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City Council Reins in NYPD with Stop-and-Frisk and Inspector General Bills

By Trevor Kapp | June 27, 2013 8:01am
 The NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic was dealt a major blow.
The NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic was dealt a major blow.
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Photo Credit: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY — The City Council dealt a blow to the mayor and the city's top cop by passing two bills early Thursday that would curb the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk and assign an inspector general to oversee the department.

The so-called racial profiling bill, which passed 34-17, would allow people who believed they were stopped and frisked because of their race to sue.

The inspector general bill, which passed 40-11, would task the Department of Investigation with overseeing police practices.

#Victory! Tonight, the @NYCCouncil passed the #CommunitySafetyAct by a veto-proof majority! This day is long overdue,” tweeted Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn).

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) also celebrated the victory.

“Proud to have levied a vote of aye for intros 1079 & 1080 w/ the hope our city becomes safer for all #csa #history,” he tweeted.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly blasted the bills, saying they would strongly jeopardize the effectiveness of the NYPD and the safety of New Yorkers.

“Last year, there were a record-low [number] of murders — and a record-low number of shootings — in our city, and this year, we’re on pace to break both of those records,” the mayor said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these dangerous pieces of legislation will only hurt our police officers’ ability to protect New Yorkers and sustain this tremendous record of accomplishment.”

Kelly, too, said the passage of the bills could mean a return to the bad old days.

"We think it will result in an increase in crime, particularly in minority areas," he said.

Bloomberg, who plans to veto the bills, added that he will try to persuade council members of how dangerous the legislation could be.

Both bills, however, appear to be veto-proof because they received more than 33 votes.

The Council also passed the Fiscal Year 2014 budget of $70 billion and overrode the mayor's veto of the paid sick-leave legislation, which will ensure that New Yorkers can take time off without losing their jobs.

"New York has traditionally been at the forefront of creating safe, fair working conditions for its people, and I am proud of the Council that acts today to confirm this legacy," Councilwoman Gale Brewer said.