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Astoria Lawmaker Bashes Return of Plainclothes NYPD Officers, Says Units Targeted Minorities in the Past

Council Member Tiffany Cabán took to Twitter Monday to denounce the impending deployment of plainclothes units in the 114th Precinct (Photo: Instagram @cabanforqueens)

Feb. 8, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

The NYPD 114th precinct in Astoria is about to see a return of the plainclothes police team—but a local council member is opposed to these units saying they are ineffective and unfairly target minorities.

The precinct is one of 30 across New York City where plain-clothes units will soon be deployed as part of the mayor’s plan to crack down on illegal guns and major crimes. The 30 precincts are where 80 percent of the city’s violent crimes are reported, according to Mayor Eric Adams.

The plainclothes units — which were disbanded in 2020 by former Mayor Bill de Blasio—are expected to be back on the streets later this month with a focus on gun violence. Adams is deploying the teams amid surging crime rates across the five boroughs.

In the 114th precinct alone, there were 10 murders in 2021 compared to seven in 2020 and two in 2019, according to NYPD data.

Council Member Tiffany Cabán took to Twitter Monday to denounce the impending deployment of plainclothes units — saying they did not work in the past in reducing crime and that the unit tormented minorities using stop-and-frisk tactics.

“It’s time to abandon the failed strategies of the past,” Cabán said in a statement posted to Twitter Monday.

“Roughing black and brown kids up, throwing them against walls or into the streets, surveilling and harassing our Muslin neighbors, making low level arrests to feed the pipeline of mass incarceration and cycles of criminalization and trauma – these [policies] didn’t make us safe before, and they never will.”

114th Precinct boundaries (Astoria and Roosevelt Island)

Cabán represents District 22, much of which falls under the 114th Precinct. The precinct also includes the Astoria, Woodside, Ravenswood and Queensbridge Houses – NYCHA complexes where there have been several shootings in the past two years.

The progressive lawmaker, who ran for office on a “defund the police” platform, said that the 114th Precinct has historically had one of the highest stop-and-frisk rates in the city, citing NYPD data. The 114th Precinct had 242 incidents in 2019, which was the greatest number of stops of any of the 16 precincts in Queens that year.

The units, Cabán said—citing a 2018 study by The Intercept—were responsible for nearly one-third of all fatal shootings involving police from 2000 to the time of the study, despite making up around 5 percent of the entire police force.

“We have to get serious about achieving the public safety outcomes we all want, need and deserve,” Cabán wrote in the statement.

Unlike the disbanded units, the plainclothes teams will be equipped with body cameras and will wear something identifying them as police, Adams said last month. The officers, however, will not wear uniforms and will travel in unmarked vehicles.

The 114th Precinct in Astoria (Photo: Queens Post)

Nevertheless, instead of plainclothes units, Cabán said a better strategy would be to invest in the city’s “Crisis Management System,” as a means of reducing violence in the community. The system consists of a network of nonprofits that mediate conflicts in local neighborhoods before they turn violent.

Cabán cited a citywide study which found that the system helped reduce shootings by up to 40 percent in areas where it was implemented between 2010 and 2019.

“This approach is viable, it’s proven, and it’s waiting to be scaled up,” Cabán wrote. “All it needs is deeper investment from City Hall.”

Cabán ended her statement by encouraging her constituents to get trained in de-escalation tactics and to familiarize themselves with their rights should they be stopped by police. She urged residents to reach out to her office or The Legal Aid Society if they feel their rights have been violated.

“We are here for you, we are here with you,” Cabán wrote.

“We know that a safer, healthier city is possible. We will never stop fighting for that city.

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37 Comments

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Josephine

Caban has every right to be concerned. I also am. My trans granddaughter just got an apartment in Astoria and has a dark skinned muslim male boyfriend. I hope the cops do not pick on them.

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Jackie

Plain clothes officers have only been assigned to the 114 precinct in queens. They had to offer some type of security to unhappy big spenders. I am pretty sure the mayor will do away with the program to please WQs voters soon.

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Well Little Jimmy…

…it’s because many of them are Communists. Oops…..I mean Social Democrats. My mistake…please forgive me.

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CNN causes brain rot

It’s a special kind of stupid that does not realize that minority neighborhoods have high crime rates and the greatest number of victims. To think that Caban almost became the district attorney. She may be worse than Alvin Bragg. She would be “turn them loose Caban.”

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Maritza

This makes sense. Astoria is the epicenter of the progressive movement in Queens. Its a highly liberal and socialists area and politicians and voters reflect that. When i visit Astoria many homes and business still have her campaign ads for DA and city council still up.

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For real

Yes, it’s a crappy neighborhood now , full of angry liberals , what’s the deal, what’s with the anger ?

