Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Our Projects

South Bronx Podcast Series: A Sidewalk Strip Search

The NYPD stopped, searched, and humiliated Angel Aviles and his wife last summer — for no reason. In this episode, Angel tells his story. He now advocates for police reform with the Bronx Defenders Organizing Project (www.bronxdefenders.org). Recording, editing, and production by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein. Music by Brotmond, Cydonia Pianoversion.

HuffPost Live: Christian Lassiter talking about the shooting of Kimani Gray

This morning, our very own Christian Lassiter appeared live on HuffPost Live to talk about the Kimani Gray killing by the NYPD in Brooklyn last weekend.  As you can see, Christian did a fabulous job in this very important and critical conversation about the NYPD’s campaign to target young Black and Latino men in low…

South Bronx Podcast Series: Levele Pointer, “I felt totally violated”

Levele Pointer, South Bronx resident, member of the Bronx Defenders Organizing Project and a NYHRE peer educator, shares his stories of getting stopped and frisked in New York City. This is the first in a series of South Bronx stories about the harmful impact on individuals and communities of discriminatory police practices. Recording, editing, and…

Residents of East Harlem – Manhattan’s Most Stopped-and-Frisked Neighborhood

Residents Protest NYPD Practice, Call for City Council Passage of Community Safety Act Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, advocates and New Yorkers call for end to abuse and harassment at “East Harlem Stand Up!” event New York – Hundreds of New Yorkers joined Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, community organizations and advocates in East Harlem to protest…

DNAinfo: 10 Judges Will Head to Bronx to Target Criminal Case Backlog

BRONX SUPREME COURT — Ten judges from outside the city will be temporarily assigned to The Bronx as part of an unprecedented plan to shrink an “intolerable” backlog of felony cases, the state’s top judge said Tuesday. The move came as the borough’s top criminal judge, Efrain Alvarado, will be replaced by Justice Douglas McKeon,…

The Village Voice: Making Bail Better

When Judge Ralph Fabrizio saw William Miranda, free of handcuffs and dressed in street clothes, sitting in his Bronx courtroom, he was surprised. Three days earlier, on February 24, 2009, Miranda had been up before Fabrizio for arraignment on two misdemeanor assault charges. Fabrizio had set a substantial bail, $1,500 for each charge, certainly more…

City Limits: Bail Fund Aims to Free Poor Defendants

The Bronx Defenders, through its affiliate the Bronx Freedom Fund, bailed hundreds of people between 2007 and 2009. According to Robin Steinberg, executive director of The Bronx Defenders, “During the 18 months that the Bronx Freedom Fund operated, 150 clients were bailed out and the return rate of our clients was an impressive 95 percent….

News 12 Bronx: Criminal justice groups hold first BX town hall

THE BRONX – Several criminal justice groups came together Monday night for their first Bronx town hall meeting at Hostos Community College. Organizers, including the Bronx Defenders and the Justice Committee, claim that police have taken advantage of many people during practices such as stop-and-frisk. They say the meeting aimed to teach local residents about…

WNYC News: Charities to Play Bail Bondsman Role

Charities will soon be allowed to post bail for the poor and indigent. A new law recently signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo allows charities to be authorized and regulated by the Department of Financial Services, the same state agency that oversees bail bondsman. Only those charged with non-violent misdemeanors with bails set at $2,000 or…

New York Daily News: New version of charitable bond bill headed to Cuomo’s desk could free thousands of poor Bronx defendants

Legislation passed by state lawmakers last week with approval from Gov. Cuomo could free thousands of jailed Bronxites. Sponsored by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), the new law will allow charitable organizations statewide to post bail – up to $2,000 – for poor defendants held on misdemeanor charges. The Cuomo-vetted bill is an amended version…

The Guardian: New York mayor and NYPD back marijuana decriminalisation proposal

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly have backed legislation proposed by governor Andrew Cuomo that would reduce the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public view from a crime to a misdemeanor. Cuomo’s proposal is an attempt to reduce the number of people exposed to a criminal charge…

The Village Voice: Bail is Busted: How Jail Really Works

Lauren DiGioia’s face was stony and impassive beneath bright blue hair as she was brought into a courtroom in handcuffs on March 18. At 2:30 the previous afternoon, DiGioia, 27, had become the first person arrested by the New York City Police Department during Occupy Wall Street’s six-month anniversary at Zuccotti Park. DiGioia was taken…

The New York Times: Examining Marijuana Arrests

The New York State Legislature showed good sense when it exempted people convicted of low-level marijuana possession from having to submit DNA to the state database, unless they have been convicted of a previous crime. Still, the state must do more to curb the arrests of tens of thousands of people each year in New…

The Guardian: New York police officers defy order to cut marijuana arrests

Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders. Nearly half of New Yorkers picked up for small amounts of marijuana possession in recent months were not displaying the drug before they were stopped, the study…

The Village Voice: NYPD Clean Halls Program Faces Legal Challenge

Later this morning, civil liberties advocates will announce a new challenge to the controversial NYPD program of patrolling the hallways of thousands of privately-owned buildings. Private owners enroll in the program, known as Operation Clean Halls, which has swelled in Manhattan alone to at least 3,895 buildings. The program envisioned as a way for police…

NY1: Lawsuit Claims NYPD “Clean Halls” Program Violates Civil Rights

Civil rights advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the New York City Police Department over a controversial program that allows officers to patrol private apartment buildings. The suit, submitted by the New York Civil Liberties Union, Latino Justice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, as well as lawyers with the Bronx Defenders, allege…