New York City Council Intro. 1080 (formerly Intro 800)
Protecting New Yorkers from Discriminatory Policing by the NYPD
Backgrounder on Amended Bill (April 30, 2013)
The revised Intro 1080 would prohibit bias-based profiling by law enforcement officers. Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have indicated that they do not believe in bias-based policing. Unfortunately, as the Floyd v. City of New York trial over the NYPD’s policy of stop, question and frisk, as well as the series of Associated Press articles about undercover surveillance of Muslim mosques and student associations, have shown, there is strong reason to be concerned that the NYPD is engaging in bias-based policing.
Intro 800-A is a common-sense measure that would directly address stop-and-frisk abuses and other discriminatory policing practices that are committed against hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, including young men of more color, immigrants, the LGBT community and the homeless. The bill:
- Establishes a strong and enforceable ban on profiling and discrimination by the New York City Police Department.
- Expands the categories of individuals protected from discrimination. The current prohibition covers race, ethnicity, religion, and national origin. Intro 800-A would expand this to also include: age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability and housing status.
- Creates a meaningful “private right of action” for individuals who believe they have been unjustly profiled by the NYPD.
- Enables New Yorkers to challenge NYPD policies and practices based on intentional discrimination and disparate impact (meaning that even if a policy is not intentionally discriminatory, if it has the effect of discrimination, then a lawsuit may be brought to change the city policy that led to the effect of discrimination).
Several important changes have been made in Intro. 800-A (now Intro 1080), based on feedback at the City Council hearing (October 10, 2012) and numerous conversations with stakeholders. With those changes, Intro. 1080 would:
- Limit plaintiffs to seeking injunctive relief (i.e. changes to policy, training, etc. to address the problem) and declaratory relief (having a judge declare NYPD policies and practices unconstitutional) and would not allow them to seek monetary damages.
- Utilize the definition of profiling currently in the administrative code, which prohibits using the profile as a “determinative factor,” rather “to any degree.” This would make it clearly permissible to include identifying information in suspect descriptions.
The goal of this bill is to stop the NYPD from engaging in discriminatory profiling. There is no current enforceable ban against it in New York City, and there should be.