At 2:20AM today the City Council passed the Community Safety Act, a package of two bills that could drastically increase oversight of the NYPD. The legislation was passed with a veto-proof majority, which is important; Michael Bloomberg has been vocally opposed to the act, calling his opposition to it a matter of “life and death” and vowing a veto.
The first of the two bills, if Bloomberg’s inevitable veto is overridden, will create an office of the inspector general, an entity separate from the NYPD whose only function will be police oversight. The second will extend the definition of profiling to include housing status, age, gender, and sexual orientation, and make it easier for individuals to file profiling lawsuits. Bloomberg has 30 days to veto, and the council has another 30 days from its next meeting after that to hold an override vote.
According to the New York Times, “scores of supporters who had filled the chamber’s gallery and waited hours through the debate erupted into cheers” when the legislation passed. Above, watch Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander, both of whom introduced the Community Safety Act last year, speaking about it yesterday afternoon.