District 24

Rory I. Lancman

Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica

Queens pol wants to force Correction Dept. to inform inmates when bail is only $1
NY Daily News, May 23, 2018

A Queens lawmaker wants to force the city Correction Department to notify detainees when they are being held on a mere $1 bail.

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, plans to introduce a bill Wednesday to amend the city administrative code to require a notification system. “I don’t believe someone should be held on $500 bail, let alone $1,” he said.

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Amid new calls to legalize, decriminalize pot, NYPD to study enforcement
ABC, May 15, 2018

The City Council’s Justice Committee is also calling for action from the five city district attorneys. “To exercise their discretion, their authority to not prosecute marijuana possession cases,” chair Rory Lancman said.

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New York City to Overhaul Marijuana Arrest Policy to Fight Racial Disparities
Observer, May 15, 2018

At a City Council hearing on Monday, Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, chairman of the Committee on Justice Systems, asked the city’s five district attorneys to decline to prosecute individuals who are arrested for low-level marijuana possession for misdemeanors. On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that his office will no longer prosecute the majority of low-level offenses.

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City Council member asks DAs to drop low-level misdemeanor marijuana cases
NY Daily News, May 14, 2018

The head of the City Council’s justice committee is asking the city’s five district attorneys to refuse to prosecute people arrested for low-level pot possession for misdemeanors. Councilman Rory Lancman said he’s appealing to the DAs because of a massive racial gap in people busted by the NYPD for pot use.

Lancman (D-Queens) says DAs should automatically knock down the charges for people arrested for public pot smoking from misdemeanors to violations. For people slapped with summonses for possessing less than 25 grams of pot but not smoking it in public view, he says prosecutors should throw out the charges altogether.

“The city has proven itself completely unwilling and unable to end discriminatory marijuana possession policing,” Lancman said. “Prosecutors…need to step in here because the situation is becoming intolerable.”

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Two District Attorneys May Stop Prosecuting Most Marijuana Offenses
New York Times, May 14, 2018

Rory Lancman, Democrat of Queens, pointed to the 105th Precinct, which covers Queens Village. The Times showed the marijuana arrest rate there is more than 10 times as high as in the precinct that serves Forest Hills, Queens, despite both getting marijuana complaints at the same rate. The 105th Precinct is just over half black, while the one covering Forest Hills has few black residents.

“If that’s not setting off alarm bells, then someone’s not paying attention,” Mr. Lancman said. He added in an email, “They’re chasing a rationale for the very simple but uncomfortable reality that our criminal justice system unfairly impacts people of color, and they haven’t done anything to fix it.”

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Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or Hispanic
New York Times, May 13, 2018

Rory Lancman, a councilman from Queens who pressed police officials for the marijuana data at the February hearing, said with the police still arresting thousands of people for smoking amid a widespread push for reform, the police “blame it on the communities themselves because they’re the ones calling on us.”

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City Councilman demands NYPD reveal precinct-level use of force data, rips police department for violating law

NY Daily News, May 10, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), who sponsored the use-of-force law, blasted the department’s refusal to comply. Law stops NYPD from making cops’ disciplinary histories public “That’s nonsense,” he said. “You have the city’s primary law enforcement agency violating the law that the mayor signed, with impunity and complete disdain for logic and reason.” Lancman said “no reasonable interpretation” of the law would support the NYPD’s position.

“It’s as if the mayor has completely abdicated any responsibility for criminal justice in this city, and he’s just letting the NYPD run hog wild over the law and the public’s right to the most basic information,” he said.

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Judge urged to curb ICE arrests at New York State courts

NY Daily News, May 9, 2018

“We won’t have a system of justice if people are afraid to come and be a part of that system,” said Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens).

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Cash Is Still Hard to Find in New York City Courthouses
New York Times, May 2, 2018

Mr. Lancman is drafting legislation that will require the city to work with the Office of Court Administration to install A.T.M.s near arraignment courts or bail payment windows at every criminal courthouse. The A.T.M.s will include signage and a number to call for repairs. “At some point the city has to rethink how it executes the criminal justice reform policies they send press releases about,” Mr. Lancman said.

