FLATBUSH – The race to represent Flatbush just got even more crowded. Edwin Raymond, of East Flatbush, formally announced Thursday morning his run for the 40th City Council seat to represent Flatbush, East Flatbush, PLG, and bits of surrounding neighborhoods.
Raymond is an NYPD officer, currently serving in Bed Stuy, who along with 11 others, blew the whistle on arrest quotas and racism within the department in 2016. In 2014, he, along with his childhood friend Jim St. Germain, cofounded PLOT (Preparing Leader of Tomorrow) which serves vulnerable youth by offering them mentors, resources, and support. A year later, he became an advocate for “Raise the Age,” an initiative that reformed the practice of automatically charging teenagers as adults no matter how minor the offense they committed. Raymond is also a subject of the Emmy award-winning Hulu original documentary Crime + Punishment.
Standing on the corner of Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue, Raymond announced:
“In the past few months, the Black community has been battling viruses. Most recently, it’s been COVID-19. For more than just months and even years, decades, the Black community has been battling the virus of police brutality. Black bodies will no longer be used as revenue for the city.”
He said that too many leaders remain silent and do not take action. He wants to change that.
“People have been sitting for too long and its time to take a stand. Four years ago, I decided to do the unthinkable… by speaking out against the ills and detriments that I was witnessing as a police officer. Me and 11 other cops decided to sue the city in a class-action federal lawsuit that continues to go to this day; that the city and the department continue to fight to this day,” Raymond said.
“At a time when mistrust with the department is an at an all-time high, I’m continuing to take a stand, and this is why I have decided to run for NYC Council here in the 40th district.”
Police reform is important to Raymond, and he believes his background puts him in the best position to tackle the issue.
“Because of the times we are in as a nation, many elected officials are talking about police reform. Many are talking about reforming the NYC Police Department. With all due respect to them, they don’t know anything about reforming the NYC Police Department,” he said. “I bring 12 years of front row seats to the detriments of this department. And I know exactly what needs to be done to rectify.”
“I’m running for teachers that need more resources,” he said. “I’m running for hospitals that need more funding. I’m running for communities that need more opportunities, not over-policing.”
To view more information about Raymond, check out his website here.