racial profiling Tag All blog entries tagged as racial profiling http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:45:31 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Legendary Morgenthau Thinks City Council Shouldn't Rein In Stop-And-Frisk http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/24/legendary-morgenthau-thinks-city-council-shouldnt-rein-in-stop-and-frisk http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/24/legendary-morgenthau-thinks-city-council-shouldnt-rein-in-stop-and-frisk

NEW YORK — Legendary former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau recalled yesterday how in the 1960s and 1970s police avoided making stops of potential suspects out of fear of retribution.

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"That's where we were," he said as he stood with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and a bevy of law enforcement leaders who had gathered at One Police Plaza. They had gathered to voice their opposition to a package of City Council bills aimed, in part, at reining in the New York Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk.

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Morgenthau, who was the city's top prosecutor for more than three decades until his retirement in 2009, praised the NYPD's record and said that, instead of pursuing the legislation, the Council should tackle what he called the disproportionate deaths of black men by gun violence.

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"What's the City Council going to do about that?" he asked. "If City Council wants to do something that's important, let see how they can reduce or propose a reduction of the murder of African American men."

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It was an argument that echoed defenses of stop-and-frisk put forth in the past by Bloomberg and Kelly.

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The mayor, for his part, said the bills would be a burden on the NYPD. "What we mustn’t have is what these laws would create: A police department pointlessly hampered by outside intrusion, and recklessly threatened by second-guessing from the courts," the mayor said.

The City Council bills had been stalled in the public safety committee, where the chair, Peter Vallone Jr., opposed it and refused to bring it to a vote. Using a seldom-used legislative procedure known as a "motion to discharge," the Council voted to circumvent the public safety committee today and the bills will now go to the floor for a vote.

The pair of bills aim to strengthen the city's racial profiling ban and create an inspector general to independently monitor the NYPD — potentially setting the ground to reshape police policy.

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said New Yorkers who are disproportionally stopped and frisked or who are under police surveillance are already living in a 1960s-like reality as a result of racial profiling by the NYPD.

"We're making our communities trust police," Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, defending the legislation. "I've gone to my community and said we have to view them as community partners."

William's co-sponsor, Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, said the bills would improve public safety.

"The bills are simple," Lander said. "When we vote to discharge them today, when we vote to pass them on Wednesday, when we override Mayor Bloomberg's veto when it comes back to us — we will help makes sure that we have safer streets. We will make sure that people's rights are protested and respected. And we will restore the bonds of trust that are necessary for good policing in New York City."

On Monday, the motions to discharge by the sponsors of the Council legislation were met with bipartisan opposition from seven Council members: Queens Democrats Vallone, James Gennaro and Peter Koo joined with Queens Republican Eric Ulrich, as did Staten Island Republicans James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio. Brooklyn Democrats Lew Fidler and Mike Nelson voted against the discharges as well.

It was the first time in the seven-year tenure of Speaker Christine Quinn that a motion to discharge had been brought in the Council. Quinn is opposed to the racial profiling bill, but has said she would support the inspector general bill.

The bills now go to to a floor vote at a second City Council meeting currently scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. As of Monday afternoon, only the inspector general bill has a veto-majority of 35 co-sponsors secured.

The racial profiling bill only has 33 of the same 35 co-sponsors its sister legislation enjoys.

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Gotham Gazette intern Daniel Stein-Sayles contributed to this report.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) Public Safety Mon, 24 Jun 2013 21:26:05 +0000
Brooklyn Councilman: Opposition To NYPD Bills 'Paternalistic' http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/11/brooklyn-councilman-opposition-to-nypd-bills-paternalistic http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/11/brooklyn-councilman-opposition-to-nypd-bills-paternalistic

Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams calls opposition to two bills that would increase oversight and regulation of the New York Police Department "paternalistic."

The bills to create an independent police department inspector general and expand the city's ban on racial profiling are expected to be introduced at tomorrow's Council meeting.

"What sometimes disturbs me is that the most vociferous people against these bills generally are not the ones that deal with gun violence in their district and are not the ones who deal with over-policing in their district," Williams said earlier today after unveiling the latest versions of the bills at City Hall. His district has already seen at least 27 shootings this year.

"I would wager a bet," Williams continued while punctuating his points by thumping his fist at the podium before him, "that I have been to more funerals of young black men than they have. That I have spoken to more mothers just minutes, hours, days after they've lost a young black or Latino male than they have."

Yesterday, Williams and fellow Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander, a co-sponsor, announced that they would bypass the chair of the Council's public safety committee in order to get the bills to the floor for a vote in the next few weeks.

The committee's chair, Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., told the Gotham Gazette today that he opposes the racial profiling bill in particular, which builds upon legislation he helped write and pass in 2004.

"Virtually everyone in law enforcement is opposed to this bill," Vallone said. "And I can't think of anybody more affected by gun violence than law enforcement."

Vallone specifically questioned a part of the bill that would allow residents to sue police for biased profiling, a move that he said would put a hole in the city budget and take police officers off the streets.

"If anyone doesn't think massive costs will not lead to an increase in crime, well, they're absolutely naive," Vallone said, adding that there is no middle ground in a debate between police and those "without a single day of experience in law enforcement."

Lander said the bill only allows for declaratory releif in lawsuits, not monetary, and there's a high bar for plaintiffs to bring about a lawsuit.

"Let's be clear," Lander said during the presser, "the goal of this legislation is to make sure the NYPD does good policies that doesn't involve biased-based profiling. The standards of the law are clear, and if they simply use the clear test provided in the law, they'll easily be able to continue to implement permissible policies."

Lander added that he and Williams were confident that the City Council will have secured veto-proof majorities by the time the bill goes to a vote. Bloomberg has committed to vetoing both bills, which Lander expects will happen before August.

Over the last few months, Bloomberg has used both bills as a measure of his replacement's commitment to public safety, making them a central point of debate in many mayoral forums.

Democratic frontrunner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has committed to the inspector general bill, but not to the profiling legislation. Still, she's willing to let the bill go to a vote.

Besides Quinn, only Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is supportive of both bills. Former comptroller Bill Thompson and former Congressman Anthony Weiner have argued that they would be unnecessary under their administrations.

Sitting Comptroller John Liu often describes stop-and-frisk as institutionalized profiling. Like like Thompson and Weiner, he dismisses the need for a monitor under his leadership. All the Republican candidates support NYPD's stop-and-frisk.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) Public Safety Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:21:36 +0000