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Jan 26, 2015

Northeastern U.S. braces for ‘crippling’ blizzard

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Northeast on Monday braced for a massive, crippling blizzard that could dump as much as three feet of snow as tens of millions of people were urged to stay home and airlines canceled thousands of flights.

Transit systems in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts planned to curtail services, and several governors ordered motorists off roadways by evening in a region that is home to some 50 million people.

Jan 26, 2015

East Coast braces, flights canceled as ‘historic’ blizzard looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The first flakes ahead of a potentially historic blizzard began swirling through New York City on Monday morning, with forecasters predicting up to 3 feet (90cm) of snow in the coming day and millions of people facing snarled transportation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas beginning 1 p.m. EST on Monday, and warned of two days of winter storms across the East Coast, from Pennsylvania to Maine.

Jan 23, 2015

New York jail watchdog seeks federal probe in Rikers inmate death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York state watchdog agency that
oversees jails has urged the U.S. Justice Department to
investigate the death of a mentally ill inmate who was found
naked and covered in feces at Rikers Island, The New York Times
reported late on Thursday.

Bradley Ballard was locked in his cell at the
problem-plagued New York City jail complex and deprived of food,
running water and insulin for his diabetes for six days leading
up to his death on Sept. 11, 2013, according to news accounts.

Jan 13, 2015

New York City police slowdown shows signs of easing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A work slowdown by New York City police that began after the slaying of two officers may have started to ease last week, according to the police commissioner and the latest figures for arrests and summonses released on Monday.

For a third week in a row, arrests and court summonses were still markedly lower than at this time a year ago, but the drop was not quite as dramatic as seen in the preceding two weeks.

Jan 9, 2015

New York police commissioner confirms slowdown by officers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s police commissioner
conceded on Friday that there had been a widespread work
slowdown by officers in the four weeks since two policemen were
shot dead in an ambush, although he suggested it was coming to
an end.

Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio had
repeatedly said this week it was too soon to tell if a slowdown
was underway, saying other factors may explain the drop in
arrests and court summonses.

Jan 8, 2015

Police unions reject NYC mayor’s leadership as deep rift persists

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City police union leaders said they rejected Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership after emerging from a meeting with the city’s police commissioner on Wednesday, suggesting the mayor’s effort to mend his unusually deep rift with police was failing.

The meeting with Commissioner William Bratton came only hours after de Blasio conceded he was still unable to say whether officers in the nation’s largest police force had embarked on a widespread work slowdown in the two weeks since two policemen were ambushed and killed.

Jan 7, 2015

New York City ends ban on cellphones in public schools

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City is ending its ban on
students bringing their cellphones into the city’s public
schools, the mayor’s office announced on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, principals in the largest school system
in the United States will be allowed to devise their own
cellphone policy, or use a default policy of allowing students
to bring their phones to school as long as they remain out of
sight.

Jan 6, 2015

NY mayor brushes off reports of police arrests slowdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described a sharp decline in arrests and court summonses in the two weeks since two policemen were shot dead in an ambush as a few “aberrant” days, brushing off reports they were signs of a police work slowdown.

De Blasio, in his first interaction with journalists in two weeks, joined Police Commissioner William Bratton on Monday to announce a continued general decline in serious crime in the city in 2014, which he called a record-breaking year.

Jan 5, 2015

Judge to weigh releasing grand jury record in NYC chokehold death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York judge is due to hear arguments on Monday whether to make public records of a grand jury hearing into the case of an unarmed black man killed after a policeman put him in a chokehold while arresting him for peddling loose cigarettes.

After an unusually lengthy session lasting nine weeks, the grand jury voted in December not to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, for his role in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk last summer.

Jan 3, 2015

NYC officer’s funeral for “grieving not grievance,” commissioner says

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s police commissioner asked members of the force attending services for the second officer slain in Brooklyn last month to refrain from the “act of disrespect” seen at his partner’s funeral, when some of the tens of thousands in uniform turned their backs on the mayor.

“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” wrote Commissioner Bill Bratton in a memo to be read at roll calls over the weekend, when a wake and funeral will be held for Wenjian Liu, believed to be the first Chinese-American police officer killed in the line of duty in the city.