FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION MAKING CRIMINAL STREET ACTIVITY A CLASS "A" MISDEMEANOR
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first of two bills before me today is Introductory Number 1, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Arroyo, Vallone, Recchia, Foster, Gonzalez, Koppell, Koslowitz, Nelson, Palma, Rivera, Crowley, White, Gennaro, Reyna and Van Bramer. Introductory Number 1 subjects those who engage in criminal street gang initiation activity to a class A misdemeanor.
"There are many ways in which routine gang activity can threaten communities. Among other harms, gangs spread their influence, along with fear and intimidation, through initiation exercises. Introductory Number 1 targets this activity by creating a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine or up to $1,000, for engaging in criminal street gang initiation activity. A person may be guilty of criminal street gang initiation activity if, whether in the course of his own or another person's initiation or affiliation with a gang, intentionally and recklessly engages in activity that creates a substantial risk of physical injury to another person, or causes another person to fear death or serious physical injury.
"I would like to thank Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, and their staff along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs for working with the Council on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this measure. This bill will add a useful tool to the City's ever-evolving fight against gang activity."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958