Around 2:22 am, early the morning of Thursday June 27, 2013, the New York City Council took an historic vote, passing key bills of the Community Safety Act, the End Discriminatory Profiling Act (Intro 1080) and the Independent NYPD Oversight Act (Intro 1079) with veto proof majorities of 34 to 17 and 40 to 11 respectively. The laws will protect for the first time, immigrant, LGBT and homeless New Yorkers from discriminatory profiling by the police, establish a private right of action for New Yorkers to take the NYPD to court for discriminatory practices and establish meaningful oversight of the NYPD, independent of the police commissioner.
The passage of the bills represents a momentous milestone in the movement for police accountability, with passage of one of the nation's most progressive anti-bias-based profiling legislation, despite heavy opposition from the Bloomberg administration, NYPD leadership, and others. Later that morning, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), lead co-sponsors of the bills Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander, other council members, and allies took to City Hall steps for a press conference on this victory for civil and human rights and fundamental fairness, with Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, Ben Jealous and Hazel Dukes of the NAACP, Hector Figueroa of SEIU 32BJ, and other labor and faith leaders in attendance to mark the historic moment.
Council Member Williams stated "Behind me is City Hall. What happened last night was the people of New York fought City Hall for the right to have both safer streets and better policing and they won!" Council Member Lander expressed confidence the City Council would override an expected veto. Djibril Toure of CPR member group Malcolm X Grassroots Movement declared "New York City doesn’t belong to the Mayor or the NYPD, it belongs to us!" and Mitchyll Mora of CPR member group Streetwise and Safe added "Thank you New York City Council for standing with NYC youth, especially LGBTQ youth of color.” Alfredo Carasquillo, of CPR member VOCAL New York said "We said no to fear, no to injustice, yes to equality & building relationships that work for all New Yorkers!”
The bills now proceed to the Mayor's office where the mayor has 30 days to sign or veto. Please stay tuned for further updates.
CPR would like to thank the 100+ organizational and labor endorsers of the Community Safety Act for standing on the side of fairness and justice.