Right to Know Act

The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public.  New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law.

De Blasio Backs Revised Right to Know Act

12/12/2017
WNYC

Mayor de Blasio reversed course on Tuesday saying he now supports legislation that promotes greater police accountability. The Right to Know Act includes two bills — one that requires police to identify themselves, and another that requires a person's consent before certain police searches.

Until now, the mayor and the NYPD opposed the bills, arguing the department had already addressed these issues by changing their own policies.

After Delay, City Council to Take Up Police Reform Bills

12/12/2017
New York Times

A pair of police reform measures vigorously opposed by New York City’s largest officers union is moving toward passage in the City Council, a last-ditch effort by its departing speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has staked her legacy on criminal justice reform.

After years of debate, false starts and back-room negotiations, the legislation, referred to in police reform circles as the Right to Know Act, is now set to be voted on during the Council’s final full meeting next week, just before new members and new leaders are sworn in January.

Right to Know Act, policing NYPD interactions with public, heads to City Council vote

12/12/2017
AMNY

A deal between the NYPD and City Council would impose the council’s first day-to-day restrictions on how cops deal with the public.

Under legislation to be voted upon on Tuesday, an officer in certain nonemergency encounters would need to provide name, rank and command, explain the reason for the stop and hand out business cards when no one is arrested or issued a summons. Cops also would need to record explicit consent, either on audio or in writing, before searching a person absent a legal basis.

City Council, de Blasio come to agreement on police search reform bills

12/12/2017
New York Post

The City Council and the mayor have reached agreement on two bills that place strict requirements on police officers conducting stops or searches — legislation that police union leaders say would “unquestionably place New Yorkers and police officers in harm’s way.”

Known collectively as the Right to Know Act, the legislation would require cops to explain to individuals “using plain and simple language” that they have a right to refuse to be searched — except in cases where there’s a firm legal basis for doing so.

The NYPD’s ‘Cult of Compliance’

01/25/2018
ACLU Blog

In New York City, bills are passed by city council members and signed by the mayor. But when the legislation is about policing, there is another, de-facto branch of government that must sign off: the New York Police Department. Though its leaders are not elected to office, the police bureaucracy acts as an unofficial gatekeeper that must be appeased before bills become law.

Communities United for Police Reform Responds to NYC Council Committee Vote on Police Reform Bill (Intro 541-C) & Bill That Undermines Police Accountability (Intro 182-D)

“While we are happy that Council Member Reynoso’s Intro 541-C passed, it’s disappointing that the Council’s Public Safety Committee decided to ignore the voices of New Yorkers directly impacted by police abuses, family members of New Yorkers killed by police over past decades, law enforcement associations of color, and over 200 civil rights, community, and legal organizations who oppose Intro 182-D. This version of the bill eliminates the most essential protections for New Yorkers in the majority of policing interactions, and has been advanced with only the support of those who obstructed it for the past four years. It isn’t sweeping, it isn’t reform and it isn’t progress – it’s a step backwards for New York City that will undermine police accountability.

NYC Council Shouldn’t Take City Backwards by Undermining Police Reform

12/17/2017
Huffington Post

Last week, New York City government took a step forward and also a step backwards on police accountability. The half of the Right to Know Act sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso (Intro 541-C) remains in an effective form that will help protect New Yorkers from unconstitutional searches. It is a testament to his strong leadership and skilled legislative negotiating, and should be passed by the City Council.

‘Right to Know’ bill loses support of key groups, including Legal Aid Society

The 'Right to Know Act' is losing support for one of its bills, as critics claim it will ultimately create loopholes that police officers could exploit. (Credit: Charles Eckert)
12/17/2017
amNewYork

City Council legislation meant to force NYPD officers to identify themselves in certain nonemergency encounters — and distribute business cards when there is no arrest or summons — is continuing to lose support from foes of police misconduct.

The groups say the bill ultimately creates loopholes that cops can exploit.

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