By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The New York City Council has voted to override mayoral vetoes and has passed two bills that will create an outside watchdog for the nation's biggest police department and make it easier for people to file profiling claims against it.
The lawmakers voted Thursday on the new oversight bills at the New York Police Department.
In June, the City Council voted to pass the Community Safety Act (CSA), a set of legislation that establishes an inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department’s practices and policies and establishes an enforceable ban on bias-based profiling within the NYPD. The CSA also provides a means for persons who believe they have been unjustly profiled by the NYPD to bring legal action.
Proponents see the legislation as a check on a police force that's come under scrutiny for its heavy use of a tactic known as stop-and-frisk and its extensive surveillance of Muslims.
"For years, New Yorkers have called for respectful policing and safer streets,” Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush-East Flatbush) and Brad Lander (D-Carroll Gardens-Park Slope-Kensington), said in a June statement.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg had vetoed the legislation as unnecessary, contending that “these laws would create a police department pointlessly hampered by outside intrusions and recklessly threatened by second-guessing from the court.”
An independent monitor has also been ordered to monitor changes to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, which a Manhattan federal judge ruled led to unconstitutional stops.