NYC Lawmakers Override Bloomberg On Police Oversight

Aug 22, 2013
Originally published on October 31, 2013 5:26 pm

New York's City Council has approved a new layer of oversight for the nation's largest police force, overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg a week after the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics were deemed "indirect racial profiling" of blacks and Latinos.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that the council voted to override Bloomberg's veto and pass two police oversight bills: one that would create an inspector general for the NYPD and another that would make it easier to sue for racial profiling.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said most individuals being stopped by the police are not doing anything wrong. "People who were not arrested. Charged with no crimes. That is a practice that is unconstitutional and must come to an end," Quinn said.

Joel says Quinn, who is running for mayor, voted for the bill to create an inspector general overseeing the NYPD but against the second bill making it easier for individuals to sue for racial profiling.

NAACP President Ben Jealous hailed the vote to approve the two measures despite the mayor's veto as an important step in ending racial profiling.

"What happens in NYC has consequences for the nation," Jealous said. "The policies of the NYPD inspire the policies and practices of police departments across the nation."

Last week, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that police had been systematically stopping people in the street without any evidence or reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing in what amounted to racial profiling.

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