New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Oversight and Investigations Chair Ritchie Torres today announced that the Council will subpoena a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report that purportedly shows more police-involved deaths in New York City than has been previously reported. The existence of this report was disclosed in an op-ed by journalist Mara Gay in the New York Times on Friday afternoon. The Council will ask for the report referred to in the Times and any drafts that went to Mayor de Blasio. The Council is also demanding a written explanation of why these findings were not released to the public.
The de Blasio administration will have until June 23, 2020 to provide the report to the Council and until June 26, 2020 to give us any drafts of report that went to the Mayor.
“Racism and police brutality are public health emergencies, but we cannot fight those battles in full force when the City is hiding information about New Yorkers killed by police. New Yorkers deserve to know why this report was delayed. Oversight Chair Ritchie Torres and I are issuing a subpoena to find out,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “I thank the New York Times for its reporting on this issue and revealing the existence of this previously undisclosed report.”
“Speaker Johnson and I are going to issue a subpoena to obtain the internal DOHMH document revealing the NYPD’s egregious underreporting of deaths at the hands of police, and I join the Speaker in thanking the New York Times for revealing the existence of the report. The Council rarely issues subpoenas. But given the seriousness of DOHMH withholding information about unreported police-involved deaths, the Speaker and I concluded that we have been left with no other choice,” said Oversight and Investigations Chair Ritchie Torres. “Stay tuned.”