Governor Kathy Hochul regularly boasts of New York's “nation-leading” climate action. Photo: Don Pollard/Office of Governor Hochul | Illustration: Maha Ahmed
The state is blowing past key milestones on the way to its big emissions targets.
By Colin Kinniburgh

Five years after New York lawmakers passed a landmark bill to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the state has missed several of the law’s major deadlines — and it’s about to miss another.

When it passed on this day in 2019, the law was heralded as one of the most ambitious climate plans in the world. It established big, long-term mandates — committing the state to net-zero emissions by 2050 — and lots of smaller targets along the way. Now, the growing backlog of deadlines has left the law’s backers in dismay.

As climate disasters threaten a home insurance crisis, a new state bill aims at the problem’s root. Climate reporter Colin Kinniburgh shared the story with Radio Catskill. 

Joseph Moran's disciplinary records show he beat handcuffed suspects and provided “disingenuous” and “self-serving” testimony about his conduct. Illustration: Maha Ahmed
Joseph Moran has long faced accusations of dishonesty — even from fellow officers — records show.
By Nathan Porceng

Patrolling Syracuse’s Northside neighborhood in March 2018, city police officer Joseph Moran and his partner saw what they thought was a hand-to-hand drug deal. The officers stopped one of the men involved, then handcuffed and searched him for drugs. They believed he was hiding something in his mouth and ordered him to open up. When the man refused, the partner, David Craw, punched him in the stomach and pepper sprayed him in the face. Moran pulled at the civilian’s cheek, tried to tackle him, and kneed him in the head.

Both officers filed reports on the incident. Neither mentioned they’d handcuffed the civilian before using force.

Our friends at Documented — a news site devoted solely to covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives — have a newsletter that commands the attention of thousands of immigration professionals, lawyers, advocates, and New Yorkers. We highly recommend it.

At Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum security women’s prison in the Hudson Valley, a trans man was forced to endure genital exams. Purchase College
He hopes the settlement will lead to reforms in New York prisons, where three-quarters of trans people say corrections officers have inappropriately touched or sexually assaulted them.
By Chris Gelardi

A trans man who sued the New York prison system for allegedly forcing him to undergo illegal genital examinations will receive $275,000 after the state agreed to settle his case.

In the days after the man entered a state-run women’s prison in 2020, staff inspected his genitals four times, he alleged in a lawsuit.

The man, identified as “John Smith” in court filings to protect his privacy, attempted to ward off several of the exams. Before his incarceration, Smith worked at an LGBTQ services organization where he learned that federal law prohibits jails and prisons from conducting exams solely to determine someone’s genital status, he told New York Focus and The Appeal in 2022. But prison staff placed him in an isolation cell for eight days until he acquiesced. A doctor then placed him in stirrups and penetrated him with a cotton swab.

New York Focus is seeking an experienced editor to manage our growing newsroom and to bring our accountability coverage of New York state politics to new heights.

This position is remote, but the candidate should be based in New York state. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and three clips of articles you have edited or written to by July 1.


Copyright © New York Focus 2023, All rights reserved.
Staying Focused is compiled and written by Alex Arriaga
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