Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Choice Is Clear: Christine Quinn for Mayor. Her record on Stop and Frisk and public safety.

Having viewed the final mayoral debate before the primary, I am more convinced than ever that Christine Quinn has the pragmatism and progressive vision, backed by unmatched experience and a strong record of accomplishment, that will make her a great mayor for the city of New York. 

The idea that Christine Quinn supports the unconstitutional use of Stop and Frisk is simply not factual. It is contrary to her principles and the record of her statements and her actions.

The current effort to end Stop and Frisk dates back to the 1999 NYPD killing of Amadou Diallo. In March of 1999 NYC Council Member Christine Quinn stood on the front lines at One Police Plaza with other leaders and was arrested in protest of the killing. Christine Quinn is still standing up to end the abusive policing practices that continue to grip our city today. 

On June 6, 2012, at the historic Stonewall Inn LGBT Press Conference in support of the Father's Day March to End Racial Profiling she said: "... [Stop and Frisk is] a process that is broken and needs to be changed... we need to reduce the number of unwarranted stops and to bridge the divide between the NYPD and the communities they serve." 

On Sunday June 17, 2012 Christine Quinn was on the streets with over 50,000 New Yorkers participating in the Father's Day Silent March to End Stop and Frisk and Racial Profiling. 

On January 15, 2013 at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network Mayoral Forum, she said: “If I’m mayor, the police commissioner will work for me and that includes a mandate to end unconstitutional stop, question and frisk.” On this, De Blasio and Thompson share her position. 

On June 19, 2013, on a NY1 debate, Quinn said this about her choice for NYPD Commissioner ending the unconstitutional use of Stop and Frisk: "If you can’t agree to that, don’t take the job, and if you take it and you don’t do it, you’ll get fired." Ray Kelly take note. 

Quinn's record on policing and public safety:
Community Safety Act (CSA) - As Speaker, she was instrumental in the historic City Council override of Mayor Bloomberg's veto of the Oversight bill which establishes an Inspector General with subpoena power to oversee the NYPD. Though she didn't support the override of the Profiling bill, I'm glad it survived. Bill Thompson opposed the entire CSA, as did the police unions that backed him. 
Opposes Mayor Bloomberg's appeal in Floyd v NYC - Quinn supports the ruling in the historic Stop and Frisk case, including the use of a court appointed monitor. She announced the filing of a legal declaration to block Bloomberg’s effort to put a hold on the judge’s reforms during his appeal. As mayor she would stop Bloomberg's appeal. 
NYPD officers must be NYC residents - Many in communities of color view the NYPD as an "occupying force". Quinn supports regulations requiring that all NYPD officers be residents of New York City, rooted in the communities that they serve. Bill De Blasio opposes it. 
Gun Violence - She organized a NYC Council Task Force to Combat Gun Violence. In 2013 they funded over $4 million for anti-gun violence programming. On July 28, 2013 Speaker Quinn, City Council Members and the NYPD announced a citywide $300,000 Gun Buy-Back Initiative. 
Hate violence - Quinn will continue efforts to make NYC free of hate crime. As a former director of the NYC Anti-Violence Project she has seen firsthand the devastating impact of hate violence. During the recent wave of anti-LGBT attacks, including the murders of Mark Carson and Islan Nettles, Quinn has been outspoken in denouncing hate violence in communities all across the city. 
The false arrests of gay men for prostitution - From the start, Speaker Quinn and her staff were shocked by the false arrests and responded with the resources at her command. In March of 2009 the false arrests were shelved by the NYPD and in October of 2009, the LGBT Advisory Panel to the NYPD held its first meeting – both had been demands of the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests that were fulfilled in large part due to Quinn's leadership. The LGBT Advisory Panel went on to make historic revisions to the NYPD Patrol Guide to ensure that NYPD interactions with transgender individuals were grounded in dignity and respect. 

The record of Quinn's statements, actions and legislative accomplishments reveals in stark contrast a departure from Mayor Bloomberg's reign and signifies a vast change in the relationship that Quinn would have with her Police Commissioner, whomever he or she may be. Though I disagree with her intention to keep Ray Kelly, I would be surprised if he stayed on. 

