Tell the NYPD: End Vertical Patrols

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton

Gurley

In November of 2014, Akai Gurley was killed in the darkened stairwell of a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building. His offense: taking the stairs instead of the elevator while New York Police Department officers executed a “vertical patrol.”

Vertical patrols are a practice in which NYPD officers patrol NYCHA buildings, starting at the roof and working their way down to the lobby. NYPD officers are told to search for anyone breaking the law and are contracted to help NYCHA enforce house rules. This practice of enforcing the house rules damages the relationship between NYPD and NYCHA residents because officers treat breaking of house rules as if someone is breaking the law.

Gurley was killed in the stairwell of the Louis Pink Houses in East New York when Officer Peter Liang, who was conducting a vertical patrol, fired a shot that the NYPD describes as an “accidental discharge.”

"Calls to drop charges against Officer Liang because white police officers weren’t indicted for killing Black men are misguided,” said Cathy Dang, Executive Director of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities. “We cannot let the justice system divide our communities. This is about valuing life – Black lives – and humanity. Akai’s life was stolen from his family and the Gurley family will never be able to see him again. For that, Peter Liang needs to be held accountable, as all officers who have used excessive force and killed, need to be held accountable. Vertical patrols and broken windows policing are what put Peter Liang in that stairwell and led to Akai Gurley’s death. We demand an end to discriminatory policing and accountability for NYPD policies. United we stand, divided we fall.”

Tell the the NYPD immediately end vertical patrols and place the responsibility of keeping public housing safe back into the hands of its residents.

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To: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton
From: [Your Name]

In November of 2014, Akai Gurley was killed in the darkened stairwell of a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building. His offense: taking the stairs instead of the elevator while New York Police Department officers executed a “vertical patrol.”

Vertical patrols are a practice in which NYPD officers patrol NYCHA buildings, starting at the roof and working their way down to the lobby. NYPD officers are told to search for anyone breaking the law and are contracted to help NYCHA enforce house rules. This practice of enforcing the house rules damages the relationship between NYPD and NYCHA residents because officers treat breaking of house rules as if someone is breaking the law.

Gurley was killed in the stairwell of the Louis Pink Houses in East New York when Officer Peter Liang, who was conducting a vertical patrol, fired a shot that the NYPD describes as an “accidental discharge.”

"Calls to drop charges against Officer Liang because white police officers weren’t indicted for killing Black men are misguided,” said Cathy Dang, Executive Director of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities. “We cannot let the justice system divide our communities. This is about valuing life – Black lives – and humanity. Akai’s life was stolen from his family and the Gurley family will never be able to see him again. For that, Peter Liang needs to be held accountable, as all officers who have used excessive force and killed, need to be held accountable. Vertical patrols and broken windows policing are what put Peter Liang in that stairwell and led to Akai Gurley’s death. We demand an end to discriminatory policing and accountability for NYPD policies. United we stand, divided we fall.”

Immediately end vertical patrols and place the responsibility of keeping public housing safe back into the hands of its residents.