The NYPD has been nefariously expanding their gang database that started as “Operation Crew Cut” unbeknownst to the public (Trujillo, In These Times; ). During that period of time over people were deemed to be gang affiliated (Sperri, The Intercept), 99% of them were non-white and 30% of them were minors. To be added to the the gang database you do not need to be convicted of a crime, the NYPD determines gang status by the where the community member lives, who they interacted with, what color clothing they wear, what they have posted on social media, and other activities that are not related to gang or criminal activity, such as participating in dance teams or playing certain video games online. Moreover, there is no way to find out if one was added into the database or how to be redacted from it. Innocent people who get arrested because of Operation Crew Cut can be charged with conspiracy of committing a crime and spending up to 25 years in prison when they have done nothing wrong. The NYPD has been criminalizing the city’s most defenseless faction of people in the entire city; youth of color, without constitutional cause.
Recognizing the large voting disparity between white community members and people of color, Operation Crew Count will take a multi-layered approach to undo the harms of Operation Crew Cut by engaging the most marginalized and disenfranchised community members into the voting process while addressing gun violence and food insecurity. Operation Crew Count, an initiative of NYC Together will activate and EMPLOY young people impacted by overpolicing and gun violence to set up voter registration and census stations between the hours of 6pm and 10pm on NYC blocks most impacted by gun violence and that represent the highest number of incarcerated community members. This initiative is designed to address the surge in gun violence by occupying the block and bring awareness and attention to the most under-resourced blocks and residents of NYC. The goal is to register the same amount of people that were admitted into the NYPD gang database during Operation Crew Cut.