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LIC Direct

B/S Caban. People are dying and getting shot and killed and you want send in a social worker against armed thugs and gangbangers? Your full of it. Apparently she’s never been a victim of a crime, had a gun pointed at her head demanding that she hand everything of value over and if you fail your dead. 99% sure that the victim of a crime in our nabe will be a minority, a person of color, the criminal committing the crime another minority, person of color. Poor Latina woman, Gudelia Vallinas, 37 yrs old, Mom , married young children was shot, killed last year near Woodside houses, shot by a 19 yr old African American his name Dejuan Williams. With one bullet He destroyed the Vallianas family. This is the element who Caban is defending!!! Why not applaud the efforts of police and stop criticizing before they even come forward to protect us. We need aggressive cops plainclothes to take guns off the streets. See what social justice has gotten-us? more and more crime, bail reform more crime, Mrs. DiBlasio’s thrive mental health fiasco nothing. More mentally ill on our streets. We need change. Law and Order, a cleaner city, free of garbage, graffiti more charter schools in our poor and underserved neighborhoods where public schools have been failing for decades and tackle the human garbage Caban wants to protect. What is her f*ing problem. What is she trying to prove? Take walk in the projects up and down the stairwells, janitors sweep, mop lobbies, elevators and a few hours later urination in the elevators chucking dirty diaper and garbage bags out the window. So you see decent people
Living in the projects for a generation
Are fed up, afraid to go out if their homes.

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Jessica

Tiffany Cabán (Democratic Party) is a member of the New York City Council, representing District 22. She assumed office on January 1, 2022. Her current term ends on January 1, 2024. She also won by 63% of the vote and has every right to voice her opinion and protect the working class, minorities and speak on behalf of her district and beyond. We can not allow the nypd to target minorities by bringing back racists and unjust policies. She is a proud queer latina and she has a big future in politics. I pray she runs for DA again.

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JaimeB

If Tiffany Caban ran for Queens DA again in the current climate she’d get absolutely cremated in a primary. But at least it’d get her out of the City Council. So go for it Tiffany!

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Concerned Citizen

If she is DA, then every business should keep their doors locked and only allow in people who look safe….just like they do in my home Country since all crime will no longer be punished in her district.

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Jackie

I am sure most of astoria is happy with her comments. They love Tiffany. Goes to show you how true she is to her beliefs while many of the other progressive leaders stay quiet and are just going with the flow until its time to get re elected and newer transplants move in.

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For real

Go away , just go away
This “woke “ theme that the socialists came up with is crumbling , it’s time for law and order
Don’t call a cop if your life is in danger next time

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Linda

Mayor Adams will not allow the nypd to target minorities by profiling. They will just arrest someone smuggling guns from another state and open up more homeless shelters in working to middle class neighborhoods. Then say how safe we all are. He just had to do something to get high paid workers, luxury renters and fancy diners and tourists back to nyc by spring. By then hopefully less cops will be killed and he will say how he decreased gun killings. Anyone else killed, robbed, attacked, etc. will just continue to go nameless in the press with an assault video or shooting going viral every now and then.

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lord save us from the socialists

So she would prefer to see innocent people shot dead than have criminal be searched for weapons. good god people please wake up and vote these lunatics out of office quickly

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Why do libs hate the police ?

Deescalation tactics
This is a joke right ? Let’s send in the social workers if someone threatens you with a weapon
How did this crazy lady get elected ?
She seems to have sympathy for criminals but not the victims
Please get her out of office

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Ganesha

BS! The criminals should be in uniform so
We know who they are!
Tiffany has no respect or concern for the crime victims in her district. She only cares about the criminal mob.

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Shirley

NYPD don’t need the Return of Plainclothes NYPD Officers….plain Clothes cops don’t deter crime!! Train competent, brave and smart uniform officers and put them on foot patrol!!

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Al

It is time to stop the murder by gun criminals of innocence victims. Guns do not kill unless the trigger is pulled by a person. We can try to stop guns coming into New York City but unless we stop the criminals innocent people will continue to die and to be shot. By the way : where are all the community activists? Don’t they also want to stop the gun violence? Why don’t we hear their voices ?

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The real gardens watcher

This shameless little socialist seems to believe that her constituents enjoy lots of crime
They don’t
She is unfit to lead and should give back her law degree
This woman is a cancer in queens
Her hatred of law enforcement is disgusting and dangerous

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Gardens Watcher

She can keep her law degree, but needs to give the Mayor’s plan a chance. The status quo isn’t working.

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Facts don't care about your feelings

They don’t target African-Americans or other minorities. They target criminals. What some people are in denial about is that many criminals are, in fact, non-Caucasians. Crime statistics over the decades overwhelming prove this. Liberals have meltdowns when reality contradicts their ideology.

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There is stupid then there is Fox Stupid

“they are ineffective and unfairly target minorities.” Or does she mean effective in catching perps who tend to be “minorities” What’s crazy about this woman is she doesn’t deny these people are committing these crimes she just bent out of shape more white people aren’t being charged or caught. Maybe she needs to be woke to the fact that white people just aren’t committing these crimes in the numbers certain minority groups are. She must really get bent out of shape over Asian crime statistics.

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Bill

The people who elected her have no right to complain about crime. Eliminating this police unit is not the answer. Training and supervising them better is the answer. And maybe parts of the minority community need to stop committing crime and they won’t be targeted. It is people like Tiffany Caban who are directly contributing to this city being more unsafe. Stop electing people like her!

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ABoondy

oh well, all that’s left then is for her constituents to experience the violent attacks and robberies that she supports. i mean, thats what they voted for. no sympathy for her jurisdiction. they voted for violence. now enjoy! not sure why anyone in sunnyside should even care.

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