Protecting NYC Neighborhoods

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Published in the NY Daily News on 11.18.16

Protecting NYC neighborhoods

Manhattan: Daily News reporter Sarah Ryley, continuing her efforts to discredit the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law, has managed to identify only four cases out of more than 2,900 in which, she maintains, the NYPD has pursued nuisance abatement proceedings solely on information provided by confidential sources without any corroborating evidence (“NYPD bends truth on nuisance law closures,” Nov. 3).

She has gone so far as to accuse me of misleading the City Council when I testified that there have been no such cases. Indeed there have not. In the four cases she cites, the NYPD used source information from confidential informants in addition to other evidence obtained through supervised controlled drug buys, search warrants, contraband confiscation, chemical analysis reports and other investigative actions. These followup investigative measures yielded the evidence on which related nuisance abatement proceedings were based.

In one of those cases, the nuisance abatement action was part of a yearlong investigation into a narcotics organization operating at multiple locations. The search warrant in that case yielded a felony-weight amount of crack cocaine. The dealer was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison, one of 50 people arrested in this case. The dealer was excluded from the apartment by nuisance abatement, but the lawful tenant was allowed to stay. All of this is a matter of record, but not mentioned by Ryley as she sought to build a grossly misleading case that the NYPD bounces people out of homes on flimsy pretexts.

I don’t like being called a liar, especially in print. It is Ryley who is distorting the record and publishing misrepresentations, all in an attempt to discredit an extremely valuable tool for protecting the neighborhoods of New York from illegal and dangerous activity taking place in their environs.

Lawrence Byrne
NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters