“We should all be united in advancing our city by recognizing the harmful legacies of injustice that undermine the health and safety of our city and its neighborhoods. The Council has no interest in prolonging a conversation that has been made unnecessarily toxic by the spreading of fear and misinformation, and we plan to override the mayor’s recent vetoes on Tuesday.
“City government has a responsibility to ensure all agencies are accountable to New Yorkers, and nowhere is this more important than on public safety. Police transparency is a prerequisite to public safety because it fosters the community trust that is necessary to make our neighborhoods safer. At a time when Black and Latino New Yorkers continue to be disproportionately subjected to unconstitutional stops that go underreported, and civilian complaints of misconduct are at their highest level in over a decade, the need for basic transparency is clear. Int. 586-A of the How Many Stops Act is a simple data bill that the mayor and the most technologically advanced police department in the world can easily implement by building on their existing practices that require recording and classifying of ‘Level 1’ and ‘Level 2’ stops. Additionally, the isolation imposed by the use of solitary confinement and policies that mirror it by any name only makes violence worse in our jails and city. Its use must be ended, and that’s what Int. 549-A will accomplish, while still allowing the Correction Department to separate people for safety purposes. Every administration and its agencies have immense power to implement laws with maximum flexibility, so it has been confounding to see the mayor and others incorrectly claim otherwise.
“The public dialogue fostered by officials at the highest levels of city government over the past several weeks has recklessly misled the public and sought to exploit fear in a way that is disappointing and unfortunate. Honest policy debates are welcomed to improve our city, but exaggerated distortions that manufacture conflict and distraction are destructive. The desire for safety shared by all New Yorkers should not be the target of political manipulation, and it is alarming to see our city agencies used as weapons of politics.
“Our diverse communities want to be safe from all forms of harm and violence, and the Council has prioritized this outcome through expanded victim services for communities that lack access, confronting our housing and mental health crises, and fighting for the investments that prevent crime from occurring in the first place. A focus on police transparency and the rejection of inhumane and torturous practices that exacerbate violence are equally important steps to advance safety in our city. It is my hope that the mayor’s administration will abandon inflammatory and fear-based rhetoric. We want to work together with the administration and all stakeholders to successfully implement laws that make our city safer.”