"It's just more of the mayor's NYPD spin game" said Anthonine Pierre, summing up her opinion of Mayor de Blasio's police reform plan. As one of the leaders of Communities United for Police Reform, she says the mayor's proposal to improve relations between the NYPD and the communities it serves falls short.

What You Need To Know

  • Police reform advocate Anthonine Pierre says mayor's plan is nothing more than spin
  • She said officials need to provide resources to communities in need, including mental health services
  • Pierre's group calls the plan illegitimate and dangerous

"He's actually doing work that expands the policing budget and expands the scope and size of policing in New York City," said Pierre.

As an advocate Pierre says too little has changed since the deadly police shooting of Amadou Diallo who was unarmed in 1999 that inspired her to get involved in this work.  

"It is this feeling that you can't just be a Black person and you can't just be a Black person minding your own business without the threat of police violence," said Pierre.

That's something that became clear to her after the death of Saheed Vassell, the mentally ill man who was shot to death by police in 2018 while holding a metal pipe.

"Amadou Diallo was shot at by four police officers 41 times and we're now in a place where I worked with the family of Saheed Vassell and he was shot at by police 10 times and some people would say that that's progress but when we're talking about Black life, we can't reduce progress to well there were less shots" said Pierre.

She says real reforms will require rethinking how to deliver resources to communities in need.

"To prevent the death of someone like Saheed Vassell, we need more than just reforms on paper, we need comprehensive mental health services."

Pierre says advocates like her will continue to pressure officials think more comprehensively than this package of reforms suggests.