New York, October 27, 2020 — In response to numerous incidents of NYPD election interference – in the streets and at the union level – Communities United for Police Reform Action Fund spokesperson, Alyssa Aguilera issued the following statement:

“The 2020 election is yet another reminder that violent and racist policing obstructs democracy. Black, Latinx, and other New Yorkers of color have always known this, and the world bore witness to it this summer when NYPD officers used astonishing violence against New Yorkers who took to their streets to stand up for Black lives and exercise their First Amendment rights. We are seeing this obstructionist policing again as New Yorkers break records to vote and videos surface showing NYPD officers heading to the polls, not to protect the right to vote, but to engage in voter intimidation. Already, we’ve seen that translate to officers seizing personal protective equipment and COVID-prevention resources at an early voting site. And this past weekend, a uniformed NYPD officer was caught on video endorsing Trump using an NYPD loudspeaker, in an NYPD vehicle.

“The NYPD isn’t just abusing its power in the streets, but also by wielding its outsized resources to subvert the will of the people. The police unions, who incidentally spoke out against this officer being suspended for his political charade, have taken political interference to a new level. New York City’s largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, has endorsed the most racist and anti-democratic president in modern history, and has used misinformation and spent more than $1 million to try to sway current elections in their favor. We’re seeing this play out the same way we did when police unions fought tooth and nail against the SAFER NY Act, a package of bills including the repeal of the infamous police secrecy law (“50-a”) that passed over the summer to increase police transparency and accountability. How can we expect these same officers to protect the democratic rights of all New Yorkers, especially Black and other New Yorkers of color who are most at risk of voter suppression?

“As New Yorkers take to the polls to exercise their right to vote, we need to take meaningful steps to prevent the NYPD from interfering with democracy once again. It starts with preventing armed officers from monitoring polling sites and replacing them with community leaders who know how to de-escalate the conflict. We also need the New York Attorney General to investigate the NYPD, the police unions, and instances of individual officers interfering with protected election support activities, like handing out protective equipment and nonpartisan informational flyers.”

About Communities United for Police Reform Action Fund
Communities United for Police Reform Action Fund (CPRAF) promotes public policy solutions to end abusive, discriminatory policing and advances community safety by building the political power of communities that experience abusive policing.


Media Contact: Hannah Ross