12:15 pm Sep. 27, 2012
One bill would create a new office designed to investigate possible wrong-doing by police officers. Another would require police officers leave a business card with people they stop and frisk. A third would require cops to get proof of written or verbal consent before searching people not under arrest.
But the bill New York City Council public safety committee chairman Peter Vallone Jr. is most worried about is Intro 800, which would redefine the meaning of "racial profiling" and make it easier for people or organizations to file lawsuits for discrimination.
"If Intro 80 passes, it will bankrupt the city and end stop-and-frisk, which mans it will be safer for criminals to carry guns and kill again," Vallone, a law-and-order Democrat from Astoria, wrote in a statement.
He referred to the bill as the "Criminal Safety Act," and the "scariest bill to ever be discussed by the council."
The bill defines "biased-based profiling" as any action that "relies, to any degree" on a person's color, ethnicity, religion, "housing status" or other info, rather than "trustworthy information or circumstances."
The bill removes the words "an individual's behavior" from the list of exceptions to "biased-based profiling."
The bill has 29 supporters, a majority of the Democratic caucus which controls the chamber.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that there will be a public hearing on these four bills next month.
Rapper Talib Kweli and Jasiri X will join the NAACP's national president and C.E.O., Ben Jealous, and others in speaking out against a number of New York Police Department practices they say are discriminatory.
UPDATE: Joo-Hyun Kang, spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform responds:
“Council Member Vallone’s suggestion that this bill will allow criminals to carry guns and kill is ridiculous. Allowing illegal, discriminatory policing to continue is what will bankrupt the city, fiscally and morally, as it already pays out millions of dollars a year due to discriminatory policing practices.
“It's sad that people think that prohibiting police profiling of communities of color, the LGBT community, public housing residents, immigrants, the homeless, and others based on their religion, ethnicity or gender identity or expression is 'scary.' We believe the City Council can pass legislation that will prevent the discriminatory profiling of New Yorkers and make the City safer, and look forward to working with council members to accomplish that.”
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