NYC Public Advocate's Statement On The Resignation Of Nypd Commissioner Sewell

June 12th, 2023

Press Release

"The sudden departure of Commissioner Sewell leaves open questions to be answered about what it means for public safety and policing in our city. While I have many areas of disagreement on issues with her and the administration she was appointed by, I found her to be attentive and responsive to some of these issues raised.

"Commissioner Sewell was brought into an environment where crime was up, public distrust of law enforcement was high, and department morale was low. Her appointment, especially as a Black woman, was inspiring for many, but it was not a panacea. That these challenges did not immediately resolve in her tenure says more about the pervasiveness of these problems than her leadership.

"It is clear that from One Police Plaza to Rikers Island, there are longstanding patterns which enable damaging practices around transparency, misconduct, misuse of tactics, and an inability to address this harm. I hope that the next person to take this role is ready to be a true partner in public safety, who recognizes the role police play without inflating it, and is willing to sincerely adopt greater transparency and meaningful accountability. Unless there is real commitment to building new systems, rather than reviving failed ones, the next Commissioner will be bound by the prevailing and repeated patterns of unnecessary tension around public safety, violence and how law enforcement is used."

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