Elected Officials, Families of New Yorkers Killed by Police, and Community Groups Rally To Demand Mayor Adams Sign NYPD Transparency Legislation Into Law
Today, nearly one month since the City Council passed the How Many Stops Act (HMSA) with a veto-proof majority vote, families of New Yorkers killed by the NYPD, community groups, advocates, and bill lead sponsors Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Councilmember Alexa Aviles along with Councilmember Chi Ossé rallied together to demand Mayor Adams sign HMSA into law. HMSA is common sense good government legislation that will bring critical transparency to the NYPD’s most common police actions in our communities. It is also endorsed by both the Black Latino Asian Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, 100+ organizations across the city, and 28 family members of New Yorkers killed by the NYPD.
“Under Mayor Adams, racially disparate stop-and-frisks are at an all time high since 2015, the NYPD is fatally shooting New Yorkers at its highest rate in a decade, and police misconduct cases have increased by 51% in a year’s time. It’s crystal clear that, now more than ever, New Yorkers need the How Many Stops Act to advance police accountability and community safety,” said Communities United for Police Reform Spokesperson Chauvet Bishop, an Organizer with the Justice Committee. “It’s outrageous and telling that - rather than embracing this common sense measure that communities have been calling for years - the mayor, NYPD and police unions are leveraging city resources to wage a misinformation campaign in an attempt to shield the Department from public scrutiny of its abusive practices.”
Thanks to a citywide organizing campaign, the City Council passed the How Many Stops Act with overwhelming support in December. In spite of this, the Adams administration, NYPD and police unions have been waging a misinformation campaign in opposition. The mayor has until January 19th to determine if he will veto the legislation.
Currently, the NYPD is only required to report on level 3 stops, commonly known as stop-and-frisk. Almost 90% of those stopped are Black and Latino/a/x New Yorkers. These statistics are only for the stops the NYPD is required to report. Communities that have been most impacted by the NYPD’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices and racial profiling have been calling for the level of transparency the How Many Stops Act will provide for years. The passage of HMSA will bring urgent and necessary transparency about formerly unreported categories of stops - referred to as level 1 and 2 by the NYPD - which constitute the vast majority of the NYPD’s investigative encounters with civilians.
Research on Stop & Frisk indicates that surveillance and constant forced interaction with the NYPD inflicts harm and real emotional distress, overwhelmingly on Black and Latinx New Yorkers, as well as other communities of color, LGBTQ/GNC people, immigrants, homeless people, religious minorities, low-income people, and youth. Advocates for HMSA assert that this critical legislation will help to address the NYPD’s chronic underreporting of stops, ensure officers are only making stops with the proper legal justification, identify patterns of abuse so the city can make informed decisions about what future changes that are needed, and set the stage for increased NYPD accountability for unconstitutional, abusive and racially motivated enforcement practices.
Despite the misinformation campaign being spread by the NYPD, police unions and the mayor, HMSA will be easy to implement given existing NYPD digital systems. The reporting it requires can be accomplished by officers in a matter of seconds, as Judge Ariel Belen, the facilitator for the Floyd v the City of New York stop-and-frisk civil suit, has asserted.
“The bill which the mayor and others have spoken out against bears no resemblance to the bill we actually passed,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “This may be the most flagrant misinformation campaign I have seen from any administration in my time in office, misleading both the public and the police. I urge both the mayor and the public to read the actual text of the bill, which should correct what are at best misconceptions and at worst lies, which, unlike this basic transparency bill, will undermine public safety.”
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.Topics: How Many Stops Act