Critics of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice, including many of the candidates vying to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, applauded a judge’s ruling this morning declaring the city’s current use of the tactic unconstitutional.
In a round of strongly worded statements, the Democratic hopefuls repeatedly said the ruling reaffirmed what they already knew: police had overstepped their boundaries by stopping hundreds of thousands of young men, overwhelmingly young black and Latino, on insufficient grounds.
The gloves are finally coming off in this year’s mayoral election.
In an email from former Comptroller Bill Thompson’s campaign, three African-American pols blasted rival candidate Bill de Blasio for “deeply offensive” comments yesterday regarding Mr. Thompson’s position on stop-and-frisk.
“We’ve all seen politicians play fast and loose with the truth, but Bill de Blasio is tying himself up in knots trying to tell people that the only African American in the race for Mayor wants ‘to have it both ways’ on racial profiling,” they fumed.
City Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander left City Hall in the wee hours of this morning after successfully quarterbacking two controversial bills aimed at reforming NYPD practices. And less than twelve hours later, they returned to City Hall’s steps enlivened and exultant to celebrate the victory.
Joined by Reverend Al Sharpton and a cadre of supporters, the group heralded the combined efforts of members of the City Council in passing the two bills that comprised the Community Safety Act with veto-proof majorities.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a plan Monday to bypass Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s efforts to halt the passage of two controversial public safety bills by forcing a vote using a rarely-used mechanism that members–including Mr. Vallone—had previously threatened to use against Ms. Quinn.
Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander said they plan to file discharge petitions later this week to force the council to vote on two bills opposed by both the mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: one that would create an independent inspector general to monitor the NYPD and another that would expand the definition of racial profiling and allow those who believe they’ve been wronged to sue police in state court.
City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn came out against a bill Wednesday that would prohibit the Police Department from profiling on the basis of race, religion and gender—but for the very first time in her tenure, said she would nonetheless allow the controversial plan to go to vote.
During a speech outlining her public safety agenda on the Upper East Side, Ms. Quinn said she could not support the bill because of a provision that would allow individuals to sue the department if they believed they were wrongly targeted.
“I believe this presents a real risk,” said Ms. Quinn, who described a worst-case situation in which multiple state court judges issued confusing, overlapping rulings, wresting policy decisions away from the mayor and Police Commissioner.