Stalemate at City Hall after Mayor Eric Adams' veto of police stop legislation

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Mayor Adams faces off with City Council after vetoing controversial bills
N.J. Burkett has more on the face-off from City Hall.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Calls are growing for the New York City Council to override Mayor Eric Adams' veto of a bill requiring police officers to document stops.

Lawmakers and interfaith leaders held a rally at City Hall on Tuesday morning to push for the importance of the How Many Stops Act as Adams and some members of the Council continue to find themselves at odds.

The measure would require officers to publicly report all investigative stops, including low-level encounters with civilians.

Adams says there needs to be common ground and that New York City police officers don't have time to document every single encounter with the public.

"I'm not going to allow the justice to be harmed but I'm not gonna allow the erosion of public safety," Adams said.

The mayor vetoed the bill that would require officers to complete a short form each time they have even a casual encounter with a civilian. That includes entering an apartment building or checking in on a subway conductor or as they handed out wanted posters during a manhunt for a stabbing suspect last week.

But the City Council is now threatening to override the mayor's veto.

"Our Black and Latino communities bear the overwhelming brunt of police stops that intrude into people's daily lives," said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. "The disproportionate impact of these stops is not casual interactions, as the mayor and his administration claim, and they take a collective toll on communities."

The NYPD has a troubled history of racial profiling. The Council majority believes that the bill would provide the clearest picture yet of who's being stopped and why.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams insists the mayor is overstating the impact of the bill.

"What we said is, simply, 'While you're already doing what you do, just answer a couple of questions,' it would literally take a few seconds, that way we can all have a full picture," Williams said.

But the mayor's chief counsel disagrees.

"I believe it's 11 separate things that need to be filled out, and not all of them are 'check the box,'" said City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg.

Adams says he's willing to compromise, so long as casual encounters, known as Level One Stops, are exempt.

"Do we need a Stops bill? I would say I don't believe we do," Adams said. "But I respect the fact that there are those that believe we should, for Level Twos and Threes, and I'm willing to sign that any day."

Advocates maintain it will give more transparency to encounters with police and they believe Adams is exaggerating claims about how the bill would impair police investigations.

"It can be but a click on a smartphone, if we can have a DigiDog roaming the streets to help keep you and I safer, there is a smartphone for every NYPD officer that can do the same," Adrienne Adams said.

RELATED | Mayor Eric Adams vetoes controversial bill, setting stage for showdown with NYC Council

Jim Dolan with the latest.


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