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NYC'S BATTLE FOR POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY: THE HOW MANY STOPS ACT VOTE

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The New York City Council is set to vote on Tuesday to override Mayor Eric Adams' veto of a contentious police stops bill, known as the How Many Stops Act. The legislation, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumanne Williams, requires police officers to record detailed demographic data – including race, age, and sex – during all levels of stops. The bill was initially passed with a significant majority and is expected to achieve the two-thirds majority required to override the mayor's veto.

 

Mayor Adams has opposed the bill, arguing that it places an excessive burden on police officers, particularly at the lowest level of stops, known as level 1, where officers would need to document details of up to 60 people per shift. According to police sources, documenting these stops could add an extra 20 to 30 minutes per shift. However, supporters of the bill dismiss these concerns, asserting that the time required to record this data is worth the effort for the sake of police accountability and transparency.

 

The bill follows a 2023 report by the NYPD's federal monitor, which revealed that nearly a quarter of the stops, frisks, and searches conducted by the department's Neighborhood Safety Teams (NST) over a three-month period in 2022 were unlawful. Many stops were based on dubious reasons, such as anonymous tips or innocuous behaviors like looking back at officers or changing walking direction. The report also highlighted that more than 97% of the people stopped by NST units were Black or Hispanic.

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