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Yusef Salaam, exonerated Central Park Five defendant, says his opinion of the NYPD changed since leaving prison. Here's why

Full Episode of "The Point with Marcia Kramer" | April 14, 2024
Full Episode of "The Point with Marcia Kramer" | April 14, 2024 21:44

Future of policing in NYC

New York City Council Member Yusef Salaam, who was wrongfully convicted of rape in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, says public safety and accountability are pillars for the future of the NYPD. 

Salaam, part of the group now known as the Exonerated Five, has oversight of the NYPD as chair of the New York City Council's Committee on Public Safety. 

Salaam said his opinion of the NYPD has changed since he was released from prison in 1997 and, with resect to the future of policing in New York City, the department must emphasize "courtesy, professionalism and respect." 

"I know many officers like that. So it's not that the whole of police departments, across America in fact, are the same. There's many, many different layers of humanity that is inside of those places. And I think we're trying to tap into that humanity in order to get the best, the very best out of them," said Salaam. 

Full interview with NYC Council Member Yusef Salaam 4/14/24 15:58

When asked if he thought hiring more police officers would make people feel safer, Salaam said it wouldn't address a key cause of their concerns. 

"What would add to the safety of our communities is a living wage, because poverty is something that drives crime. When people's backs are against the wall, when they're in survival mode often, they do things that they wouldn't necessarily do," Salaam said. "We live in a state right now, a city in fact, that the cost of living for a single person is around $131,000, if you are keeping up with the times. Most people individually do not make $131,000 a year." 

"I think we have to work in tandem. I call it righteous collaboration. When we do that we get the opportunity to look at all sides, consider all the possibilities, and realize that when we're trying to solve for the immediate it's about looking into the future and then working your way back towards this goal. In the meantime we may need to shore up security," he added. 

Long Island's red wave

Republican Angie Carpenter has been Islip's town supervisor for almost a decade. She had a bird's-eye view of the red wave that swept Long Island in 2022. 

"I think people struggle every single day. The cost of living has gone up. We see people leaving our area. They're struggling to stay here, whether they're empty-nesters who want to stay on Long Island with their family but feel forced to leave because taxes are just too high or it's young people looking to stay," said Carpenter. "The Republican party has portrayed itself and has demonstrated itself as one of less government, less intrusion, and I think people like to hear that." 

Full Interview with Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter 4/14/24 12:14

Weapon scanners on the subway?

Mayor Eric Adams, an avowed techie, now wants weapons scanners installed in the subways. Has the time come? We asked New Yorkers to weigh in: 

Should weapons detectors be installed in the NYC subway? 02:50

"The Point with Marcia Kramer" airs every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CBS2, right after "Face the Nation." Then turn to CBS News New York at noon for "Exclamation Point," an extended conversation with our guests.  

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