Neighborhood officers and advocates gathered at City Hall on Wednesday to name for laws that will guarantee more accountability and transparency from the New York City Police Division.
Organizations from round the metropolis, together with Communities United for Police Reform, joined Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council members Alexa Avilés and Crystal Hudson to rally for the passage of the How Many Stops Act, which consists of two bills aiming to carry oversight and transparency to the NYPD’s interactions with the public.
“A lot of what happens, they’re saying they’re trying to deal with the violence going on but as we have seen for decades, simply adding more police and more aggressive police does not address the gun violence that is affecting so many of us in this city, state and country,” stated Williams.
“As we grapple with the horrifying police killings of Tyre Nichols in Tennessee and Anthony Lowe Jr. in California, we have to remember that while these incidents occurred in different cities, they stem from the same systemic problems with policing,” stated Sala Cyril of the Malcolm X Grassroots Motion and spokesperson for Neighborhood United for Police Reform. “We’re here today to demand that our elected officials take concrete action to end police violence and ensure true community safety.”
The How Many Stops Act goals to present a fuller image of how the NYPD is interacting with the neighborhood, in response to legislators.
Made up of Intros 538 sponsored by Hudson and 586 co-sponsored by Williams and Avilés, the bills would require the NYPD to report on low-level police avenue stops and encounters, together with the place they occur, the cause for the encounter, any demographic info on the particular person stopped, and if the encounter led to any use of pressure or enforcement motion. The bills, if handed, would additionally require the NYPD to completely report on their use of consent searches in addition to searches wherein an officer wants no possible trigger to go looking an individual or their belongings if the particular person provides permission.
“We have mourned the lives of far too many Black people and Latinx people in this country. We’ve seen time and time again how routine police stops have ended tragically, when is enough ever going to be enough? The bills that we are talking about today are common sense,” stated Avilés. “We need to understand what they are doing here. Our communities deserve it and quite frankly as you have seen in New York City and throughout the country, our lives depend on this.”
“Everybody who’s interested in public safety and community safety should be signed onto these bills because these bills are common sense bills,” stated Hudson.
At the moment, the NYPD is barely required to report on degree 3 stops, more generally often called “stop-and-frisk.” As of 2021, 87% of degree 3 stops have been towards Black and Latino New Yorkers. As a consequence of this, advocates are demanding that each cease from the NYPD must be reported.
“We need the How Many Stops Act passed with an urgency so we can try to eliminate these incidents from happening,” stated Shawn Williams, the father of Antonio Williams, who was fatally shot by police in 2019.
“In most cases, these encounters escalate to beatings and even killings. If we had more transparency on the NYPD’s level one and two stops, the abuse against Black and Latinx New Yorkers would be reported and they would most likely stop doing what they’re doing out in these streets,” stated Gladys Williams, Antonio’s stepmother. “If this act was back in 2019, Antonio would be here with us right now. Let’s stop these senseless acts.”
“Alongside with losing my brother, I’ve been profiled, harassed, unjustly stopped by the NYPD,” stated Washington Heights resident Sammy Feliz, whose brother, Allan Feliz, was killed by NYPD in the Bronx after a site visitors cease in 2019. “The NYPD’s culture of violence and disrespect for Black and Latinx New Yorkers is not a problem with a few bad apples, it’s a systematic lack of transparency and accountability.”
The co-sponsors famous that the bills are usually not anti-police, moderately they’re rooted in public security.
“We need to understand what they are doing here. Our communities deserve it and quite frankly as you have seen in New York City and throughout the country, our lives depend on this,” stated Avilés. “We don’t have to manufacture us versus them, we are fighting for the whole, we are fighting for dignity, so I just reject all this, ‘you’re either this or that,’ our community is all and then some.”
“We cannot help our city with better policing and public safety if we don’t know things like how many stops are actually happening,” stated Williams.