Residents and Local Orgs Rally to Oppose Increased Policing in Hempstead, L.I., NY
For immediate release: August 15, 2019 Media contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Residents and Local Orgs Rally to Oppose Increased Policing in Hempstead Group demands violence prevention programs and other alternatives to policing On Saturday, August 17 a collection of Hempstead residents and local organizations will hold a peaceful demonstration in Mineola to denounce Laura Curran’s recent decision to intensify policing in the Village of Hempstead. The coalition (which includes the Long Island Black Alliance, Nassau County Democratic Socialists of America, ANSWER Coalition LI, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Long Island Activists, Green Party of Nassau County, and Prison Abolitionists of Nassau Inciting Change) will hold their rally from 3pm-5pm on the steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building. In early August several news outlets reported that Nassau County Executive Laura Curran requested that Governor Cuomo send New York State Police to patrol the Village of Hempstead in response to an “uptick of violent crime.” Curran also requested increased State funds for “technology and other resources” for the village police department and announced an additional $20,000 to be given from Nassau County. However, given that violent crime in the Village has dropped 17% over the last five years and property crime is down 11% this year, some are questioning this use of scare tactics to justify the over-policing and criminalization of Hempstead’s predominately Black community. According to the description of the event on Facebook, which has garnered nearly 70 responses, “More policing in Hempstead will only serve to keep the cells in Nassau County Jail full, but it will not make anybody safer. More resources for police will siphon resources away that could have been used for education, employment, and housing, but it will still not reduce gang involvement or give the youth new opportunities.” As stated by lifelong Hempstead resident Aubrey Muhammad, “The Black and Indigenous Latina Community’s pain that manifests in fratricide violence must be addressed with restorative healing from within the community and we reject the imposition and furthering of an intimidating police state with alienating NCPD and State troopers by Laura Curran and Patrick Ryder.” What the coalition hopes to accomplish through their rally is to clearly communicate their message and propose alternative non-policing solutions to violence to the Curran administration, the local press, and the taxpayers of Nassau County.