Press Release: The Daniel’s Law Coalition Calls for Immediate Halt to Police Response to Individuals Experiencing Mental Health Crises

Baerga v. City of New York, CCIT-NYC, Daniel's Law, Disability Justice, Health Justice, Immigrant Justice, Media Coverage, News, Racial Justice, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response, de la Cruz vs. NYC

Photo of Win Rozario

Contacts: Stanley Martin, 585-210-2278 , Daniel’s Law Coalition
Luke Sikinyi, 518-703-0264, Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS)

March 28, 2024

The Daniel’s Law Coalition Calls for Immediate Halt to Police Response to Individuals Experiencing Mental Health Crises

NEW YORK, NY – In response to the fatal shooting by NYPD of Win Rozario, a 19 year-old Queens man experiencing a mental health crisis, the Daniel’s Law Coalition issues the following statement: “The Daniel’s Law Coalition sends its sympathies to the family and friends of Win Rozario, and supports their call for justice and change.

The Daniel’s Law Coalition calls for an immediate halt to any police response to mental health or substance use crises when an alternative healthcare response can be provided. The NYPD’s response to Mr. Rozario’s 911 call for help was a tragic failure of our existing mental health crisis response system. Mr. Rozario’s call to 911 for help should have resulted in a response from people with whom he could feel safe, connect, and engage the support he needed, instead of feeling the need to defend himself and lose his life. We must keep this from happening ever again.

On the heels of the four-year anniversary of the killing of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after being restrained by police officers during a mental health crisis in Rochester, the Daniel’s Law Coalition calls on the governor and our state legislators to honor Daniel Prude, Win Rozario, and all those whose lives have been lost, by immediately establishing a statewide approach that centers peer-led and culturally competent responses to mental health and substance use crises. We urge Governor Hochul and our state legislators to support the full funding and passage of Daniel’s Law, and the funding of a Daniel’s Law pilot in this year’s budget.

Individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis need a peer-led health crisis response–not police.”

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About the Daniel’s Law Coalition

The Daniel’s Law Coalition seeks to pass legislation in New York State that would end our over-reliance on police as first responders to mental health and substance use crises. Daniel’s Law aims to provide better support and resources for individuals experiencing such crises by designating community-based teams as the first responders to the crises. These first responders will include those with lived mental health experience and/or lived experience with alcohol use or substance use disorders, as well as those already practicing trauma-informed mental health work in their communities, in addition to emergency medical technicians. Daniel’s Law would also create a statewide council of mental health experts to develop training and rules for all mental health crisis calls, and provide resources to mental health emergencies. These rules and training would be fully integrated into existing 988 and other emergency dispatch services. Members of the Coalition include:

● Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS)
● Community Access
● Correct Crisis Intervention Today – NYC (CCIT-NYC)
● East Flatbush Village, Inc.
● Elders & Allies to Free The People Rochester
● Fountain House
● Free The People – Rochester
● Friends of Recovery – New York
● Long Island United to Transform Policing and Community Safety
● New York Civil Liberties Union
● National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York State (NAMI-NYS)
● National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. (NAMI-NYC)
● National Alliance on Mental Illness – Queens/Nassau
● New Hour for Women and Children
● New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
● NNLB
● Partnership for the Public Good
● Public Issues Committee of the Long Island Council of Churches
● Rochester City Wide Tenants Union
● Showing Up for Racial Justice – Rochester
● Showing Up for Racial Justice – NYC
● Social Justice Committee of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
● The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY)
● VOICE Buffalo
● Voices Of Community Activists And Leaders – NY (VOCAL-NY)


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