Some Police Agencies Revive Restraints Involving Neck


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USMC/City Limits

Troops in training demonstrate a lateral vascular neck restraint, or LVNR.
Outrage over the death last week of Eric Garner while in police custody hasn’t been echoed on listservs and bulletin boards frequented by police officers and their supporters. "Looking at this video, there is no criminal action on the part of the officer(s) in my opinion," wrote one poster at Thee Rant, where some posters disparaged the dead man and there was general concern that the cop at the center of the case might be unfairly blamed for Garner's demise.

There’s no way to tell whether the posters at sites like Thee Rant are cops, retired cops, wannabes, buffs or trolls. But one post raised a question that may resonate as the uproar over Garner’s death lives on.




NYC Pols React, Unevenly, to Mideast Violence


New York City—a tourist magnet and center of global finance boasting a large immigrant population, a number of major international organizations and a history of being targeted by foreign terrorists—is a place where international politics and local sentiment regularly run into each other on the sidewalk.

This is especially true when it comes to Middle Eastern affairs. Rudy Giuliani once threw PLO leader Yasser Arafat out of a concert at Lincoln Center. Mike Bloomberg had to retreat to a Sderot bomb shelter on a mayoral visit to Israel. Shortly after taking office, Bill de Blasio told a pro-Israel lobby group he saw defending the Jewish state as one of his duties as mayor.




Clashing Claims at Heart of '90 Murder Case Under Review


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Jarrett Murphy/City Limits

Lawyers for an incarcerated man hope a state judge will permit a hearing on the dueling recollections of several witnesses to what happened in this subway stations nearly 24 years ago.
Many of the players in the case of the man who says he was wrongly convicted of a 1990 murder have changed their story over the years. The question at the heart of the latest filing by attorneys for Johnny Hincapie is which versions ought to be accepted, and which should be dismissed.

Hincapie, 41, is one of seven men convicted in the killing of Brian Watkins, a young Utah tourist who died defending his family from a pack of teenaged muggers in a killing that came to epitomize the fear and disorder of early 1990s New York. Currently serving a sentence of 25-years-to-life, Hincapie claims he was not part of the mugging but made a false confession to the crime after mistreatment by NYPD detectives. He hopes to vacate his conviction.




CL Honored for Story on How Parents' Arrests Affect Kids


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Klaus with K/City Limits


Twenty-five years ago, one out of every 125 children in the United States had an incarcerated parent. Today, that number is one out of every 28. It's easy to imagine the effects on a child of having a parent behind bars for years. But what about the moment when it begins, when mom or dad is in handcuffs?

Such was the focus of Rachel Blustain's April 2013 article, "Pushing Cops to Consider Kids When Arresting Parents," which won first place in the "best article on a social issue" category at last night's Ippie Awards, run by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.




Key Date Looms for Bid to Reverse 1991 Murder Conviction


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Marc Fader/City Limits

Hincapie, photographed in 2010, was convicted largely on the basis of a confession that he says was false and coerced.
A state judge last week set the next milestone in a 24-year debate over who is responsible for a notorious killing.

June 20 will see the next action on a bid by Johnny Hincapie, a 41-year-old man convicted as a teenager of a role in the 1990 murder of Brian Watkins, to throw out his the original verdict.

Court filings in the case revolve around the conflicting memories of several men who came together briefly on one wild night two decades ago, a mysterious witness known only as Ms. V and dueling renditions of what occurred inside an NYPD interrogation room.




Infographic: Many Immigrants Want to Own Homes, Success Rates Vary


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Camila Osorio/City Limits

Union Andina, one of the many real estate agencies in Queens that offers apartments to Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Bolivian immigrants.
Article courtesy Feet in 2 Worlds.

What impact do immigrants have on the housing market nationally and locally?

In January 2013 the U.S. Census reported that, “With nearly 1 in 7 U.S. households headed by someone who is foreign born, decisions made by immigrants and their families to purchase a home can have a measurable impact on the U.S. housing market.”

In New York City a smaller percentage of residents own their homes than the nation as a whole.  But the city’s immigrants are a driving force behind the demand for new housing, and have played a vital role in keeping the New York’s housing market alive. That said, there are huge disparities in rates of homeownership among immigrant groups, both in New York and nationally.




Rangel Clarifies Comments on Dominican Immigration Dispute


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Office of Congressman Charles Rangel/City Limits

The long-serving congressman meets with Dominican President Danilo Medina Sánchez.
Last week, Rep. Charles Rangel visited the Dominican Republic, meeting with the president and several other dignitaries and stopping by the Dominican legislature. "I'm very proud to serve the Washington Heights community with a significant Dominican population that continues to make a vibrant and rich cultural and economical contribution to our Congressional District," Rangel said of the trip, which came as he gears up for another primary battle against State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who is trying to become the first Dominican-American member of Congress.



Advocates Have Wary Praise For End of NYPD Surveillance Unit


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Aaron McElroy/City Limits

The Islamic Center of Bay Ridge is one of a handful of mosques that the NYPD is known to have infiltrated at one time
The de Blasio administration is shutting down the "zone assessment unit," also known as the "demographic unit" that—thanks to a superb Associated Press investigation—became synonymous with the NYPD's snooping on Muslim New Yorkers under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.



Needed: A New Deal for City Housing Policy


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Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio/City Limits

The mayor addressed a crowd at the Ford Foundation on Friday.
City Limits has teamed up with The Nation to cover the first 100 days of the de Blasio administration. Click here to read the series.

The 100th day of Mayor de Blasio's term—which comes Thursday—is, of course, an arbitrary milestone. Yet after the conclusion of the state budget last week, with winter snowstorms and nasty charter-school battles out of the way, it does feel like the de Blasio narrative is entering a new phase. The first three months of the year revolved largely around the effort to get universal pre-kindergarten funded. That effort largely succeeded. Now what?




City Libraries Target Jailed Readers


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Jarrett Murphy/City Limits

The Brooklyn Detention Complex on Atlantic Avenue houses up to 759 people. In Sunset Park, the federal Brooklyn MDC holds nearly 2,500 detainees.
"In the second half of the sixth year the prisoner began zealously studying languages, philosophy, and history. He threw himself eagerly into these studies—so much so that the banker had enough to do to get him the books he ordered. In the course of four years some six hundred volumes were procured at his request. It was during this period that the banker received the following letter from his prisoner: 'My dear Jailer, I write you these lines in six languages. Show them to people who know the languages. Let them read them. If they find not one mistake I implore you to fire a shot in the garden. That shot will show me that my efforts have not been thrown away. The geniuses of all ages and of all lands speak different languages, but the same flame burns in them all.'"
-from "The Bet," by Anton Chekov,
a story about a man who agrees to spend 15 years in total isolation
to prove that prison is preferable to death






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