MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK — On September 29, 2020, attorney Lauren P. Raysor presented a report on behalf of the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform to the Mayor of Mount Vernon, members of the City Council and other elected officials. Ms. Raysor formed the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform, a group of former police officers, civil rights attorneys, former City Officials and several others seeking ways to improve the practices of the Mount Vernon Police Department.
The report pointed out that there is a lack of trust in the police department. Citizens refuse to cooperate with the police during investigations, which explains how the city has the highest rate of unsolved homicides in Westchester County.
In its report, the Coalition made the following recommendations: the formation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board; requiring police officers to become more involved in the community, including living in the city where they work; statistical tracking of misconduct by officers based on race and gender; use of body and dashboard cameras; elimination of chokeholds, no-knock warrants and stop and frisk; review of police guidelines to ensure new rules and new compliance; more anti-bias and de-escalation training, including training to combat racial profiling; and using money from the police budget to pay out settlements from police misconduct lawsuits.
The Coalition also urges police officers to report a fellow officer who is engaged in a criminal act. Failure to do so would result in arrest. Citizens who use their cell phones to record instances of police misconduct would be provided whistleblower protection.
“In combating the systemic problems that are plaguing this police department, we are introducing some recommendations that are long overdue,” Ms. Raysor said. “I strongly urge the city council and the Mayor of Mount Vernon to review our findings and seriously consider implementing our recommendations.
For more information, call (914) 733-8080 or visit www.laurenpraysor.com.
About Lauren P. Raysor
Lauren P. Raysor is an attorney concentrating in personal injury, civil rights, bankruptcy, matrimonial and family law. She has litigated numerous cases over the years, taking more than 35 cases to verdict and has argued before the Appellate Division in the case of Makeda Barnes Joseph v. Universal Music Group. She served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon, where she was in charge of the city’s Law Department. Ms. Raysor is currently outside counsel for the New York State Dormitory Authority, and served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Upper Manhattan Region, outside counsel to the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and counsel at a Wall Street law firm.