Stop-and-frisk advocates pan unions' negotiating plan
Advocates for reforming stop-and-frisk criticized two police union presidents for saying they would consider dropping a suit to block police oversight measures as part of negotiations for a new contract.
"It is disgraceful that NYPD unions are attempting to hold the civil rights of New Yorkers hostage as leverage for their contract negotiations," said Joo-Hyun Kang, a spokeswoman for Communities United for Police Reform, an advocacy organization that pushed for legal changes to stop-and-frisk.
"We cannot comment on the police unions' motivation for pursuing intervention; what is clear is that the unions have stated no legally valid interest in intervening in these proceedings," said Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which sued city last year over the police practice.
Kang and Azmy were responding to a Capital report on Wednesday morning that quoted two union presidents on their potential negotiating tactic.
Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said he would consider linking his ongoing appeal of a federal court ruling that found stop-and-frisk unjustly targeted minorities to his union's negotiations for a new contract.
Mullins is also pursuing legal action over a new law that gives citizens a private right of action if they can prove they were stopped and frisked because of their race, gender, housing status or a slew of other identifying factors.
On Wednesday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would drop former mayor Michael Bloomberg's lawsuit over that measure, which the City Council passed last year.
Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association, also said he might change his stance on the federal appeal, depending on what the city offers him during collective bargaining.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is facing 152 expired union contracts that he has said he wants to settle by the year's end, did not comment on the unions leaders' remarks.
"The mayor has made his position known on stop-and-frisk litigation," said spokesman Wiley Norvell. "As with all open labor contracts, the mayor will respect workers and protect taxpayers throughout the process."