City Council subpoena targets Dept. of Health report on NYPD-involved deaths
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council member Ritchie Torres are issuing a subpoena on a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report that reportedly shows more than double the police-involved deaths in New York City than previously known.
An op-ed by the New York Times Friday revealed the report for the first time and says the DOH withheld the information.
The Times piece says the former Health Commissioner Mary Basset started working on the report back in 2015. It says the internal review was in conjunction with then-NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill.
The Times says the 2017 draft showed that 105 people were killed by the NYPD between 2010 and 2015 -- as opposed to 46, the official number from the department.
The City Council is now demanding that the mayor's office release the report and any other drafts it may have. They are also demanding Mayor Bill de Blasio release a written explanation as to why the findings were not brought to light before.
The mayor's office released a statement that says, "Dr. Bassett sat on this information for five years and only told the mayor a few weeks ago. He immediately responded to her and in the weeks since our Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has been in touch with her. We are now digging into the findings to determine next steps. NYPD will get back on the rest."
The NYPD said in part, "This is misleading and basic facts are wrong. The NYPD shared five years of data with the Department of Health. The agreement between agencies gave the Health Department full ownership to release their report. They have had years to do so, and failed to."
The Department of Health said in part, "In 2016 -- moved by the deaths of Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Natasha McKenna, Eric Garner and many others -- we felt compelled to look at legal intervention deaths in New York City and how these fatalities are classified and reported by the Department of Health... "...The research -- which was presented at conferences and to partner agencies -- led us to understand that there are gaps in the data and that we need a better system. The purpose of this initiative from day one was to ensure that accurate data is presented..."
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