NEW YORK—In his vigorous fight to keep the Community Safety Act bills from passing the City Council, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held press conferences and lobbied council members, but it was to no avail.
Intro 1079, which will create an Office of the Inspector General (IG) to oversee the NYPD, passed 40-11. Intro 1080, which would prohibit bias-based profiling and allow New Yorkers to sue if they feel the law has been violated, passed 34-17.
The mayor reiterated his stance on Thursday, saying the bills pose a danger to New Yorkers and will put people at risk.
“They will make police department a lot less effective, divert their resources away from what they are supposed to be doing and incur an awful lot of liability cost and keep us from finding the bad guys and getting them off the streets,” he said.
The mayor cited record low murder rates as a measure of how effective stop-and-frisk has been.
The Council passed the measures in a rare late night session which began at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night and ended at 2:30 a.m. Each council member was given two minutes to explain their opinion before a vote.
Several members of the Council gave personal stories of their encounters with police while being stopped and frisked. Council member Donovan Richards told a poignant story of being stopped at age 13. “It shook me up. It dehumanized me,” Richards said.
Police Commissioner Kelly said he didn’t question the motives of the city council members but believed they hadn’t thought through the problem.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Kelly said, adding that updates to the law “certainly has a potential for increasing crime and making police officers’ jobs much more difficult.”
The mayor said he plans to veto the bill, and he will be given 30 days to do so.
The City Council has a veto-proof majority, 34 votes, on each bill. If no one changes their vote, the bills should pass. If one council member takes a vacation or is sick on the day of the vote to override the veto, the mayor’s veto would stick.
“We need to hold every vote,” Lander said after the hearing early Thursday morning. “It is a lot better to have 34 than not to have 34.”
The mayor did not say if he would take legal action if the veto was overridden, but vowed to fight.
“We have never given up a fight,” Bloomberg said. “This is a fight to defend your life and your kids’ lives and you can rest assured I will not give up one minute.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.