Quinn says she will not support new legislation on police racial profiling
Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she would not support legislation to ban cops from racial profiling, worrying that it could lead to overwhelming lawsuits.
Quinn’s remarks were part of a speech this afternoon outlining public-safety proposals at Hunter College.
During the speech, she said she still supports the controversial idea of an inspector general for the NYPD, someone to independently evaluate the department’s actions.
But she said she would not support another proposal, which would create an enforceable ban on racial profiling. She said legal remedies already exist to combat the practice.
Other Council members were quick to criticize Quinn, arguing that data from police actions like stop-and-frisk show cops overwhelmingly stop minorities.
“There is strong reason to be concerned that the NYPD is engaging in bias-based policing,” Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Landers said in a joint statement.
The NAACP also released a series of criticisms.
“No other city in the United States has implemented racial profiling policies on as wide a scale, or taken it to such destructive levels as Commissioner Kelly’s NYPD,” NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said.
Among Quinn’s other proposals were hiring 1,600 more cops and bumping up the next police class’s graduation to July, from January 2014.
Sanitation workers and transit workers should be trained in counterterrorism, she said. Together, 40,000 in these positions work underground and on city streets daily.
She also wants to fund 1,000 new security cameras, bringing the total to 7,000 in the five boroughs.
A proposed ‘panic app’
Quinn, who is running for mayor, suggested a panic-button app that New Yorkers could use to summon cops with the touch of a finger.
She envisions a smartphone app that would allow people to request assistance from a nearby cop in situations where it would be impossible to call 911.
Cops could locate the crime victim using GPS, she said, and this could save live.
And cops themselves should have smartphones, she said, to immediately pull up previous arrest info or outstanding warrants.