Incoming Commissioner James O'Neill says NYPD will follow Bill Bratton's lead in deal to avoid police reforms

August 4, 2016
Graham Rayman, Erin Durkin
New York Daily News

Incoming Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he’ll stick to a controversial deal with the City Council on identification and search rules — prompting a clash with some police reform advocates before he’s even started the job.

O’Neill, the current Chief of Department who will take over for Bill Bratton, said he’d stick to the deal his predecessor made to avoid a vote on two bills called the Right to Know Act.

Instead of legislation, the NYPD will instruct cops to ask for consent before they search people and identify themselves with business cards in some circumstances.

“It was a long hard road to get to where we are so I am totally committed to the deal that was made,” O’Neill told reporters Thursday.

Bratton had fiercely opposed the bills, along with other legislation to regulate cops, and some Council members and advocates hoped they might have an easier path after he steps down.

Advocacy group Communities United for Police Reform quickly blasted O’Neill’s stance.

“It’s disappointing that before Chief O’Neill even becomes police commissioner he is making commitments to a backroom political deal between Commissioner Bratton and Speaker (Melissa) Mark-Viverito that attempts to gut the Right to Know Act police reforms,” said spokesman Mark Winston Griffith, also executive director of Brooklyn Movement Center.

“If that represents the type of community engagement of the new commissioner that is being so aggressively promoted, then he’s revealed it’s really just politics as usual without substance,” he said. “This growing coalition will continue to move forward to pass the Right to Know Act into law despite the political obstruction.”



Topics: Right to Know Act