Adams Fought the Lawmakers and the Lawmakers Won

January 31, 2024
Nick Pinto
Hell Gate

On Tuesday morning, City Hall was abuzz, as the biggest political conflict of the new year came to a head. City Council had scheduled a vote to override two bills vetoed by Mayor Eric Adams. One bill required City jails to end the practice of holding people in protracted isolation. (The council had already banned solitary confinement nearly a decade earlier, but studies suggested that the Department of Correction has simply continued the practice under other names.) The other bill, prompted by evidence that police officers are routinely miscategorizing their encounters with the public in a way that obscures who they're stopping, how often, and why, requires the police to log all of their encounters, not just those required under the consent decree governing the department's stop-and-frisk practices.

Adams had vetoed both bills, arguing that asking police to log their encounters would drown them in paperwork and make the public less safe, and that restricting the jails' ability to isolate people in custody would make the jails less safe. After the vetoes, the mayor undertook a weeks-long high-profile campaign of speeches, press appearances, photo-ops, and animated shorts to try to prevent his vetoes from being overridden. The Council, for its part, which has generally steered away from direct legislative conflict with the mayor, appeared determined to follow through on its override.


Topics: How Many Stops Act