NYC Mayor Bloomberg loses stop-and-frisk battle to city council

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was forced to admit defeat Thursday after a two-hour heated debate among City Council members led to a vote to override the his veto of two stop-and-frisk curbs.

Now the two measures scaling back police powers to halt and question suspicious characters on city streets will become law within 90 days, the New York Post reported.

One of the measures includes the appointment of an inspector general who will be tasked with overseeing the New York Police Department and ensuring officers don’t infringe upon minorities’ rights while walking their beats and conducting investigations. The other enables those who feel violated by police stop-and-frisk policies to proceed with racial profiling lawsuits.

Mr. Bloomberg had fought the curbs on police authorities for weeks, vowing to veto the two bills when they came to his desk for signature. But council members pushed forward with the measures, determined to halt the practice of allowing officers to question those they deem suspicious and even pat them down if those suspicions are heightened during questioning.

Civil rights activists have called the practice discriminatory and say it unfairly targets minorities. Advocates say it helps keep crime rates in the city low and allows police the ability to use common sense crime-fighting and prevention tactics.

Council Speaker and mayor candidate Christine Quinn said the vetoes would not prevent police from performing their duties, the Post reported.

But Mr. Bloomberg disagreed, claiming “minority communities across our city” would suffer, the Post reported.

“The City Council adopted legislation that will make it harder for our police officers to protect New Yorkers and continue to drive down crime,” he said.

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