Bloomberg Says an NYPD Inspector General Would be Illegal

By Jill Colvin and Maya Shwayder  on June 13, 2012 4:46pm

After the conference, supporters of the bill gathered and shouted in English and Spanish, "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
After the conference, supporters of the bill gathered and shouted in English and Spanish, "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
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DNAinfo/Maya Shwayder

CITY HALL — City Councilmen Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander, and 22 other council members on Wednesday introduced a bill to appoint an Inspector General to oversee the NYPD.

Before the bill was put forth, supporters of the new bill gathered in front of City Hall, chanting in English and Spanish, "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

Williams and Lander lauded the bill as a way to greatly curtail the racial and religious profiling that they say is manifested in the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy.

John Eterno, a professor of Criminal Justice at Molloy College and a retired NYPD captain, called the bill "a work of genius," and said "the evidence was overwhelming" the NYPD had stop-and-frisk quotas that were blatantly racist.

Councilwoman Debi Rose said, "We would not be standing here if the NYPD upheld their standard of courtesy, professionalism, and respect."

Councilwoman Letitia James said that Mayor Bloomberg's legacy was going to be "the erosion of the constitutional rights people throughout the city," and that the logic behind the stop-and-frisk policy was "a fallacy."

But Bloomberg said that City Council's plan won't fly, and that the legislature did not have the right to "force him" to appoint an Inspector General to oversee the NYPD.

Bloomberg said the NYPD was already "one of the most regulated departments in the entire city."

"You have U.S. Attorneys. You have five district attorneys. You have the civilian complaint review board," he said. "I think we've got enough supervision and oversight.

"It might make a good sound bite. But the last thing you want to do is burden the Police Department with just another level of forms which is not going to add anything."

Bloomberg also called the NYPD the "envy of the world" and said that the New York City crime rate is so low that in many neighborhoods there is "essentially no crime."

Williams was unimpressed.

"In the face of mounting pressure for police acountability, the Mayor is getting more and more nonsensical," he said. "The mayor is going to say whatever he can to keep complete and utter control over department.

Fahd Ahmed, Legal and Policy Director of the organization "Desis Rising Up and Moving" in Jackson Heights, spoke out against "stop-and-frisk" with Councilman Brad Lander, on June 13, 2012.
Fahd Ahmed, Legal and Policy Director of the organization "Desis Rising Up and Moving" in Jackson Heights, spoke out against "stop-and-frisk" with Councilman Brad Lander, on June 13, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Maya Shwayder

"The truth is, we wouldn't be putting up the bill if we didn't think the department needed more control."

Letita James echoed Williams' sentiments. "I know the Mayor believes that we have enough supervision and oversight of the NYPD; but what the NYPD doesn't have is transparency," she said.

"The Inspector General will provide needed checks and balances."

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