NYC Council Rebuffs Bloomberg in Police Oversight Vote

The New York City Council approved two bills to protect minorities from overzealous police, setting up a clash with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who says the laws would make it more difficult to fight crime and terrorism.
June 27, 2013

The New York City Council approved two bills to protect minorities from overzealous police, setting up a clash with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who says the laws would make it more difficult to fight crime and terrorism.

The council voted 40 to 11 to create an inspector general empowered to review police policies and practices, and 34-17 to allow lawsuits against the city when an officer uses racial profiling as a reason to question an individual. The mayor said he will veto both measures; supporters need 34 votes in the 51-member chamber to override him.

“I believe that we must have both safe streets and stronger police-community relations,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said before the votes early this morning. “An inspector general will provide feedback and recommendations to our police commissioner and mayor on how to balance these two goals and ensure one doesn’t impede on the other.”

Crime has dropped 34 percent since Bloomberg became mayor in 2002, and the city has had 25 percent fewer homicides this year through mid-June compared with the same period in 2012, when it had 417, according to the police data. The numbers show New York to be the safest big city in the U.S., says Bloomberg.

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