7:01 PM

“The vast majority of people who would disagree with this statement are not black and Latino.”

But of course those who are, will agree to the statement without being influenced by bias.
Gimme a break

5. Comment from Anonymous
Time September 6, 2011 at 8:02 PM

what does he think?

if he wants to be treaed like a councilman he should at least try to play the part !

6. Comment from RS
Time September 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM

well after saying that, he got what he wanted….a few more of his own people to give a vote.
thats all its about. he can’t be serious.

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