(UPDATED) Community Safety Act pushed forward in City Council

ray-kelly-police-podium
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Credit: Getty Images

UPDATE: Despite pleas from Republican members, the City Council approved this afternoon a motion to discharge the anti-bias profiling bill and the Inspector General bill, bypassing the Public Safety Committee.

Public Safety Committee chair Peter Vallone had previously refused to bring the bills to a vote in his committee.

The bills will be put forward for a vote by the full council this Wednesday or Thursday, according to spokespersons from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office.

Even though they are packaged together as the Community Safety Act, the bills can be voted on separately. For example, Quinn has said she will vote for an Inspector General, but against the anti-bias profiling bill.

If the bills pass, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the option to veto them. However, the Council can then override his veto.

 

Metro’s original story is below.

As the City Council prepares to push forward the Community Safety Act, legislation that bundles a bill that would establish an Inspector General over the NYPD and another that would expand the categories protected against profiling by the NYPD, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, backed by several current and former district attorneys and union leaders, spoke out against the bills.

Bloomberg and Kelly lashed out at the Council, citing concerns over everything from the safety and security of officers, to the body count of young men of color who fall victim to gun crime in the city, to protecting the city from terrorist attacks.

“Take heart, al Qaeda wannabes,” Kelly said, as he argued that the legislation will “undermine partnerships with both domestic and foreign entities” that ”have helped keep New York safe.”

“If you think our partners will stand idly by to a review of their own sensitive operations by an ill-conceived notion of an Inspector General, think again,” Kelly said. “They will simply walk away.”

According to Kelly, every other decade has seen at least one New Yorker injured in a terrorist attack. In the past ten years, not one terrorism-related injury has occurred.

Kelly and Bloomberg have been arguing against these two bills for several weeks now, but today presented a few new points.

One example Bloomberg offered addressed the “housing status” element in the profiling bill: housing status has been added to the list of criteria that the NYPD could be accused of unjustly targeting.

But Bloomberg noted that after a particularly violent weekend in early June, the NYPD publicly announced they were increasing police presence in public housing complexes, as much of the violent crime had taken place in those area. There was little to no public outcry to this measure, Bloomberg noted.

But the mayor argued that the profiling bill would prohibit the NYPD from allocating resources that way: even if a high margin of crime was being committed in public housing areas, putting more officers there would constitute “targeting” based on housing, he said.

Bloomberg also said that the Inspector General bill allows for the filing of anonymous complaints, suggesting that such complaints could be filed by gang members.

“They wouldn’t have to allege unnecessary use of force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, or offensive language to make a complaint,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg insisted that the NYPD would be forced to spend time reviewing and answering such complaints, but the Community Safety Act’s sponsors, Brooklyn Councilmen Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams denied this, and said that the Inspector General would review all of the complaints and decide which ones merited consideration.

The Council will vote this afternoon on a motion to discharge, which would push the bills past the Public Safety Committee. The Act should technically be voted on in the Public Safety Committee prior to coming to the full Council for a vote, but Public Safety chair Peter Vallone is opposed to the bills.

Lander and Williams believe they have majority support in the full Council.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.