We repeat that word so often so that people understand that we cannot make change without putting community first.
Often we see elected officials, police officers, and other authorities coming into communities, directing them to change, telling them
what they should be doing and how they should be acting, and saying what they believe communities want to hear. However, communities want those in power to listen, to hear their wants and needs, and to understand that people who live in the community are the experts in their own lives and know what is best for their community. The Office of the Community Liaison’s plan is to “Bring Community Voices to the Forefront!” This is a slogan that was created with careful thought, intention, and commitment to put community voices first and elevate their lived experiences. Though we may not have answers to all of the challenges that plague Black and brown communities, this is a start!
On August 12, 2013, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that the City of New York was liable for violating individuals’ rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution due to the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) stop and frisk practices. The Court also ordered that the City engage in a remedial process to reform the NYPD’s unconstitutional practices (the Remedial Order). A federal monitor (the Monitor) was appointed to oversee the NYPD’s progress implementing these reforms, which cover the constitutional violations in the lead case of Floyd v. City of New York, as well as the constitutional violations in Ligon v. City of New York, a class action lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s practice of conducting stops in and around private buildings, and Davis v. City of New York, a class action lawsuit that challenged the race-based enforcement of trespass laws in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings. The Community Liaison’s role is limited in scope. The Community Liaison is responsible for gathering information from impacted community members and informing the Monitor and the Court of those perspectives so that they can better assess the City’s and the NYPD’s compliance with the Court-ordered remedial measures. Notably, the Community Liaison’s role does not include investigating allegations of misconduct by the NYPD; such allegations, if brought to the attention of the Community Liaison, will be referred to the agencies responsible for investigating such allegations.