Divert Emergency Call Response to Mental Illness/Substance Abuse Away From The NYPD

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  As part of supporting greater calls to divest $1 billion from NYPD's $6 billion annual budget , we petition The New York City Council and Mayor Bill De Blasio to divert emergency call response related to mental health and substance abuse away from the NYPD to a newly ( to be created ) unarmed unit comprised of well trained professionals from the related fields of healthcare, social work, and public safety.

This unit would boost the quality of care in these emergency situations, avoid needless escalation by law enforcement which often ends in fatality, and minimize the stigma attached to people with mental illness or suffering from substance abuse.

The NYPD have a history of racial violence against black and brown Americans, who are from racial groups already more likely to be suffering from mental illness and substance abuse due to their current living conditions, most often a result of systemic racism. Per a report released by Medical News Today, "The authors of a 2018 study estimate that police kill more than 300 black Americans — at least a quarter of them unarmed — each year in the USA.” Another paper estimates that 1 in 1,000 young Black men are likely to be killed by the police in the U.S. over the course of a lifetime.  Police violence is the leading cause of death among young black men in America.

Studies have shown that up to 50% of Americans killed by police had a mental illness. Additionally, a 2018 Wall Street Journal article reported that in The US, at least 1 in 4 people killed by the police has a serious mental health problem.

Families under duress due to a member suffering from a mental illness should not be subject to response by an execution squad. 

The New York City council has until June 30th to pass the budget for the 2021 fiscal year. With 6 days until that date, we are calling for 10,000 signatures to present this petition to The New York City Council and Mayor Bill DeBlasio. 

Every single signature counts. Please lend yours to this cause. Change begins with us.

Sincerely,

StreetRiders NYC Collective

www.streetridersnyc.com