Via The New York Post:
Forget Ray Kelly, Bill de Blasio is getting his policing advice from the real experts — hardened criminals.
A group of 50 ex-cons, junkies and chronic vagrants gathered at a Manhattan “Think Tank” Thursday to describe what they thought the NYPD should be doing to make their lives easier.
The felonious forum outlined a clear “get-soft-on-crime” vision.
“I like the idea of ending stop and frisk. That was the first thing that was totally there for me,” opined Mikell Green-Grand, a 49-year-old former jailbird who has convictions for grand larceny and identity theft.
Arthur Castillo, 38 — who has been convicted for possessing stolen property and assault — said he would be much obliged if the cops just left him alone to do his thing.
“Cops won’t leave us alone!” he said. “Newly released prisoners are watched by the police and a lot of us don’t feel we have an opportunity to readapt to normal life because we are treated as criminals even though we are free.”
The event, which was held in Morningside Heights, was hosted by an advisory group called Talking Transitions, run by liberal billionaire investment magnate George Soros.
The goal was to offer de Blasio tips on “policing, corrections, parole policies and more.”
Since Talking Transitions is actually advising de Blasio during his preparations for assuming office, the opinions posited by the panel of crooks and deadbeats will be relayed to him and could have real policy effects.
“Bloomberg forgot about all of us. I’m hoping DeBlasio remembers us,” said Gregorio “Koko” Cruz, 63, who was convicted of first degree manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon.
“After 12 years of Bloomberg, it’s time for a change,” the thief Green-Grand added.
Castillo, of Bayside, Queens, called for de Blasio to both “redistribute” the wealth and pay what is, in effect, protection money.
“A lot of money is spent on the prison system — it should be used to cultivate prisoners lives,” he opined. “The money should be redistributed to help those who want to change while they are incarcerated.”
Other ex-cons suggested that de Blasio make the city easier for illegal immigrants to find work.
“Currently, our policies with foreigners coming in here is a problem,” said ex-con Michael Francis.
A day before the convicts talked policy uptown, De Blasio toured Talking Transitions SoHo headquarters.
The group says it is “an open conversation about the future of New York City…to help shape the transition to a new mayor.”
De Blasio didn’t appear at the event, but he will be brought up to speed by reps from the organization, who partnered with the The Fortune Society, which helps prisoners transition into the real world after release.