“Today, the Council answered decades-long calls from communities most impacted by police stops and the harmful legacy of stop-and-frisk, to deliver much-needed transparency to policing and advance true public safety for New Yorkers,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “By collecting and disclosing data on investigative stops, the How Many Stops Act will bring forth a fuller picture of these encounters, fostering accountability and trust between the police and the communities they serve. The Council was also proud to override the Mayor’s veto to ban solitary confinement in city jails and advance a new approach to reduce violence and prioritize safety for both staff and those detained. As government, we have a responsibility to do right by New Yorkers who have been persistently harmed and failed by these unjust policies. We are proud to override the Mayor’s vetoes and hold our government accountable for delivering transparency and true safety to all New Yorkers.”
“These votes are a victory for public safety in our city, no matter what the mayor would like New Yorkers to believe,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, sponsor of Introduction 586-A and Introduction 549-A. “The How Many Stops Act will help us get basic information on how policing practices are in effect on our streets, and craft public safety policy moving forward. By banning the lasting vestiges of solitary confinement – and the use of isolation in an attempt to change behavior – we will prevent the harm of isolation and help to make both our jails and our city safer. I thank my colleagues on the Council, and the Speaker in particular, for their resolve in getting this done. I hope that now that these vetoes have been overridden, the administration will stop wasting time with its deliberate misinformation and work with us on the most streamlined, effective way to implement these bills, instead of undermining public safety with falsehoods and fear mongering.”
Int. 586 of the How Many Stops Act requires public reporting of basic data on Level I and II police investigative stops of civilians. The data reported would include apparent age, gender, race, the reason, and outcome for the stop. A federal court-appointed monitor from the 2013 Floyd v. City of New York court decision that found NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk to be unconstitutional has consistently shown unlawful stops have continued and many go underreported. A recent report by the monitor revealed that one out of every four stops made by the mayor’s newly constituted police unit to be unconstitutional, and 97 percent of those stopped were Black and Latino New Yorkers, despite their making up less than half of the city’s population. The federal monitor and NYPD’s own audits have also shown the department to persistently underreport stops. A December report by the Civilian Complaint Review Board revealed that NYPD misconduct complaints rose 51% last year to their highest level in over a decade.
Int. 549-A bans the use of solitary confinement of all forms in city jails. All people in city custody would have at least 14 hours of out-of-cell time in shared spaces. The new disciplinary process established by this bill would allow separation from the general population in instances where a person engages in a violent incident in custody, but prohibit isolation that is shown to cause physical and psychological harm and increase violence. Solitary isolation, even only for a few days, leads to significantly heightened risk of death by accident, suicide, violence, overdose, and other causes. Research shows that people placed in solitary confinement are over seven times more likely to self-harm and six times more likely to commit fatal self-harm. Solitary confinement has also been shown to induce acute anxiety, depression, psychosis, and other impairments which may seriously reduce one’s capacity to reintegrate upon release. In New York City, these disastrous effects are felt almost exclusively by Black and Latino New Yorkers, who make up over 90% of all people in city jails.
“Thank you, Speaker Adams and council colleagues, for holding firm in your commitment to overriding this veto,” said Council Member Alexa Avilés, co-prime Council sponsor of Introduction 586-A. “The How Many Stops Act is common sense legislation that will bring about much-needed transparency on the Department’s low level investigative encounters with the public. Since we passed it last month, Mayor Adams and his allies have engaged in a shameless media frenzy of fear mongering, falsehoods, and deception. I’m grateful the Council saw through this spectacle and voted to override his veto. Thank you to Communities United for Police Reform and Public Advocate Williams for your tireless advocacy and commitment to true public safety. Mayor Adams, I hope you will take the same passion you’ve shown for the rule of law these past two weeks and put it into a good faith implementation of the How Many Stops Act, legislation that’s been years in the making.”
“The Council’s successful override of the mayor’s veto of Int. 586, part of the How Many Stops Act, is a testament to this governing body’s commitment to pursuing and delivering just policies for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “The passage of this legislative package, and Int. 586 in particular, will bolster the civil liberties of New Yorkers across the five boroughs and help cultivate a stronger relationship between the NYPD and our communities, one predicated on trust and integrity. This bill will provide the public and lawmakers alike with a complete and honest accounting of the way the police interact with our neighbors, helping us target and address the ugly vestiges of stop-and-frisk policing that are once again appearing in the communities we represent. I am proud to be a part of this Council, to have cast my vote for this historic package, and I look forward to ensuring that these laws are implemented and upheld faithfully.”
“Intro 549-A and Intro 586-A are transformative policies that represent this Council’s commitment to the humanity of Black and Brown New Yorkers,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse, Chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice. “Today the Council makes a promise to dismantle the torturous practice of solitary confinement in New York City and to shine light on the practice of unconstitutional stops and frisks. Overriding the mayor’s veto isn’t just a legislative act, it’s a call for justice and compassion in our beloved city. Today, I appreciate my colleagues who are standing united and I thank the Speaker for her leadership.”
“As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I am proud to stand with my colleagues to finally make the How Many Stops Act a reality New Yorkers, with Black and Brown communities in particular bearing the brunt of police investigative encounters, have spoken loudly about their need for more data and insight,” said Council Member Yusef Salaam, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “I am a firm believer that truth and transparency should be at the center of public safety. The How Many Stops Act provides this transparency and will improve the relationships between NYPD officers and the communities they are called to serve. I want to also thank the Speaker for her leadership in uniting this body to move Introduction 549-A forward. I have experienced first-hand the darkness of solitary confinement and the struggle to regain one’s light after leaving that cold, lonely place. I stand with my colleagues in turning this pain into a new purpose for our city.”