NEW YORK—New York City Council overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto on Aug. 22, bringing sweeping changes into law that will reform the controversial police practice of stop, question, and frisk.
The council passed Intro. 1079, a bill that will create the Office of the Inspector General that will review, study, and audit the NYPD, as well as make recommendations for procedural changes. The vote was 39 in favor, and 10 opposed.
The council also passed Intro 1080, which will expand racial profiling laws. The new law will allow New Yorkers to sue in state court, without receiving monetary damages. The lawsuits would only bring procedural changes. The vote was 34 in favor, and 15 opposed.
The council’s “Core 34,” as they dubbed themselves, stood by their original June 27 vote, the minimum needed to override the mayor’s veto.
The historic legislation came after a vicious two-month battle in which Bloomberg went on a very public campaign aimed to sway the vote of at least one council member. The mayor believes crime, which is at historic lows this year, will increase without stop and frisk.
Council members, many of whom are in the middle of re-election, were targeted by police unions who set up websites and handed out fliers in the members’ districts in an attempt to apply political pressure.