New York City recently took an important step toward police reform. The long-anticipated Right To Know Act has officially gone into effect, with important provisions dictating police-civilian encounters. The Act includes critical laws that will help end unconstitutional searches and require that police officers both identify themselves and provide the reason for an encounter – even leaving a business card in certain interactions.
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In the 73rd precinct in Brownsville, reporting a crime goes like this: you step through a brick entryway into a cramped, dimly-lit room and you wait there, staring at a wall.
A set of double doors and a window break up the metal barrier, but red-lettered signs remind you that you aren’t allowed to go through. On the other side of the plexiglass, police dash around the station’s spacious interior. They pay little mind to the lobby, where the four plastic seats are often taken, leaving everyone else to stand on the stained linoleum.
The Right to Know Act, a significant piece of police reform legislation passed by the City Council last December, is set to go into effect Friday and advocates who hoped it would transform street interactions between New Yorkers and police officers are worried that the NYPD may not fully comply with the new law.
Starting Friday, New York City police officers must inform civilians of their right to refuse a search if an officer has no warrant or lacks reasonable suspicion of a crime. Officers will also be required to hand a business card to civilians who they stop to question, frisk, or search.
The New York Police Department ordered 10 million business cards that officers must hand out to people they stop on the street. The cards will include the officers’ names and ranks, and are required under the new Right to Know Act.
NEW YORK — New York City cops have to give business cards to people they stop and ask for permission to perform certain searches starting Friday as two landmark police-reform laws take effect. The City Council passed the contentious pair of bills, known as the Right to Know Act, last December in an effort to protect New Yorkers' rights and improve police accountability.
Ni el paso de los años, 24 para ser más precisos, han podido borrar el dolor que sintió Iris Baez el día que encontró muerto a su hijo Anthony. El joven fue sometido a una llave de estrangulamientopor el oficial del Departamento de Policía de Nueva York (NYPD) Francis Livoti el 22 de diciembre de 1994.
Public officials and police reform advocates pledged to hold the NYPD accountable for their encounters with the public as new legislation goes into effect Friday.
Holding signs and banners reading "I do not consent to this search," activists rallied on the steps of City Hall to celebrate the implementation of the Right to Know Act. The legislation has two components: a requirement for officers (in certain instances) to identify themselves when approaching the public, and a mandate to inform a person of their right to refuse to consent to a search when the officer doesn't have probable cause.
New laws requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves and receive consent before conducting some searches are set to go into effect Friday — and police reform advocates are worried the de Blasio administration is already trying to wriggle out of the rules.
In December 2017, the New York City Council passed two police reform measures, collectively known as the Right to Know Act, which aimed to improve communication and transparency during police stops and searches. On Friday, both bills will take full effect, and the New York Police Department will be tasked with implementing the council’s mandate to become more transparent and accountable. But there are good reasons to be skeptical that the NYPD will implement the law faithfully.