Taking a Stand for Police Accountability

Yesterday, I joined my Progressive Caucus colleagues Jumaane Williams, Letitia James, Brad Lander, Ydanis Rodriguez and others in standing up to keep NYPD accountable to New Yorkers. NYPD increasingly relies on stop-and-frisk tactics with a significant impact on communities of color. In 2002, the NYPD made approximately 97,000 stops. By 2010, the number of stops had increased to more than 601,000. Black and Latino New Yorkers face the brunt of this practice and consistently represent more than 80 percent of people stopped despite representing just over 50 percent of the city’s population. Moreover, stop-and-frisk practices have not increased public safety, as year-after-year nearly 90 percent of individuals stopped are neither arrested nor issued a summons. Bias-based profiling by the police alienates communities from law enforcement, violates New Yorkers’ rights and freedoms, and is a danger to public safety.

The bills we introduce will reform police practices to keep NYPD accountable by:

1. Prohibiting bias-based profiling by law enforcement officers that relies, to any degree, on actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration or citizenship status, language, disability (including HIV status), housing status, occupation, or socioeconomic status.

2. Requiring law enforcement officers to identify themselves and the reason for questioning, and present a business card at the end of the encounter which will identify the name, rank, and command of the officer, and a phone number for the Civilian Complaint Review Board that the subject of the law enforcement activity may use to submit comments or complaints about the encounter

3. Requiring law enforcement officers to provide notice and obtain written or recorded proof of consent to search individuals. Many New Yorkers are unaware of their constitutional right to privacy when interacting with law enforcement officers.

We want to hear from you.

Have you been the victim of unaccountable police officers whose activity would not have been allowed under this law? Share your story.

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3 thoughts on “Taking a Stand for Police Accountability

  1. Perhaps an addendum to the bill that permits the usage of cell phone cameras or any other image capturing device that enables an individual being stopped and frisked to take a picture of the questioning officer’s badge number and name tag, if the officer fails to provide a business card for any reason.

  2. I totally agree “stopping & frisking” over 500,000 people without valid reason or cause (not even a SUMMONS or CITATION issued) is WRONG! but the larger issue is what we as a community have to do to help our communities, while holding law enforcement accountable! (how can WE the community help decrease crime?)

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