NYLPI Criticizes City Council Mental Health Crisis Response Legislation

March 4, 2021

Disability Justice, News, Policing and Mental Health Crises

Ruth LowenkronNYLPI’s Disability Justice Director slammed Int. 2210-2120 and Int. 2222-2120 for permitting an outsized police response, as “[p]olice, who are trained to uphold law and order are not suited to deal with individuals experiencing mental health crises, and New York’s history of its police killing 16 individuals who were experiencing crises, and seriously injuring two others, in the last five years alone, is sad testament to that.”  

In testimony to the City Council Lowenkron condemned other aspects of the legislation as well, including having crisis teams take up to 30 minutes to respond, as compared to the City’s current average 8-10 minutes for responding to other emergencies. Lowenkron did highlight positive aspects of the proposed legislation, including the role of peers (people with lived mental health experience) as part of mental health crisis response teams, as well as establishment of an emergency hotline number separate from 911. 

Lowenkron’s comments were captured by NY1. Relatedly, Fox5NY interviewed Lowenkron about the Mayor’s proposal to limit police responders to mental health crises, which Lowenkron also critiqued.

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