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.”