2019年12月19日 星期四

N.Y. Today: More Subway Police

What you need to know for Thursday.

Why 500 More Officers Will Police the Subway

By Rebecca Liebson


It’s Thursday.

Weather: Sunny but still below freezing, with a high in the upper 20s. Gusty wind could make it seem closer to zero in the morning.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Wednesday (Christmas).


Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

The protester was handcuffed and pinned to the wall. “It’s that serious?” an onlooker asked.

“Let go of my wrist,” another protester said.

The two protesters were among seven people who were removed from a public meeting yesterday after they interrupted a vote by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway, to place 500 more police officers in the transit system.


Governor Cuomo and other officials, including the M.T.A. chairman Patrick J. Foye, maintain that more officers are needed to address crime, fare evasion and the system’s growing homeless population.

“New Yorkers deserve to have reliable service and feel secure on our system,” Mr. Foye said in a statement on Tuesday. “Adding additional uniformed police officers across the M.T.A. will help ensure safety and quality of life for our eight million daily customers.”

The plan has been widely condemned by some transit advocates and politicians who say that increased policing could harm communities of color and that the M.T.A.’s limited funds could be better spent elsewhere.

The details

The $249 million plan, which Mr. Cuomo proposed in June, will increase the police presence in the subway by 20 percent over the next four years.


Currently, 2,500 Police Department officers are assigned to patrol the subway. The 500 new officers will work for the M.T.A.

The new measure will add to the transit authority’s budget shortfall, which is expected to reach $433 million by 2023.

The context

The overall number of violent crimes on the subway is down since this time last year, but some crimes, including robberies, are on the rise.

Assaults on transit workers have also increased this year, as have instances of passengers yelling at or threatening other riders. Some of these episodes have been widely shared on social media.

But other videos of officers aggressively confronting black and Hispanic commuters for low-level offenses, like fare evasion, have fueled protests.

One viral video showed officers handcuffing an Ecuadorean woman for selling churros in a subway station. Just weeks later, a lawsuit revealed that multiple police officers in Brooklyn said a commander told them to go after blacks and Latinos and to think of white and Asian people as “soft targets.”

Several politicians — including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive Democrat from the Bronx — have also denounced the plan for putting millions of dollars toward policing petty crimes instead of improving service.

“Arresting hard-working people who cannot afford a $2.75 fare is, in effect the criminalization of poverty,” they wrote in a letter to Mr. Cuomo.

Mr. Foye fired back at the lawmakers: “We will not engage in politics when it comes to public safety,” he said.


Explore news from New York and around the region

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

A bicyclist was fatally struck by a school bus in Central Park. It was the city’s 29th cyclist death this year. [Streetsblog]

Mayor De Blasio said he would end chronic homelessness in five years. He leaves office in a little over two years. [NY1]

The City University of New York is raising tuition. Students will pay an additional $320 annually starting next school year. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Coming up today

Curators discuss photography, museums and historic houses within the “Museum of Chance” installation at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. 3 p.m. [Free with museum admission]

Visit the “Whimsical Winter Wonder … Exhibition” at the Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. [Free]

Brianna Thomas and the Fa-la-la-la Funk band perform classic holiday songs with a jazz, R&B and gospel twist at Harlem Stage in Manhattan. 7:30 p.m. [$25]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: Reflecting on the Holocaust

Dolly Rabinowitz was 13 years old when the Nazis invaded Hungary and began rounding up Jewish families. She was sent to Auschwitz and later ushered to and from several other concentration camps on death marches.

“Many times I woke up in the morning and there were dead bodies all around me,” Ms. Rabinowitz, now 92, said. “I don’t know how I survived.”

On Monday, she and 50 other Holocaust survivors — mostly women — gathered in a Brooklyn studio work space to discuss the atrocities they faced.

About 36,000 Holocaust survivors live in the New York area, according to the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

The event’s organizer, Freida Rothman, said she wanted to demonstrate that “we have living, breathing Anne Franks among us here in New York.”

Although it is difficult for Ms. Rabinowitz to talk about her past, she said that the recent uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes had made her feel obligated to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

“Now again, they are breaking into synagogues and killing innocent people who are praying,” she said. “The Second World War should have been a lesson to everyone.”

Throughout the day, the women mingled in small groups, sharing wartime stories but also reminiscing about happy times. After lunch, everyone joined hands and danced to traditional Jewish music performed by a live band.

“I felt great,” Ms. Rabinowitz said. “Yes, we had a hard past, but in the present we have freedom, we have happiness.”

It’s Thursday — don’t forget the past.

Metropolitan Diary: At the Movies

Dear Diary:

It was 2004. A restored print of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” had just come out and I went to see it at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck.

Two women arrived and sat in the row directly in front of me. I recognized them as Susan Sontag and Annie Leibovitz.

A week later and 100 miles to the south, I was sitting in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center waiting for a silent film to begin.

Ms. Sontag and Ms. Leibovitz came in and again took seats a row ahead of me.

I leaned forward.

“Hey,” I said, maybe a little too brightly. “I was in back of you at ‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ last week. Where are we going next?”

They glanced back at me.

“Some place you aren’t,” Ms. Sontag said.

— Gil Reavill

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