NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed two bills Tuesday that would rein in the power of the NYPD, officials said.
The bills, one that would create an inspector general to oversee the department and another that would allow people to sue them if they felt racially profiled, passed the City Council nearly a month ago.
Both bills passed the chamber with enough votes to override the veto, though the bias bill did so with a single vote to spare.
"The mayor vetoed these bill as he promised, and the Council will hold votes to override those vetoes as we promised," said Jamie McShane, Council Speaker Christine Quinn's spokesman, in a statement.
Bloomberg and his allies in law enforcement have targeted council members' districts over the veto as part of a campaign to sway votes. Bloomberg went so far as to attempt to recruit a candidate to run against one of the bill’s supporters.
In a letter to the Council on the inspector general bill, Bloomberg said the NYPD is already “subject to more internal and external oversights than any other police department in the United States.” He goes on to criticize the proposal, saying the inspector general position, as outlined, is an attempt to subvert the authority of the police commissioner and harm the department’s ability to function.
“The consequences would be chaotic, dangerous, and even deadly for our police officers and for our city,” Bloomberg said in the letter.
The mayor, in his veto message on the bias bill, said it would “imperil the hard-earned gains we have made and would seriously impede the ability of the Police Department and the City to protect 8.4 million New Yorkers.” He also reiterated his assertion that the bill would “unleash an avalanche of lawsuits” that would gobble up city financial resources.
The City Council has 30 days to override the veto after its next stated meeting.