In Open Letter To Council, Coalition Rebukes NYPD Ride Alongs as PR Stunt, Urges Council to Override Mayor's Veto
Today, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), which coordinates the broader How Many Stops Act Coalition, delivered a letter to New York City Council Members urging them to consider Mayor Eric Adams’ request that they participate in “NYPD ride-alongs” a tactic in his dangerous misinformation campaign against the How Many Stops Act (HMSA). The letter also calls on the City Council to override the mayor’s veto of HMSA.
“The mayor, NYPD, and police unions have been lying about Intro. 586 of the How Many Stops Act (HMSA) - both regarding what kinds of encounters require reporting and the method and amount of time it will take for officers to report,” the letter states.
Thanks to citywide organizing led by those most impacted by the NYPD’s abusive practices, the City Council passed the How Many Stops Act at the end of 2023 with veto-proof majority support. The mayor vetoed Intro. 586 of the How Many Stops Act on January 19 and resorted to spreading false and misleading information, disrupting press conferences, and pouring resources into campaigning against it.
“We fully support the council members who are choosing to say no to the mayor’s latest attempt to smear common-sense legislation that will improve public safety for all New Yorkers. We also understand that there are reasons that some council members may choose to participate, or agree to ride-alongs only in your own districts,” the letter states.
HMSA requires the NYPD to publicly report on officers’ Level 1 and 2 investigative encounters, which are formal police actions taken with a specific law enforcement or investigative purpose. Saying hello, giving directions, and other casual conversations are explicitly excluded from the reporting requirement.
As experts such as Judge Ariel Belen - the facilitator for the stop-and-frisk remedies process - have said, this kind of reporting is simple and doable. In the age of smartphones, reports like these can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. Officers already complete the stop reports they are required to do digitally, not via paperwork.
The letter points out that providing the City Council and New Yorkers with a truthful picture of how the NYPD is operating in Black, Latinx and other communities of color is what HMSA will accomplish.
“Reporting on all street stops and investigative encounters - including where, why and key demographic about who is being stopped - will tell you a great deal more about how the NYPD is operating in your district than a pre-planned, cherry-picked trip in a patrol car with an officer who knows they are being observed by an elected official,” the letter states.
“Ultimately, we call upon you to advance police transparency and accountability and true community safety by voting to override the Mayor’s veto of the Intro. 586 of the How Many Stops Act,” the letter concludes.
The letter from CPR can be found here.
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