The City Council determined by a majority vote that the police policy of stop and frisk had to be checked. As expected, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has staunchly defended this practice, vetoed the move.
On June 27, 2013, two of the Community Safety Act bills were passed by the City Council with veto-proof majorities. A month later, Mayor Bloomberg vetoed both bills.
Today, there will be an attempt to override that veto.
The Act emerged after years of complaints about the racial profiling that the gross abuse of stop and frisk was engendering. Only two weeks ago, a federal judge determined that stop and frisk is unconstitutional.
The Community Safety Act is two piece of legislation. The first, Intro 1080, would establish an independent inspector general to investigate and review police policies and practices and make non-binding recommendations to the mayor and the police commissioner. The second, Intro 1079, would expand the categories of persons who would be protected in cases of racial profiling and make enforceable anti-profiling legislation that is already on the books.
While a federal judge already determined and imposed an independent inspector, an override vote, and the local law that it would produce, would set the tone for future mayors and police a commissioners in how they manage policing and the NYPD’s relationship with the community.
Since the Council approved the proposals, Bloomberg and various police organizations have politically threatened opponents to prevent an override.
Unity in the City Council is critical not simply for accountability but also to protect a democratic process and the voice of the people against a Mayor who offered a deaf ear.