New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have agreed on two bills that will place strict requirements on officers concerning the city’s known practices of stops and searches.
Known as the “Right to Know Act,” the bill requires officers to explain -in simple terms- that an individual has a right to refuse being searched, except in cases where there’s a firm legal basis for doing so.
In addition, officers would have to identify themselves before conducting a search and would have to have proof of consent recorded by way of body camera or recorder.
The move has local Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch on edge.
“Unfortunately, even as we face this dangerous reality for our city, there remains- especially from some members of our City Council- a continuous piling on of new burdens and second–guessing for our police officers,” said Lynch. “Despite the revisions, the ‘Right to Know’ bills are still harmful pieces of legislation that present a dangerous distraction from the very real threats to our city.”
More liberal advocates weren’t happy with the bill either, as they wanted officers to go far beyond the extensive measures police would have to take, which includes more intensive forms of officer identification.
“By advancing a bill that fails to include the officer’s identification requirements for all non-emergency investigatory encounters and traffic stops, which are the site of many of the most frequent policing abuses, and creates a major loophole that guts the requirement for officers to give an explanation of non-emergency encounters, New Yorkers will remain without the [needed] transparency and accountability,” said Monifa Bandele, spokeswoman for Communities United for Police Reform.
According to the New York Post, the mayor is expected to sign the bills.