Bypassing opposition, police reform bills will be forced to a vote

Credit: Metro File Photo

In an unusual move, two city councilmen plan to force a vote on two controversial police reform bills that another council member vehemently opposes and had sought to block.

Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander will file discharge petitions on Wednesday to force the council to vote on the Community Safety Act, which consists of two bills: one that would create an independent inspector general tasked with monitoring the NYPD and another anti-racial profiling bill that would allow people to sue police officers in state court.

Councilman Peter Vallone chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee, which had given him the authority to block the vote. He argued that the second bill, which would expand an existing racial profiling ban to cover things like housing status and immigration status, would lead to more unsafe streets.

The ban, he said, “enables lawsuits which would: number one, blow a hole in the city’s budget which exists to defend these lawsuits; number two, police would be pulled off the streets to defend these lawsuits; number three, any judge who finds the police department guilty of ‘disparate impact’ can issue sanctions—a judge can refuse to let them hire new people, do stop and frisk, DWI roadblocks, etc. We cannot take control away from the Police Commissioner and give it to judges.”

Speaker Christine Quinn has likewise made it clear that she did not support the expansion of the profiling ban, but she helped negotiate the Inspector General Monitoring bill and is backing Williams’ and Lander’s plan to force a vote. This marks the first time she will allow a vote on a bill she opposes.

“I believe that we can — that we must — have both safe streets and stronger police-community relations,” Quinn said. “An IG will provide feedback and recommendations to our commissioner and mayor on how to balance these two goals and ensure one doesn’t impede on the other.”

Danielle Tcholakian contributed reporting. Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.