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Opinions & Editorials

Mar
23
2016
Op-Ed: Paid Family Leave is Critical to Equal Opportunity For All (Albany Times Union)

By Katharine Bodde Americans work hard. We put in more hours on the job than workers in other industrialized countries, and we are given — and use — fewer vacation and personal days. What's more, the U.S. is the only developed nation that does not provide workers paid time away from work in order to care for a newborn or a seriously ill family member. Federal law gives employees of large companies 12 weeks of unpaid leave — but who can afford to forgo the pay? The few who can are at the high end of the wage scale.

Jan
5
2016
Op-Ed: Revealing CCRB Voting Info Creates Hit List of NYPD Enemies (NY Daily News)

By Christopher Dunn Brazen is perhaps the best word to describe the latest threat to the already tenuous civilian oversight of the NYPD. Whatever the police department's intentions, its demand that the Civilian Complaint Review Board report how specific board members vote on misconduct cases will have a predictable result — intimidation. CCRB votes have always been confidential, so the NYPD has had no idea which board members have voted for or against police officers under investigation for abusing civilians.

Dec
4
2015
Column: Terrorists, Assault Weapons, and the Evolving Second Amendment (New York Law Journal)

by Christopher Dunn Last month’s terrorist attack on civilians in Paris rekindled discussion about federal gun-control legislation, including the possibility of barring people on a federal terrorist watch list from buying weapons. And last week’s assault-weapon attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado has further energized public debate about weapons in our society and efforts to regulate or ban them.

Nov
18
2015
Op-Ed: Requiring NYC Students to Pass Through Metal Detectors Makes Students Feel Unwelcomed (NY Daily News)

By Donna Lieberman School should be a place where children are welcomed, encouraged and educated. Requiring over 90,000 students in New York City to pass through a metal detector, open their backpacks and sometimes submit to wanding and pat-downs in order to go to school everyday sends those students the wrong message.

Oct
2
2015
Column: The Pope, Invoking God, and New York Courtrooms (New York Law Journal)

by Christopher Dunn Last week, we experienced Pope Francis captivating millions of people by touring Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia with his aura of humility and his message of compassion. At the same time, we witnessed the remarkable sight of the government virtually genuflecting to a religious figure, starting with President Obama personally receiving the Pope upon his landing in the Washington area and culminating in the Pope addressing a joint session of Congress.

Sep
16
2015
Op-Ed: What if James Blake Had Been John Doe? (NY Daily News)

By Donna Lieberman and Christopher Dunn After an innocent black man is viciously thrown to the ground by a police officer and handcuffed, newspapers around the country rush to cover the story. The police commissioner and mayor apologize; the officer is immediately placed on desk duty. Why? Because the man was a famous tennis player standing under a surveillance camera in front of a ritzy Manhattan hotel — a man who responded with grace and had the good fortune to get the attention of the Daily News.

Sep
8
2015
Op-Ed: Garner Case Exhibit A for Reform (Albany Times Union)

by Donna Lieberman The grand jury charged with investigating the killing of Eric Garner has left New Yorkers with more questions than answers — the most important question being: Can we trust the grand jury process to deliver justice? Cellphone video provided a clear view of the moments leading up to Eric Garner's death. Millions watched police officers holding him down as he gasped "I can't breathe" 11 times. In the face of such compelling video evidence, how could a Staten Island grand jury fail to hold a single NYPD officer accountable?

Aug
6
2015
Column: Defending Against Police Assaults: Self-Defense, Rescue, and Videotape (New York Law Journal)

By Christopher Dunn As the country is bludgeoned by one video after another capturing police officers assaulting and even killing unarmed civilians – typically black men – we are in the midst of a national debate about proposals to curb police misconduct, ranging from body cameras to grand jury reform. As important and necessary as are reforms of police practices and criminal justice processes, it also is important to consider the options available to civilians who are on the scene and witnessing police action.

Jul
2
2015
Op-Ed: Students Deserve Dignity (Albany Times Union)

By Donna Lieberman Last week Governor Cuomo expressed his outrage to the State Education Department, calling the pervasive discrimination faced by transgender students in public schools "completely unacceptable, dangerous . . . and in complete contradiction to the values of our great state." He demanded it produce a plan of action within seven business days. Such a plan could not come a moment too soon.

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