CITY HALL — The city council approved three bills Thursday that aim to improve how they track the use of excessive force by police on civilians and which officers are repeat offenders.
The bills, which await approval from the mayor, require the NYPD to submit quarterly reports documenting all incidents where officers have used force divided up by officer, precinct, the kind of weapon used and the extent of the victim's injuries.
In addition, the NYPD will have to give the council annual lists of all officers who've used excessive force, been arrested, if they've had two or more substantiated Civilian Complaint Review Board claims against them, or internal investigations that lead to suspensions.
The bills come after a week of upheaval across the country following the police killings of black men Delrawn Small, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and near the year and two year anniversary of the deaths of Sandra Bland and Eric Garner in police custody.
The killing of five Dallas police officers following a Black Lives Matter rally, further fanned the flames of unrest and frustration and heightened tensions between police and communities of color.
“I watched this week enraged, angry, hurt, depressed, hopeless," said Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who represents parts of downtown Brooklyn, in an emotional speech.
“What can we do to legislate a police department from killing a young man in a stairwell, selling CDs or a cigarette, riding in a car with his girlfriend and his 4-year-old daughter,” she wondered. “We must continue to dig deeper, much deeper in order to create the change we want to see."
Councilman Donovan Richards said while better data won't mend police-community ties alone, it's a start. He gave the example of the police use of Stop and Frisk that racially profiled minorities. Getting data was the first step in reforming the policy.
"[It's] very important in assuring we can point out where the bad cops are out there," he said. "We need to hold those who are not adhering to the law accountable."