The notion that Christine Quinn bears direct responsibility for the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital may be great political theater but it cynically manipulates the legitimate fears of the community while ignoring the facts. At the root of this tragedy are the soaring costs of health care coupled with an overpaid and duplicitous lay administration that had mismanaged St. Vincent's into bankruptcy and closure. Public and private interests must work together to bring a hospital back to the lower west side. 

Over the course of their careers Christine Quinn, Bill De Blasio, and Michael Bloomberg have all advocated on both sides of the term limit debate. Ultimately, it was the voters of New York City that gave Bloomberg a third term. If this issue so enraged New Yorkers, why did so few even show up to vote? Of the 26% that even bothered, it took only 13% or 557,059 out of the 4.1 million registered voters to re-elect Bloomberg to the despised third term. The 2009 general election saw the lowest voter turnout in NYC since 1969. This shameful fact about our local elections is something that we must all work to overcome. 

As Speaker, Quinn's expertise and political skill at turning the New York City Council into an effective governing body have been widely praised. As Mayor, she will bring the same consensus-building leadership to City Hall. As a woman and a lesbian her election will be historic and will reverberate far beyond the five boroughs. With all of this in mind, I urge you to cast your vote on September 10th for Christine Quinn! 

Robert Pinter 
The Campaign to Stop the False Arrests

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday June 13, 2009 1pm
7th Ave. & Christopher St.
Stonewall 40 - False Arrests continue 40 years later.
Join us in calling on DA Morgenthau to continue and complete the thorough investigation into these false arrests that he promised the LGBTQ community and leading politicians in a meeting in his office on March 6, 2009.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Campaign to Stop the False Arrests
2008-2009 Chronology

Friday October 10, 2008 7:15pm
Robert Pinter arrested outside Blue Door Video Store in the East Village.

Robert Pinter was arrested on Friday Oct 10, 2008 in the East Village after exiting the Blue Door video store. He was approached by a very handsome and charming young Asian man while he was shopping for a DVD.. They agreed to leave the store and have consensual sex in his car parked nearby. On the way out of the store he quickly and suddenly offered Robert $50 for oral sex to which he did not respond. Unknown to Robert, he was an undercover NYPD Vice Squad Officer. On the street, the NYPD Vice Squad arrested Robert for prostitution. After spending 24 hours in jail, he was released after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct on the advice of an ill-prepared Legal Aid attorney who was more interested in getting through his heavy caseload efficiently as possible. Robert Pinter was sentenced to 5 Health Education Classes at the Midtown Community Court.

Sunday October 19, 2008
Contacted Duncan Osborne at Gay City News- “Entrapped” published on 10/30/08
After a phone call with Duncan Osborne, associate editor at the Gay City News, detailing the above incident of Robert’s arrest, Osborne published an article entitled “Entrapped” on 10/30/08, which ignited the community’s outrage. In many subsequent articles, Osborne’s diligent reporting has uncovered a scandal that encompasses the false arrest of 30-50 gay men around Manhattan adult video stores for at least the past 12 months. Osborne connected the use of these false arrests as the main evidence the City was using in nuisance abatement suits to shutter the adult video stores.

"Entrapped" 10/30/08
"Shuttering Porn Shops, City Fakes Arrests" 12/3/08

Thursday December 11, 2008
GAY USA Appearance and “Coalition to Stop the Arrests” is founded.
In an appearance on GAY USA, the nationally syndicated gay cable TV news show hosted by Andy Humm and Ann Northrup, Robert Pinter and Duncan Osborne of Gay City News detail the emerging NYPD scandal connecting the use of false arrests as evidence in the filing of nuisance abatement suits against many of the adult video stores. Robert Pinter also announces the formation of the “Coalition to Stop the Arrests” to fight this corruption.

