NYPD officers now required to identify themselves, let people know they can refuse being searched

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 5: New York City Police officers stand guard before the start of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, November 5, 2017 in New York City. NYPD department had doubled the number of rooftop observation posts and countersniper teams in all five boroughs. More uniformed police officers, counterterrorism officers and police dogs will patrol the event. more than 50,000 runners from more than 125 countries and all 50 states are expected to pass before some 2.5 million spectators. Established in 1970, the annual race winds through all of New York City's five boroughs. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — NYPD officers will soon be required to identify themselves and inform people that they have the right to refuse to be searched in nonemergency encounters.

The New York City Council passed a pair of bills known as the Right to Know Act Tuesday evening. It could dramatically shift community-police relations. The bill will head to Mayor Bill de Blasio's desk for his signature.

“By requiring police to get informed consent before searches, the council has taken an important step to foster safety, dignity and respect in police interactions, particularly for New Yorkers of color," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said.

The bill is already facing pushback from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. President Patrick Lynch said the bill will be a public safety issue. He said city leaders have failed police.

"As we’ve said from the beginning, the 'Right to Know’ bills will discourage police officers from proactively addressing the threat of crime and terrorism – a threat that is no doubt growing based on recent events," Lynch said. "The PBA had zero input on the revisions to this legislation, and if the Council really didn’t want to discourage officers from exercising discretion and policing proactively, they would have abandoned these misguided bills altogether. But instead, they have continuously piled on new burdens and second–guessing for our police officers, presenting a dangerous distraction that will place New Yorkers in harm’s way."

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