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NYPD reassigning 600 undercover anti-crime officers amid protests for police reform

NYPD reassigning some officers amid protests
NYPD reassigning some officers amid protests 02:43

As the protests for police reform continue in New York City for a third straight week, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced big changes to the city's police department, which he called a cultural shift and an extension of ending stop and frisk.

On the 19th consecutive day of demonstrations against police brutality, the NYPD said it will be reassigning plainclothes anti-crime officers. Every precinct in the city has had dedicated undercover anti-crime officers who patrol in unmarked vehicles with specific assignments related to crime spikes, according to CBS New York.

Shea said due to the nature of their work, undercover officers in those units tend to be involved in more police-involved shootings.

Effective immediately, those 600 undercover officers citywide in the Anti-Crime Unit will be reassigned to other divisions, and will no longer be working anti-crime patrols.

There will still be undercover officers working in narcotics, surveillance, anti-terrorism and transit units, the NYPD said.

The police commissioner said Monday that he is considering the disablement of the unit for about a year, and that there is no singular event that prompted his announcement.

"And what we always struggle with, I believe, as police executives is not keeping crime down; it's keeping crime down and keeping the community working with us," Shea said. "And I think those two things, at times, have been at odds. I would consider this in the realm of closing one of the last chapters of stop, question and frisk."

After the Amadou Diallo shooting in 1999, the NYPD eliminated the Street Crimes Unit, which was a similar plainclothes unit.

Amadou Diallo's mom reflects on his legacy 04:38

Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement Monday, "Anti-Crime's mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence. Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn't a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences."

Despite the promise of police reform, protests have not slowed down. In fact, the weekend saw thousands upon thousands of people turn out for dozens of protests around the city.

On Sunday, a massive crowd took over Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

Also, a sea of people dressed in white gathered in front of the Brooklyn Museum for "Black Transgender Lives" after the Trump administration rolled back transgender health care protections.

From Saturday into Sunday morning, a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn was painted with huge letters spelling out "Black Lives Matter."

Protesters also shut down New York City's Columbus Circle over the weekend. Thousands have signed a petition calling for the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue, with critics saying Columbus was not a hero but a conqueror who enslaved native people.

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