NYC City Council Wants to Rein In Stop and Frisk

Positive news continues out of New York City, where the city council is joining a federal judge in trying to rein in the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program and bring it more in line with the Bill of Rights and less racially biased in it application. And they just overrode Mayor Bloomberg’s veto to do it.

The New York City Council has voted to pass bills that will create an outside watchdog for the nation’s biggest police department and make it easier for people to file profiling claims against it, overriding mayoral vetoes…

The racial profiling bill’s main sponsor Councilman Jumaane Williams became emotional as he cast his vote and spoke following the override.

“No one on this floor is anti-NYPD. We are anti policies that aren’t working,” he said…

As WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reported, the override required 34 votes to pass. The inspector general measure was overridden with 39 votes. The bill expanding legal avenues for racial profiling victims secured the minimum 34 votes.

Bloomberg, of course, is throwing a fit over it and accusing the city council of making residents of the city less safe. Because if they don’t stop thousands of dark-skinned people every day for no good reason, PEOPLE WILL DIE! RUN, RUN AWAY!

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  • Abby Normal

    But did they pray before they voted?

  • Marcus Ranum

    Stop and Frisk is the tip of the iceberg. They’ve also gone full on covert ops to fuel their “fusion centers” …

    Our motto: “why worry about it, if you’re not doing anything wrong”

  • Synfandel

    We are anti policies that aren’t working.

    If only someone could come up with an actual word that means “against”, so that we wouldn’t have to pretend that “anti” was a word.

  • Ryan Jean

    “No one on this floor is anti-NYPD. We are anti policies that aren’t working,” he said…

    …as he conveniently left out being against policies that are merely unjust or against our constitutional values and rights.

    Seriously, if your *only* argument against something as bad as stop-and-frisk is that the policy isn’t working, I will grant that as better than not being against it at all, but you’re clearly missing something much more important!

  • Michael Heath

    I’m with Ryan Jean @ 4.

  • caseloweraz

    I can’t help but be reminded of the Cities in Flight novels by James Blish. The central city in these science-fiction tales is New York City, and at one point, to prevent opposition to a dangerous policy decision, Mayor John Amalfi tells his city manager, “Get below and turn off the City Fathers.”

    In the novel, the City Fathers are computers. The Big Apple’s present-day council can’t be turned off so easily.

  • frog

    Am I misunderstanding that the primary problem with the stop-and-frisk program, as carried out, was that it was applied with racial bias? That is, they stopped far more brown-skinned people than the city’s actual population distribution. (And iirc, the percentage of stops that turned up something was higher amongst the white folks.)

    If I understand correctly, the basic concept of stop-and-frisk was not excluded or even derided by the judge.

    Would it not be possible, then, to get around the judge’s intent by simply stopping more white people, so that the policy is no longer biased against distinct racial groups?

    Not that I’m advocating this as a solution, of course; just wondering if this is something some cleverboots in the mayor’s office or NYPD might come up with.

  • Dan J

    Ed; your last line made me think of only one thing — Slade’s “Run Run Away.”

  • maddog1129

    But “stop and frisk” IS working! It works to show that what cops claim is a “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity is anything but. It should work to change the standard of what counts as a reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop, because they are finding zilch based on their “reasonable suspicions” over 80 percent of the time.