Thursday January 15, 2009
Town Hall Meeting on the False Arrests for prostitution and the shuttering of the Adult Video stores.
Robert Pinter, founder of the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests called for a Town Hall meeting at the LGBT Community Center to address the arrests and resulting NYC/ NYPD nuisance abatement suits against the Adult video store. Cosponsors included the NYC Anti-Violence Project, LGBT Community Center, Urban Justice Center, Queer Justice League. Attended by Senator Tom Duane and aides to NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and a standing-room only crowd of 300 activists, community leaders and concerned citizens.
"Community Mobilizes over False Prostitution Arrests at Video Stores" 1/16/09

Wednesday Feb. 11, 2009 4pm
Meeting in NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office
with Robert Pinter of the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests, the NYPD Vice Squad Chief Brian Conroy, the NYC Anti-Violence Project, Empire State Pride Agenda, many state and city elected officials, and aides to Mayor Bloomberg. Robert Pinter of the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests presented 2-pages of questions to the Vice Squad regarding these arrests and NYPD policies and procedures that need answers. Significantly, the Vice Squad Chief Conroy said the NYPD was pulling back and reviewing their operations.

Saturday Feb. 14, 2009 Noon
Demonstration at Mayor Bloomberg’s residence.
Campaign to Stop the False Arrests held a Valentine's Day demonstration at the Mayor's residence. Attended by 24 demonstrators and about an equal number of supporters on the sidelines along with a large press contingent. The media groundswell and public outcry increase dramatically.
Demo video:

NY Times Article Sunday Feb 15, 2009
“Among Gay Men, Arrests Spark Concern About Being Singled Out”
NY Times account of Robert Pinter’s arrest and the ensuing scandal that has been uncovered through his grassroots organizing.

Saturday Feb. 21, 2009 4pm
Sheridan Square Rally in protest of the False Arrests of gay men for prostitution.
A crowd of 200 rallies near the sight of the Stonewall Inn where 40 years ago the modern gay rights movement began. They heard a variety of community speakers from the Campaign, Queer Justice League, FIERCE, NGLTF, MCC Church, NYC Anti-Violence Project, NYCLU and many politicians express outrage over these arrests.

Friday March 6, 2009 5pm
Meeting with DA Robert Morgenthau

Thanks to a meeting arranged by State Senator Tom Duane, Robert Pinter and the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests met with Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau in his office to ask for an investigation and dismissal of all these false arrest cases. The meeting was attended by Sen. Duane, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Herculano Izquierdo, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division aides to other city and state elected officials, and community leaders.

DA Morgenthau took the matter seriously and has begun an investigation. He indicated willingness to sign on in consent to vacate these cases if the investigation warranted. We are awaiting news of the results of this major investigation.

Monday March 9, 2009 NY POST
NYPD announces a reorganization regarding how future operations will be conducted.

Tuesday March 10, 2009 2pm
Robert Pinter's NYPD Internal Affairs interview.
The interview starts the NYPD investigation into the circumstances surrounding Robert’s arrest. As of now, the NYPD has not issued its findings on the investigation.

Wednesday March 11,2009 10am
CCRB Executive Board Meeting
Robert Pinter and Brendan Fay from the Campaign to Stop the False Arrests appeared at the monthly executive board meeting of the NYPD's Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) at 40 Rector St. During the "public comment" section of the meeting they presented the false arrest testimony that they gave to the DA on March 6. The CCRB board strongly recommended that Robert Pinter should file an official complaint.

Saturday April 11, 2009 3pm
Metropolitan Community Church Easter Awards Banquet
The Reverend Pat Bumgardner of the MCC Church presented Robert Pinter and Duncan Osborne with this year’s Community Service Award for courageously bringing the issue of the false arrests to public attention.

Friday April 17, 2009
Robert Pinter files motion to vacate his guilty plea
Robert Pinter’s attorney filed a motion to vacate his guilty plea to disorderly conduct. Since Robert is not guilty of any wrongdoing he is seeking to completely clear his name and encourages all other arrestees to come forward and do the same! We are awaiting a ruling on this motion.

Upcoming events:

· The Campaign to Stop the False Arrests meets at the LGBT Community Center on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 7:30-9pm.

For information:

Robert Pinter, founder, Campaign to Stop the False Arrests

The Campaign to Stop the False Arrests has been endorsed by NYC Anti-Violence Project, NGLTF, NYCLU, Urban Justice Center, Empire State Pride Agenda, Heritage of Pride, Inc., Stonewall Democrats, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, FIERCE, MCC Church, Queer Justice League, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Content pending. Stay Tuned!