100+ Health and Mental Health Professionals and Service Providers Call on City Council Speaker & Sponsor to Withdraw Intro 2210

In a letter to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Diana Ayala, over 100 mental health and health professionals and service providers criticized Intro 2210 as counterproductive to ensuring safety and care for Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color who experience mental health crises and called for the bill’s immediate withdrawal.

If passed, Intro 2210 would establish in local law a permanent role for the NYPD in mental health response.

“Contrary to Intro 2210’s stated aims, the bill formally establishes a role for the NYPD in responding to mental health emergencies,” the letter states. “It sets up a framework in which many, if not most, ‘mental health emergencies’ will also be deemed ‘public safety emergencies’ and explicitly legislates an NYPD response to these situations, ignoring the outsize power of the NYPD and the detrimental impact that even brief contact with the police has on physical and mental health.”

“Unfortunately, this bill fails to address the core issues driving the NYPD killings of New Yorkers like Saheed Vassell, Mohamed Bah, Deborah Danner, Kawaski Trawick, Ariel Galarza, Iman Morales and too many others and would not have saved their lives,” the letter states.

The letter also criticizes Intro 2210 for failing to acknowledge or address the lack of quality mental health services available to Black, Latinx, and other communities of color.

“Passing legislative efforts that do not include deep investments in culturally competent community-based mental health services for prevention and robust post-crisis services is like throwing paint on a car with broken brakes — it will harm more than it helps,” the letter states.

“For these reasons, we, the undersigned, call on Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Diana Ayala to withdraw Intro 2210 and ask other councilmembers to vote “no” if it comes up for vote,” the letter concludes.

The letter comes days after the Daily News published an OpEd opposing Intro 2210 by Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, and Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell. Both parents’ sons were struggling with mental health challenges when they were killed by the NYPD.