New York City Mayor Eric Adams vetoed a controversial city council bill that would require police officers to document every “investigative encounter” with the public.
At a press conference Friday, Adams said the proposed legislation, known as Intro. 586-A or the “How Many Stops Act,” could slow NYPD response times, undermine community-oriented policing, and add tens of millions of dollars in overtime to the NYPD budget. Namely, he took issue with how the proposed legislation would force New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers to spend more time filling out reports after Level 1 interactions with the public instead of patrolling the street and keeping the public safe.
“As young men, my brother and I were beaten by the police in the basement of a local precinct, but I turned my pain into purpose and joined the police force to effect change from within the system. And, in my time as a police officer and throughout my career in public service, I have fought for transparency and against abusive policing tactics that targeted communities of color. While Intro. 586 has good intentions behind it, the bill is misguided and compromises our public safety,” Adams said in a statement.
“Our administration supports efforts to make law enforcement more transparent, more just, and more accountable, but this bill will handcuff our police by drowning officers in unnecessary paperwork that will saddle taxpayers with tens of millions of dollars in additional NYPD overtime each year, while simultaneously taking officers away from policing our streets and engaging with the community,” he siad. “That is why I am vetoing this legislation today. I ask my colleagues in government to please work with our administration to improve public safety because New Yorkers want their police out on patrol — taking criminals off our streets and keeping them safe.”
Adams cited serial stabbing suspect 27-year-old Jermain Rigueur, accused of at least five stabbings within about a week, arguing the bill would impede such quick arrests, FOX 5 reported.
The bill, co-sponsored by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, passed the council in December. It would require the NYPD to log and report basic information on level one, two, and three investigative encounters between the police and civilians. Officers would report on the race, age, and gender of the person approached, any factors leading to the interaction, and its outcomes. But NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban countered that the NYPD is already the country’s “most intently watched, deeply scrutinized, and openly transparent law enforcement agency,” saying the measure vetoed by Adams “is an overreach that would result in the unintended consequence of literally slowing down the city’s progress.”
“Each day and night, NYPD officers carry on the dangerous, critical work of fighting crime on the streets. Terrorist plots have also been thwarted, and there is a renewed commitment among our rank and file to further build trust and strengthen relationships in every community,” Caban said in a statement. “These vital efforts will continue — and must continue, unimpeded by bureaucratic time-wasting tasks — because that is what New Yorkers expect and deserve.”
“On our watch, there is a continuation of lower overall crime, including a reduction in bellwether indicators like murder, burglary, and assault. We just ended a year in which NYPD officers reduced shooting incidents citywide by a factor not seen in nearly 30 years,” Caban added. “And as of this week, index crimes in New York City have dropped another 5 percent compared to last year — and an incredible 74 percent from three decades ago.”
At a press conference of his own, Williams accused Adams and the NYPD of being “fearmongers who mislead the public.”
He and other councilmembers say the bill is meant to address the “longstanding inequities” faced by Black New Yorkers.
“The fact that Mayor Adams is getting his Trump on right now makes this even more difficult than it has to be,” Williams said, according to FOX 5.
Adams also vetoes a separate city council bill aimed at banning solitary confinement.
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