The N.Y.P.D.’s Intercourse-Crimes Division Faces an Investigation
Good morning. It’s Friday. We’ll take a look at a Justice Division civil rights investigation that can study the Police Division’s Particular Victims Division. We’ll additionally get the most recent on upgrading Pennsylvania Station.
Damian Williams, the highest federal prosecutor in Manhattan, can be one of many investigators.Credit score…Carolyn Kaster/Related Press
The Police Division’s Particular Victims Division, the real-world sex-crimes unit mirrored by the one on the long-running tv drama “Legislation & Order: SVU,” is the topic of a sweeping federal investigation of “deficiencies” which have “persevered for greater than a decade,” the Justice Division mentioned on Thursday.
The division has lengthy confronted troubling accusations from individuals who reported assaults. Now prosecutors in New York and Washington will examine allegations of officers “failing to conduct fundamental investigative steps and as an alternative shaming and abusing survivors and re-traumatizing them throughout investigations,” in response to the Justice Division.
My colleagues Ashley Southall and Troy Closson write that the federal investigation is the most recent setback for the Police Division, which is already below consent decrees governing its stop-and-frisk and surveillance practices. And Letitia James, the state legal professional normal, is in search of to have a monitor appointed to supervise adjustments in the best way the division handles protests due to abuses in the course of the George Floyd social justice demonstrations in 2020.
The Justice Division introduced its investigation — the primary centered on claims of gender discrimination since Merrick Garland grew to become legal professional normal final 12 months — 10 months after greater than a dozen victims signed a letter calling for such an inquiry. Lots of them had spoken out about experiences with investigators who lacked the sensitivity and the time to deal with their circumstances correctly, even after the #MeToo motion prompted a nationwide depending on rape in 2017.
A number of months later the Police Division, already going through scrutiny of its dealing with of sex-crimes allegations towards the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, resisted the findings of a 2018 report from the town’s personal Division of Investigation. That report mentioned that the Particular Victims Division was “understaffed and under-resourced.”
Town investigators additionally discovered that discovered that some detectives have been dismissive of victims’ tales and that some “acquaintance rape” circumstances have been despatched to native precincts, which left duty for follow-up work after an arrest with “precinct-level detectives who will not be skilled in sex-crimes investigations.”
Police officers initially refused to simply accept lots of the suggestions in that report, and whereas they later modified course, lots of the urged reforms have but to be adopted.
Mary Haviland, former government director of the New York Metropolis Alliance Towards Sexual Assault, mentioned that the Justice Division investigation “needed to occur” and will solely be carried out on the federal degree.
“The N.Y.P.D. has by no means taken duty for doing the appropriate factor for sexual assault survivors,” she mentioned. Police commissioners through the years “promised us that there can be change, however the efficiency of the division has declined.”
Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, mentioned in a press release on Thursday that she believed the Justice Division would discover that the division “has been evolving and bettering” its practices, including that she goals for the sex-crimes division to function “the nationwide mannequin.”
Max Younger, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams, mentioned in a separate assertion that Metropolis Corridor welcomed the assessment and would proceed taking steps to “repair issues which were many years within the making.” He added, “There isn’t any larger precedence for regulation enforcement than making certain that victims of sexual assault get the justice they deserve and the care, assist and therapy they want.”
Anticipate a sunny day with temperatures within the low 90s. Late at evening, there can be an opportunity of showers and thunderstorms.
In impact till Monday (Independence Day).
The most recent Metro information
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Arts & Tradition
Artwork havens within the Hudson Valley: Magazzino Italian Artwork Museum in Chilly Spring and the Russel Wright Design Heart in Garrison ship ecological messages, with meadows, donkeys, and a waterfall to supply.
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An artwork complicated within the Catskills: As its new gallery areas open for the season, Foreland’s founder, Stef Halmos, talks of constructing neighborhood within the sprawling Hudson Valley scene.
Planning a metamorphosis of Penn Station
Final 12 months, after Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York mentioned that Pennsylvania Station needs to be named for a New Yorker quite than a “neighboring state,” somebody on Twitter referred to as it the “If Hell Had a Hell” Station. As my colleague Patrick McGeehan wrote not too long ago, almost everybody agrees that one thing must be accomplished to repair the chaos (and possibly the griminess and grubbiness) on the nation’s busiest transit hub. The query is, what? I requested him to deliver us updated on potential renovation plans.
Amtrak simply awarded a design contract for a $12 billion growth that requires demolishing a whole block of Midtown Manhattan, together with a church that’s greater than 150 years outdated. What does Amtrak need?
So as to add a number of tracks and platforms to Penn Station, to accommodate extra trains that will arrive by a brand new tunnel below the Hudson River. The tunnel can be constructed as a part of the large Gateway venture being deliberate by Amtrak and transit companies in New York and New Jersey.
If it ever is accomplished, the tunnel would successfully double the quantity the trains that would cross the river between the 2 states.
For now, there may be nowhere for these trains to go in New York Metropolis. Amtrak has proposed constructing about eight tracks beneath the block south of the station. That block is crammed with buildings, together with St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, that will in all probability must be demolished.
However a separate New York State plan has run into opposition from neighborhood leaders. What does the state need?
Amtrak’s growth of Penn Station was presupposed to precede a renovation of the station. However Hochul, who has referred to as Penn Station a “hellhole,” didn’t need to wait. She pressed for the renovation first, earlier than the Amtrak growth.
Her plan, much like one proposed by her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, is to permit builders to construct a number of supertall towers round Penn Station in trade for funds that will assist cowl the price of the renovation. The plan has run into opposition from neighborhood teams, who’ve questioned the necessity for the workplace buildings and the viability of the financing.
Are Amtrak and the state on the identical web page? Can the opponents cease or stall both Amtrak or the state?
Amtrak’s most important concern is getting Gateway completed, so its executives have agreed to New York’s insistence on fixing up the station earlier than increasing it. However each plans are relying on some federal funding and nonetheless must be reviewed by federal companies. That course of entails taking enter from the general public, so a vital mass of objections from neighborhood teams may nonetheless derail both plan.
How overburdened is Penn Station?
Penn Station has lengthy served many extra commuters than it was designed to deal with. Its platforms and stairways have been constructed many years earlier than double-decker trains carried so many passengers. Earlier than the pandemic, greater than 600,000 folks handed by the station each weekday. The scrum of commuters attempting to board their trains house each night was daunting.
How quickly may renovations start, and the way a lot will they add to the every day headache of commuting by Penn Station?
The precise work of the renovation gained’t start for not less than a 12 months. By the point it begins, Penn Station may very well be almost as busy because it was earlier than the pandemic, and the entire development must be accomplished whereas commuters are dashing on and off trains daily. Briefly, issues will in all probability worsen earlier than they get higher.
Two summers in the past, I used to be on a vacationer’s go to to the Statue of Liberty once I started to really feel overwhelmed.
On the return journey to Manhattan, quite than becoming a member of my son in sightseeing, I sneaked down beneath the ferry’s stairwell to take a nap, and the engine’s hum lulled me to sleep.
— Andrew G. Raymond
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Ship submissions right here and learn extra Metropolitan Diary right here.
Glad we may get collectively right here. See you on Tuesday. — J.B.
P.S. Right here’s right this moment’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You could find all our puzzles right here.
Melissa Guerrero, Ashley Shannon Wu, Olivia Parker and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Immediately. You possibly can attain the workforce at [email protected]
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