Mayor Bill de Blasio: All right. Erica, thank you. Happy Peace Week, everybody. Erica, thank you so much, truly from my heart, for everything you do for Queens and for the whole city. And to everyone at LIFE Camp, and everyone – all the Cure Violence and Crisis Management System groups that are part of this – thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do. Erica just took four months off my term, I don’t know why she did that because –
Over 12 months, Erica, including this one, I intend to continue to strongly, strongly support the Cure Violence Movement and the Crisis Management System in a number of ways. We’ll have more to say on that in the coming weeks, but very deeply moved and impressed by what this movement achieves every single day. And thank you, everyone, especially for what you did for this city and for all communities during COVID to help keep people safe. You played an absolutely pivotal role, educating people, getting the masks out there, saving lives. So, I really want to thank you for that.
Look, I’ll be real quick. I’m really happy. This is a good day to be getting together not just because of the power of Peace Week, but also because some very important things that are happening in our approach to public safety and to neighborhood policing. I’m really happy to be joined by Chief Juanita Holmes and I’m so just impressed and struck by her leadership and, obviously, what she is doing as Chief of Patrol, changing the Police Department by her very presence and her leadership. I want to give a special thanks to Inspector Terrell Anderson for what you’ve done in the 7-3 Precinct. I’m a fan of yours. We haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time together, but I have been watching closely and I get lots of reports on the amazing things you are doing. And I was asked the other day whether it was authorized and supported, and I said, it’s authorized and supported by me. And, as Mayor of this city elected by the people, that’s what matters. So, thank you for what you’re doing, keep doing it, and it’s a model I think that is going to just deepen as people see the impact.
So, thank you. And to everyone – look, a special thank you, because when we get a cultural figure of the sheer impact and meaning of Michael K. Williams, who I’ve been just a tremendous fan of for years and had the honor of working together on a few things, and one of the greatest actors in the greatest series in the history of television, and a man who’s done so much for social justice as well. So, really honored to be in the same Zoom with you.
But I’ll be really quick. Look, Peace Week – Peace Week says it all and it’s a good day to be getting together, because the country’s changing and that was profoundly clear yesterday. It’s a good day to be getting together, because new leadership is making his presence felt within the NYPD. It’s a good day to be getting together, because, today, we announced a memorandum of understanding between the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which now makes solid and strong and clear and public the commitment of the NYPD to follow the decisions that come out of the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the trial process, and to mete out discipline – and again, we really want – all of us want every officer to never have a reason to need to be disciplined, I just want hasten to say that. We all appreciate the officers who do things right every day, but those who need discipline, it has to be clear, it has to be swift. And the discipline matrix, if anyone on here has not seen it, please go to nyc.gov/disciplinematrix. You’re going to see something amazing. It’s unprecedented. It will revolutionize police discipline – never had it before in New York City. People all over the country are calling us today, asking how they can do the same thing. It says what the offense is and what the punishment is, period. And NYPD has agreed formally, legally, to abide by this matrix. So, it’s a very important day for this city, a day where a lot of change will be fostered. So, everyone, look, I have a lot of confidence in what’s going to happen in 2021. I have a lot of confidence we’re going to turn a lot of corners in 2021 and rebuild with a sense of equity and addressing disparity and unfairness. And we’re going to invest in communities, especially those hardest-hit by COVID.
Well, I’ll conclude with a simple point. When I first became Mayor, I did not know the Cure Violence Movement and the Crisis Management System that well. I admired the things I had heard, but I just didn’t know it humanly, personally. I got to know so many of the good people on this conference, and I saw your works, and I saw the lives you saved, I saw the risks you took, the way you put yourself in harm’s way to save others, the way you were willing to do things to inspire communities by your example and your bravery. And it has worked, and it has worked and has worked again. The jury has come back – the Cure Violence and Crisis Management System work and we need to build it further in New York City and all over America. And in my full 12 months, Erica – 12 months, I am going to lean in even harder, because you all have proven that you are profoundly part of the solution. And I say, thank you, and God bless you for that.