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City Council Passes Pair Of Controversial Police Reform Bills « CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s City Council has approved two bills governing day-to-day interactions between police and the public, over objections from both activist groups and the city’s largest police union.

According to the New York Times, the bills were voted on Tuesday night.

One of bills, Intro 82, requires officers to hand out business cards and give a reason for stopping someone on the street in many interactions.

“The point of Intro 82 is to demand pro-active identification as a means of de-escalating the very street encounters that do escalate,” said the bill’s sponsor City Councilman Richie Torres.

Under the Right to Know Act, police are also required to inform people they have a right to refuse to be searched without probable cause.

In a compromise with the NYPD, traffic stops are excluded.

“Here is the reason I chose compromise, progress in the present does not foreclose the possibility of more progress in the future,” Torres said. “I have concluded it is better to guarantee progress in the immediate term than to risk emerging empty-handed in the long run.”

Activists and some members of the council argued the bills were watered down.

Police union officials said the bills will discourage officers from proactively addressing the threat of crime and terrorism.

“The City Council chose politics over public safety by passing two pieces of harmful legislation,” PBA President Pat Lynch said in a statement. “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. Now the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the Council and the Mayor. New York City police officers will always continue to do their jobs to prevent crime and terror. But with this legislation our city leaders have failed all of us.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio must approve the bill. He has said he supports the legislation.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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