Authors
Chris Gelardi

Chris Gelardi is a reporter for New York Focus investigating the state’s criminal-legal system. His work has appeared in more than a dozen other outlets, most frequently The Nation, The Intercept, and The Appeal. He is a past recipient of awards from Columbia and Northwestern universities to cover immigration enforcement, US militarism, contemporary colonialism, and county jails. His investigations into the use of a police gang database in Washington, DC, have spurred lawsuits and legislation. He’s based in Queens.

 

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NYCLU Sues to Overturn Landmark Sex Offender Law

Advocates charge that New York’s restrictions for sex offense registrants are “vague, expansive, and unnecessary.” On Tuesday, they filed a federal lawsuit to strike them down.

May 28, 2024
Three men in suits, including former acting prison commissioner Anthony Annucci and acting prison commissioner Daniel Martuscello III, stand at a memorial ceremony in Albany.
Hochul Quietly Nominates a Permanent Prison Chief

The Senate will consider Daniel Martuscello III’s bid to run New York’s prison and parole agency. His supporters point to his decades of experience. His opponents say that’s the problem.

May 22, 2024
DCPI chief Tarik Sheppard displays a bike lock retrieved from Columbia University on MSNBC's Morning Joe on May 1, 2024.
Meet the Cops Running the NYPD’s 86-Member Public Relations Team

The police department’s PR team has more than doubled in size in the past two years. Some of its recent hires have histories of dishonesty and misconduct.

May 14, 2024
NYPD officers in front of the City College gates. Protesters drop a Palestinian flag behind them.
On the Ground at the NYPD Raid on the City College Gaza Solidarity Encampment

New York Focus was on the scene as cops shoved, kettled, and chased students at City College, the second campus where the NYPD razed a Gaza solidarity encampment Tuesday.

May 2, 2024
New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks in front of a blue and yellow banner that reads  District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
Three-Year-Old Commission Hochul Tapped for Rochester DA Traffic Stop Has Never Taken a Case

After DA Sandra Doorley berated a police officer, Hochul referred her to a commission that is yet to become active — and lacks the authority to issue discipline.

April 30, 2024
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrats of New York, smile in front of american flags
As State Police Expand Surveillance, Privacy Advocates Turn to US Congress

Local regulations haven’t kept up with the rollout of new surveillance tech. Some reformers see Washington as their best hope.

April 2, 2024
Governor Kathy Hochul, Representative Jerrod Nadler, and others march in the June 4, 2023 Israel Day Parade in New York City.
New PAC Launches to Boost Pro-Israel Democrats in New York

Backing primary opponents to progressive Democrats, the new Solidarity PAC resembles a state-level analog to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

March 26, 2024
New York City Police Department members stand in a line wearing NYPD baseball caps.
New Bill Would Stop Cops From Citing Debunked ‘Excited Delirium’ Syndrome

Referencing a New York Focus story, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas introduced legislation to prevent public agencies from naming the medically discredited condition in their reports.

March 19, 2024
A magnifying glass reveals a jail cell otherwise obscured by static.
Be a Jail Watchdog

New York Focus has published thousands of pages of county jail oversight records. Browse them in our database.

February 23, 2024
Governor Kathy Hochul stands with a hand on her hip next to a New York state trooper on a cloudy day.
Kathy Hochul’s Copy-and-Paste Crime-Fighting Formula

This year, the governor’s budget contains an agenda to combat retail theft. It looks a lot like last year’s plan to curb gun violence.

January 16, 2024
The back of an open prison transport van
He Was Sick, So They Sent Him to Prison

New York jails can transfer people with mental illnesses to maximum security prisons, even while they’re legally innocent.

December 21, 2023
New NYPD officers smile amid blue and white confetti at police academy graduation ceremony.
NYPD Instructs Officers to Tase, Pepper Spray People Experiencing Debunked Syndrome

Police training materials link the discredited “excited delirium syndrome” to synthetic marijuana use.

December 12, 2023
State Senator Julia Salazar speaks at a podium.
Sweeping Salazar, Souffrant Forrest Bill Targets Rogue Prisons and Jails

The legislation cites multiple New York Focus investigations in its attempt to safeguard the rights of incarcerated people.

December 7, 2023
‘A Waste of Time’: Inside New York’s Broken Jail Accountability System

The state council that reviews grievances spent an average of eight seconds on each case in its last meeting — and rejected nearly all of them.

December 4, 2023
A man in a crowd holds a sign reading "New York Stands With Israel" and bearing the logos of several nonprofit groups.
New York Charities Send Combat Gear to West Bank Settlements

Israeli settlers have unleashed a wave of violence on Palestinians. With tax-deductible donations, New Yorkers can help equip them to carry it out.

November 16, 2023
New York’s Ties to Israel Bring the Gaza War Home

Even as experts warn of mass ethnic cleansing in Gaza, New York politicians have remained unwavering in their support for Israel since the Hamas attack. They’ve been less vocal about their state’s ties to the occupation of Palestine.

October 19, 2023
They Were Supposed to Be Free. Why Are They Locked Up?

New York has kept hundreds of people convicted of sex offenses in prison long past their release dates.

October 17, 2023
How Not to Close a Jail

A surprise plan to shutter a jail in Syracuse’s Onondaga County spurred a chaotic political skirmish — and left local incarcerated people in the lurch.

October 5, 2023
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein at a podium
Harvey Epstein Guns for Manhattan Democratic Party Leadership

The assemblymember wants to unseat Nico Minerva, right hand to party boss Keith Wright. The Manhattan Democrats vote on Thursday.

October 2, 2023
Keith Wright at a parade
Manhattan Democratic Party Boss Has a Target on His Back — Again

A group of Manhattan Democrats wants to force County Leader Keith Wright to choose between working for the party and working for a lobbying firm.

September 21, 2023
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