City Council Says She’s Not Against the Police; More Bills to Monitor Police Introduced

December 17, 2014 Updated: December 18, 2014

NEW YORK—Council members introduced three additional bills to regulate city police conduct Wednesday, in addition to the several already pending review.

One of the bills is Public Advocate Letitia James’ proposal to create a police task force that wears body cameras.

Another would require police to post quarterly reports on its website regarding chokeholds and “seat belt holds,” which involve wrapping the arms around a person’s shoulder and armpit forcefully.

The third bill would require police to issue quarterly reports on the use of force and whether the police force affects people’s quality of life in a damaging way.

All three bills were referred to committee for further review.
The bills are all sponsored by Democratic Council members Jumaane Williams, who represents parts of Brooklyn, and Vanessa Gibson, who represents parts of the Bronx.

Several council members participated in a prayer march Tuesday night in City Hall with clergy and activists to honor the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white police officer in Staten Island.

Other bills, introduced last month, include one that would ban the chokehold and another that would require police to ask permission before searching suspects.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito commented Wednesday in the City Hall Red Room during an unrelated press conference that calling for more regulations for the city police department did not mean she was antagonistic toward the police. “I think we have a great relationship. I have a great relationship with police officers in my district.”

In response to police union head Pat Lynch’s comments that Mark-Viverito and the mayor should stay away from police funerals, she called it a “very, very irresponsible message to be sending.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of a City Council member. The correct spelling is Jumaane Williams. Epoch Times regrets the error.