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Is New York City ready to implement Raise the Age?
NYN Media, April 26, 2018

Kaplan pointed out that use of the facility was one of a number of items, spelled out in a recent letter, that the city was waiting to hear back from the state about. Lancman was aware of the letter. “The letter set off alarm bells. Because it seemed to be establishing a rationale for blaming the state for not being ready,” Lancman said. “(Too) often this administration is blaming the state, the government, Mike Bloomberg, for things that, at least I believe, the city should be doing itself.”

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Fax machine mishap kept detainees stuck at Rikers Island
NY Daily News, April 26, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, has slammed the repeated delays. “If there’s a better example of the criminal justice system being screwed up in New York City, I struggle to think of it,” he said. “A guy is sitting in jail because the department’s fax machines don’t work.”

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Council members urge de Blasio to fund lawyers for low-wage workers fighting abuse
NY Daily News, April 24, 2018

City Council members are asking Mayor de Blasio to spend $5 million to hire lawyers for low-wage workers fighting abuses on the job.

In a letter to de Blasio, legal services committee chairman Rory Lancman and 15 other pols pushed for the funding in the upcoming executive budget.

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Harry Siegel Column: What the NYPD Wants Us To See
NY Daily News, April 21, 2018

Finally, there’s the breakdown of “good faith” Rory Lancman described in his letter to Commissioner James O’Neill on Wednesday after the NYPD blew by its deadline under a new law written by the councilman to post a full list of fare-beating arrests and summonses broken down by station, race, age and gender.

Lancman is using that fight as a proxy for an even bigger one, about how proactive we want policing — and particularly policing of young black men — to be in New York.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: City Should Combat Wage Theft
Queens Tribune, April 20, 2018

For thousands of New York City workers, a hard day’s work does not always result in a fair day’s pay. The reason: wage theft.

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NYPD turnstile arrest data must be released to the public, councilman says
amNY, April 19, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman criticized the NYPD on Thursday for not releasing detailed arrest data for fare evasion, broken down by subway station and demographics, adding that he’s considering filing a lawsuit to force the statistics’ release.

Lancman, chairman of the City Council’s Committee on the Justice System, said the NYPD is required to release the data to the public as part of Local Law 47, passed in December.

“If the NYPD does not comply in short order, we . . . are contemplating filing a lawsuit to compel the NYPD to comply with the law. That’s how you get people to obey the law, you file a lawsuit,” Lancman said. “They will not be allowed to ignore the law, so help me God.”

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Councilman Rory Lancman blasts NYPD on failure to produce fare-beating arrest reports
New York Daily News, April 19, 2018

The law is the law, police will tell you, and we’re the law enforcers not the lawmakers. You don’t like it, change it. That tune changes when the law does, and the police don’t like that change. Then, they start sounding like lawyers.

Take Local Law 47 of 2018, which took effect on Jan. 11 and requires the NYPD to produce public reports on fare-beating arrests and summonses broken down by station and race, age and sex four times a year, starting Jan. 30.

Seventy-nine days and no such report later, the bill’s author, City Councilman Rory Lancman, has come out blazing with a letter to Police Commissioner James O’Neill accusing the NYPD of, well, breaking the law.

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City, state, advocates trade accusations over ‘Raise the Age’
Politico, April 18, 2018

At a City Council oversight hearing Wednesday on the city’s efforts to implement the law, Council Member Rory Lancman, chair of the justice committee, criticized the city’s efforts and seemed to take the state’s side, saying the administration’s letter was blaming the governor’s office for what sounded to him like the city’s own unpreparedness for implementing Raise the Age.

“The timing of the letter and the substance of the letter suggest that the city might be more interested in setting up a scapegoat or an excuse for its failure to be ready [rather than] being ready,” Lancman said.

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Cuomo administration undermines plan to move teenagers off Rikers, city says
New York Daily News, April 17, 2018

On Tuesday, City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, said it appears like the de Blasio administration is looking to blame the state for expected delays.

“It sounds like the mayor is setting up a scenario to blame the state for the city’s failure to properly implement Raise the Age,” he said, noting the letter was sent a day before a scheduled hearing on the progress of the plan.

“Raise the Age has been one of the holy grails of criminal justice reform for a number of years,” he added. “And now that we have this opportunity the city should be all hands on deck to make it happen.”