(PIX11) – It is coming down to the wire Thursday in the City Council. The big question: will there be enough votes to override the Mayor’s veto of two bills designed to reign in the N.Y.P.D.’s controversial stop-and frisk-policy?
One bill would create an an independent inspector general to monitor the police department. That bill is expected to go forward. The other, which expands an individual’s right to sue the N.Y.P.D. if they have been racially profiled, passed the council with the minimum 34 votes and could be in jeopardy.
Throughout the debate, the Mayor and Police Commissioner have said the policy saves lives. Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “Nobody wants to be stopped. At the very least you are giving up your time. But we need some balance here.” Kelly went on to defend the policy saying, “We have record low numbers of murders here in New York City, record low numbers of shootings. We’re doing something right to save lives.”
The Mayor has been vigorously lobbying City Council members to get them to change their votes to avoid an override of his vetoes saying the bills would handcuff police. But one of the bill’s sponsors, Council member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat, has said the Mayor and Commissioner have been on a campaign of falsehoods saying the bills don’t allow police to use descriptions of suspects and and that the bill allowing lawsuits will put cops in financial jeopardy. “I’m happy to pull the legislation if they can point out where it says you can’t use descriptions and it will put officers in jeopardy particularly financially,” he said at a press conference earlier in the week.
All of this comes on the heels of a judges ruling that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional, that also called for an independent monitor. The Mayor and Police Commissioner disagree the decision and are appealing.