Great news: the City Council voted today to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vetoes on two bills known collectively as the Community Safety Act. The bills will create an independent Inspector General’s office to oversee the NYPD, make it illegal for cops profile citizens, based on a slew of factors including sexual orientation and housing status, and make it easier for people to sue the department over profiling. City Council passed the packaged in June, and Bloomberg vetoed it a month later.
The vote comes at a time when the conversation surrounding the department and its stop-and-frisk tactics are at a fever pitch. Last night’s Democratic mayoral debate focused heavily on the NYPD and stop-and-frisk, and a federal judge recently ruled the practice violated New Yorkers’ constitutional rights.
Manhattan Borough President and NYC comptroller candidate Scott Stringer had this to say:
The City Council today stood up for the civil rights of all New Yorkers by overriding the Mayor’s ill-advised veto of the historic Community Safety Act. This victory was years in the making-the product of grassroots support from New Yorkers in all five boroughs who responded to the excesses of stop-and-frisk, and the surveillance of Muslim communities, with a forceful call for change.
This week, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, let us rededicate ourselves to Dr. King’s dream of an America where all are judged by their actions and their character, not by the color of their skin. The Community Safety Act stands as another critical step on the long road of history that bends toward justice. I thank Councilmembers Jumaane D. Williams and Brad Lander and the entire coalition for their tireless efforts in ushering in a new era where discriminatory policing policies no longer have a home in our City.
And to quote ANIMAL founder Bucky Turco:
— Bucky Turco (@buckyturco) August 22, 2013
(Photo: Zack Lee/Flickr)