Police Reform Project

The Empire Justice Center’s Criminal Justice Reform Project promotes equity, antiracism, and social justice within established criminal justice systems such as law enforcement departments and institutions of pre-trial incarceration.

To achieve these goals, Empire Justice Center partners with organizations, community groups, and individuals to understand the needs of communities; educates the public about their legal rights and systemic inequities; develops policy positions; engages in strategic communication with organizational leaders; lobbies to achieve greater fairness and equity in legislation; and engages in targeted litigation.



A pretext stop is when a police officer stops an individual for a minor offense – like not having a bell on a bicycle or having something hanging from a car’s rear view mirror – when the real reason for the stop is either a suspicion without enough of a basis that they have done something wrong, or another reason that would be illegal, like racial profiling. These stops are often conducted in communities of color and are often directed against young Black men. Multiple studies demonstrate the racial disparities in who is subjected to pretext stops.

Empire Justice Center is working to #StopTheStops. We are developing a report about pretext stops, and will be creating proposals to reduce or eliminate these racially disparate stops in New York. For a preview of the report,  click HERE.



If you would like to join a mailing list of our supporters who wish to receive information about our efforts in this area, click HERE.

If you have been subjected to a pretext stop, and would like to share your story for possible inclusion in our final report, click HERE.



Read the Listening Tour Announcement  HERE.