New York City mayor vetoes bills to limit stop-and-frisk policy

NEW YORK Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:03pm EDT

New York Police Department officers stand in the Times Square in New York, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New York Police Department officers stand in the Times Square in New York, April 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday vetoed two measures meant to curb the city's controversial stop-and-frisk policing policy, setting up a likely showdown with the City Council.

Bloomberg called the bills dangerous and irresponsible and said they would make the city less safe.

One measure would create an independent inspector general to monitor the New York City Police Department. The other would expand the definition of racial profiling and allow people who believe they have been profiled to sue police in state court.

Bloomberg has defended the policy of stopping, questioning and frisking suspected wrongdoers to fight crime.

Opponents of stop-and-frisk, among them minority groups, civil libertarians and some of the Democratic mayoral candidates, have said police officers disproportionately target young black and Hispanic men.

Each of the measures, together called the Community Safety Act, passed the 51-member City Council with the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto.

City Council members who back the measures vowed to override Bloomberg's vetoes.

"The Community Safety Act will help us make New York a place where everyone can walk the streets without fear of violence or discriminatory policing," said Democratic council members Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander. "We look forward to overturning Mayor Bloomberg's veto and making this legislation law."

Bloomberg argued that the first measure would create not an inspector general but an official who would rival the police commissioner on law enforcement policy and strategy.

"The consequences would be chaotic, dangerous, and even deadly for our police officers and for our city," he wrote. The second, he said, would unleash an avalanche of lawsuits against the police department.

Communities United for Police Reform, an organization that advocates an end to the stop-and-frisk policy, said it was disappointed by the vetoes, which it called "misguided."

"New York City must outlaw racial profiling and all discriminatory profiling," it said in a statement.

One of the Democratic mayoral candidates, Bill de Blasio, said Bloomberg was turning a blind eye to racial profiling.

"I believe we need a real change, and encourage City Council members to stand by their votes and override the Mayor's veto," he said in a statement. "Our young men cannot afford for us to waver in the face of intimidation from City Hall."

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Toni Reinhold)

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Comments (3)
If any overwhelmingly “ethnic” neighborhood has an abnormally high crime rate; who else would the police be inclined to frisk?

Especially if the police are handicapped by neighborhood “ethnic silence,” how are the police supposed to otherwise prevent crime?

There is nothing “bigoted” or “racial” about violent crime statistics, in particular.

Is there a “white” neighborhood, comparably plagued by violent crime; with any reasonable suggestion that the cops are doing anything different – to ‘whites?’

Jul 23, 2013 8:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cpasteve wrote:
After years of progress, the City seems to be headed for David Dinkins redux.

Jul 24, 2013 7:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
anothertaking wrote:
Do you want to know what is racist.

Chicago has as many as 10 murders in a given weekend,

and there is no one stopping the deaths of young black males.

Stop and Frisk is a needed reality.

Why are they not stopping these deaths, why isn’t Sharpton

leading 1000′s down the street in Chicago in demanding more stop and frisk be done ?

Probably one of Bloomberg’s Best moves.
Well, at least for the safety of the New York City people, the best move.

Politically it may not be, unfortunately there are many na├»ve that don’t

realize how important this is.

Facts do prove it. Detroit. Shortly after they removed stop and frisk

the crime spread dramatically and those with means, both black and white,

moved out.

Stop and Frisk has proven results.

Jul 24, 2013 2:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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