One would think that the field of candidates vying to replace Haitian Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene in June’s Democratic Primary for the 40th Council District in Brooklyn is crowded enough. But Haitian American New York Police Department (NYPD) Lieutenant, Edwin Raymond is, clearly, unconcerned.
Raymond — the son of Haitian immigrants, who was born, raised and still resides in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn — told Caribbean Life recently that he’s the best candidate to replace the term-limited Eugene.
The police officer said he is running for District 40 “for teachers that need more resources, for hospitals that need more funding and for communities that need more opportunities, not over-policing.”
He said he is “dedicated to addressing issues of over-policing, improving schools, increasing affordable housing, supporting small businesses and making quality healthcare accessible.”
As an NYPD officer, Raymond said he knows what needs to change “so that our police force is accountable to all New Yorkers,” stating that it “starts with increased oversight from the City Council.”
Dedicating his early life to activism, in 2014, Raymond, along with his childhood friend, co-founded PLOT (Preparing Leaders 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 said he has always sought out ways to advocate and strengthen the communities that he has been a part of, adding that he seeks to continue that work in the 40th District.
He said he, along with 11 NYPD officers, risked their lives to “blow the whistle on harmful arrest quotas and racism within the NYPD.”
Raymond said he is “no stranger to speaking truth to power” and is determined to be “a voice for the people of Council District 40.”
Since his activism, he said has been a fighter in not only dismantling the “NYPD’s harmful policing practices but overall institutions impacting marginalized communities.”
He said h risked his livelihood through exposing the NYPD and continuously faced retaliation from upper management because he “did not align with the corrupt police force environment.
“This is why I understand the urgency of transforming our police force and its culture from City Hall,” Raymond said.
Through his time as a police officer, he said he “experienced the ways District 40 has faced transit issues, food insecurity and inequitable development,” disclosing that he “gave true consideration about running for City Council about two years ago, where there was difficulty to make monumental changes without direct City Council involvement.”
With his main focus being criminal justice and police reform, Raymond said these reforms “can truly be implemented by becoming the chairperson of the Public Safety Committee.”
However, he said his work in being a whistleblower is why he strives to be “a vocal advocate in times when City Council defers their judgement to the designated council member.”
Raymond said his upper-management skills from being a police lieutenant give him “the insight of budgeting and a full understanding of how to effectively manage department budgets.”
He said he relays his time in law enforcement to “fully propel the social services, education and healthcare we need, as well as using innovative programs to build community.”