Council reaches agreement on NYPD inspector general bill: Quinn
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Tuesday that she and her colleagues have come to an agreement on a bill that would create an independent watchdog group for the NYPD.
Quinn, who is running for mayor, wouldn't go into specific details about the negotiations for the Community Safety Act, which is a set of four bills that aim to make the police more transparent, but she did say the members have reached a "broad agreement" on one bill that would create an independent police inspector general.
"While this is a strong and important step forward, we are also moving forward in a constructive fashion with the Community Safety Act," she said in a statement.
Under the proposed bill, the inspector general would probe the NYPD's policies and make regular recommendations to the mayor and City Council on ways it could improve.
The inspector would not be a current or former NYPD member and would have a seven-year term, so that he or she wouldn't be burdened by one administration.
The NYPD said an inspector general is unnecessary because there are already many forms of checks and balances, such as the district attorney offices, internal affairs department and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
"No police department in America has more oversight than the NYPD," police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement.
The mayor's office deferred comment to the NYPD.
Police critics, like the New York Civil Liberties Union, however, said the move is a win for New Yorkers.
"We look forward to prompt action to pass key provisions of the Community Safety Act that are essential to meaningful reform, including the ban on racial profiling," the group's executive director Donna Lieberman said in a statement.
Lieberman has bashed the police for its "stop and frisk" tactic because the majority of the stops yield no arrests and most of the people stopped are minorities.
A federal civil rights trial over "stop and frisk" began this week in federal court in Manhattan.
Other bills in the Community Safety Act would ban racial profiling and mandate that officers identify themselves and state why they are stopping a suspect.