Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) released the following joint statement today with 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“We acknowledge that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly are hearing the outcry regarding stop-and-frisk and are starting to respond. But let us be clear, the issues we’ve been raising about stop-and-frisk are not just ones of ‘Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect.’ While we are pleased that the NYPD is reinforcing these principles in its officers, the mayor and police commissioner continue to fail to address the central fact that each year hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are illegally and unjustly stopped-and-frisked simply because they are people of color. We need a major overhaul of the out-of-control, unlawful and discriminatory practices of the NYPD.
If the Mayor and the Police Commissioner are serious about reform, they must support the Community Safety Act bills that are pending in the City Council, which are an essential first step towards ending discriminatory policing and improving police accountability in New York City. We must act now to ensure our children and all New Yorkers no longer live in a city where they are policed differently based on factors like their race, religion, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, age, housing status or occupation.”
About the Community Safety Act
The Community Safety Act is a landmark police reform legislative package that currently consists of four bills aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real accountability to the NYPD. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where police officers treat all residents equally and respectfully, and are not above the law. These four bills have been introduced in the City Council and are awaiting a hearing and a vote. The Community Safety Act includes:
Intro 800 – Protecting New Yorkers against discrimination by the NYPD
- Creates a strong ban on profiling and discrimination by the NYPD.
- Expands protections to prohibit profiling based on age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, housing status, language, disability, in addition to race, religion or ethnicity.
- Holds the NYPD accountable for practices that impact different communities or groups in discriminatory ways – like stop and frisk practices that single out people of color.
Similar laws exist in Illinois, West Virginia and Arkansas. This bill is also similar to the federal End Racial Profiling Act.
Intro 799 – Protecting New Yorkers against unlawful searches
- Ends the practice of the NYPD deceiving New Yorkers into consenting to unnecessary searches.
- Requires officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no warrant or probably cause.
- Requires officers to obtain verbal or written consent to a search.
Similar laws exist in Colorado and West Virginia.
Intro 801 – Requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves and explain their actions
- Requires officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity, such as stop-and-frisk.
- Requires officers to provide a business card to the person with the officer’s name and rank and a phone number for the Civilian Complaint Review Board at the end of each police encounter.
Similar laws exist in Arkansas, Minnesota and Colorado.
Intro 881 – Establishing an Inspector General for the NYPD to provide independent oversight
- Creates an Office of the Inspector General to examine systemic issues within the NYPD and provide effective oversight, with subpoena power, to protect New Yorkers from abuses and misconduct.
Inspectors General monitor the FBI, CIA, LAPD and every major New York City agency except for the NYPD.