Dear Commissioner Sewell:
We are writing to you as elected officials who represent the West Side of Manhattan. As you know, our neighborhoods have recently seen a disturbing trend of robberies, druggings and attacks on patrons enjoying LGBTQ bars and clubs in our districts.
In April, we held a meeting with the Manhattan District Attorney, elected officials, LGBTQ bar owners, social service providers, experts in harm reduction and the NYPD to discuss how can better respond to these incidents. There was widespread concern about closing times, in particular, when bar owners have witnessed patrons being targeted upon leaving establishments or their employees being attacked when on their way home from a shift.
We are grateful for the recent arrest and indictment of five individuals in connection with the deaths of Julio Ramirez and John Umberger. The druggings and assaults have continued, however, so additional steps should be taken to ensure the safety of all who want to enjoy the city’s nightlife. Therefore, we urge the NYPD to increase foot patrols at LGBTQ bars and clubs in our districts for the next several months during closing times (approximately 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.) to discourage these assaults and provide safety and security for our constituents and small business owners.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Brad Hoylman-Sigal, State Senator, District 47
Jerrold Nadler, Congressman, District 12
Daniel Goldman, Congressman, District 10
Deborah Glick, Assemblymember, District 66
Linda Rosenthal, Assemblymember, District 67
Daniel O’Donnell, Assemblymember, District 69
Tony Simone, Assemblymember, District 75
Gale Brewer, Councilmember, District 6
Erik Bottcher Councilmember, District 3