About the Community Safety Act

 

About the Legislation | Take Action | Fact Sheets & Resources

Legislation to Combat Discriminatory Policing and Hold the NYPD Accountable

To download this information as a PDF, click here.

The Community Safety Act is a landmark police reform legislative package aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real accountability to the NYPD. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where police officers treat all residents equally and respectfully, and are not above the law. These four bills were introduced in the City Council in 2012, a hearing was held on the full package in October 2012.  On June 27, 2013, two of the Community Safety Act bills were passed by the City Council with veto-proof majorities of 34 to 17 (Intro 1080) and 40 to 11 (Intro 1079).  On July 23, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg vetoed both bills.  On August 22, 2013, the City Council overrode the vetoes on Intros 1080  (34 for, 15 against, 2 abstentions) and 1079 (39 for, 10 against, 2 abstentions).
 
On August 22, 2013 the New York City Council overrode the Mayor's veto to approve two Community Safety Act bills. They are: (for a listing of council members and their votes on each of the bills, click on their bill number and click the "Action Details" by the "Approved by Council" entry or visit our CSA Take Action Page):

1. End Discriminatory Profiling Act - Protecting New Yorkers against discriminatory profiling by the NYPD (Intro. 1080) 

  • Establishes a strong and enforceable ban on profiling and discrimination by the New York City Police Department.
  • Expands the categories of individuals protected from discrimination. The current prohibition covers race, ethnicity, religion, and national origin. The bill would expand this to also include: age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, and housing status.
  • A meaningful ”private right of action” would be created for individuals who believe they have been unjustly profiled by the NYPD.
  • New Yorkers would be able to bring intentional discrimination claims and/or disparate impact claims, though not for monetary damages. 

Click here for a summary of changes to this legislation (Intro 1080, formerly Intro 800). Similar laws exist in Illinois, West Virginia & Arkansas. This bill is also similar to the federal End Racial Profiling Act.

2. NYPD Oversight Act - Establishing independent oversight of the NYPD (Intro. 1079)

  • Assigns responsibility for NYPD oversight to the Commissioner of the Department of Investigation.  (In NYC, the DOI currently oversees about 300 city agencies - including the Fire Department, Department of Education and Human Resources Administration – but not the NYPD.)
  • Oversight would include reviewing NYPD operations, policies, programs and practices.
  • Reports would be made public and revisited annually to see if recommendations have been followed.

There is independent monitoring of the FBI, CIA, LAPD and every major New York City agency except for the NYPD.

Two other Community Safety Act bills that are not expected to be voted on this summer:

  • Protecting New Yorkers against unlawful searches (Intro. 799): Ends the practice of the NYPD deceiving New Yorkers into consenting to unnecessary searches; Requires officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no warrant or probable cause; and requires officers to obtain proof of consent to a search. Similar laws exist in Colorado & West Virginia.

  • Requiring officers to identify and explain themselves to the public (Intro. 801): Requires officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity, such as a stop-and-frisk; and requires officers to provide document to the person with the officer's name and information on how to file a complaint at the end of each police encounter. Similar laws exist in Arkansas, Minnesota and Colorado.

Take Action

Help thank the Council Members who stood up for justice and voted to override the Mayor's veto to enact the Community Safety Act, which will ensure that all New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect by the NYPD! For more detailed information about how you can take action, visit our Community Safety Act Take Action Page.

Call your City Council Member and thank them for their vote to override the Mayor's veto of either or both of the Community Safety Act bills OR if they voted NO to either or both of the bills, let them know your disappointment:

  • End Discriminatory Profiling Ban (Intro 1080)
  • NYPD Oversight Act (Intro 1079)

To find your Council Member and their phone number:  http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml

  • Click below to tweet about the Community Safety Act and encourage your friends to do the same.

Fact Sheets & Resources