NEW YORK (PIX11) – The NYPD could move a step closer to being watched over by an inspector general or an independent monitor if some city council members get their way, They are expected to vote on 2 bills designed to curb problems with the stop and frisk program.
The debate on stop and frisk takes center stage at City Hall Monday with a press conference planned on the steps to discuss the bills to ban racial profiling by police and to set up an independent inspector general for the NYPD.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and minority communities have long complained that the stop and frisk policy amounts to profiling and is ineffective. But the NYPD and the Bloomberg administration say it is a valuable crime fighting tool that is necessary to get guns off the streets and keep New Yorkers safe.
Opponents counter that the overall majority of the millions of people stopped are black and Latino men and that the stops turn up a proportionately small amount of guns. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union in 2012 cops conducted more than 532 thousand stops and of them more than 473,000 were of totally innocent people. The makeup of the stops was more than 284 thousand blacks and 165,000 Latinos while only about 50 thousand of those stopped were white. The NYPD says the numbers reflect the city’s crime stats.
There’s also a lawsuit that could end with an inspector general or monitor being appointed. The United States Department of Justice has also weighed on that suit saying they would support a monitor if a judge decides the stop and frisk policy is unconstitutional.
All of this has angered the mayor and police commissioner Ray Kelly policy who say any monitor or Inspector General is unnecessary and would hurt police efforts to get guns off the streets.
The judges decision in the stop and frisk case could come any day now. In the meantime the council was expected to pass the 2 bills Monday. The mayor says he will veto them.