NYC Council Overrides Mayor's Veto Of NYPD Police Report Bill

NEW YORK CITY — New York City Council members overwhelmingly voted to override Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of a police reform that requires cops to provide basic information about low-level stops.

The dramatic 42-9 vote Tuesday came after Adams undertook a weeks-long public pressure campaign against the bill, known as the “How Many Stops Act.”

More Council members voted for the override than the bill itself, including Manhattan’s Erik Bottcher, who originally voted against the bill, and several lawmakers who had abstained from voting.

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The mayor’s opposition not only highlighted a rift between him and the majority of City Council members, but also — in their telling — with reality itself.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who is not related to the mayor, decried what she called the “proliferation of misinformation” against the How Many Stops Act. All the bill does is require police to provide basic information about the people being stopped in the city, an important transparency measure to avert racially biased policing such as stop-and-frisk, she said.

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“The resistance to this legislation is disturbing,” she said.

“There should not be resistance to telling the truth about who’s being stopped in the city.”

City Council members also voted to override the mayor’s veto of a solitary confinement ban.

Eric Adams, for his part, maintained the bills will make New Yorkers less safe.

“These bills will make New Yorkers less safe on the streets, while police officers are forced to fill out additional paperwork rather than focus on helping New Yorkers and strengthening community bonds,” he said in a statement. “Additionally, it will make staff in our jails and those in our custody less safe by impairing our ability to hold those who commit violent acts accountable.”

Adams said he hoped Council members would be open to amending the bill to address the concerns he had about low-level stops.

He said his sole problem with the bill is that requiring police to provide basic information — notably apparent age and racial background — of people in “Level One” stops would be time-consuming for cops.

Police undertake more than 8 million such interactions every year, he said.

“If you talk to a victim of a crime or law enforcement professional, they would tell you in public safety seconds matter,” he said.

The road to the veto override has been rocky and sometimes absurd.

At one point, Adams’ team released a cartoon that showed an NYPD officer being surrounded by paperwork while a criminal commits crimes.

“I love this new law,” the criminal says as he speeds off in a car.

Adams eventually vetoed the “How Many Stops” bill, despite the Council’s veto-proof majority, nearly two weeks ago. The move set up an inevitable confrontation with the City Council, and a daily back-and-forth over the bill.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment came last week, when Council Member Yusef Salaam — who is one of the exonerated Central Park Five — was pulled over by an NYPD officer.

Salaam contended the cop never gave him a reason for the stop — an assertion that prompted NYPD officials to release body cam footage from the encounter in unusually quick fashion.

Adams and police argued the footage showed cops did nothing wrong, but an analysis of audio showed the officer never responded to Salaam’s question as to why he was being pulled over.

The mayor, during an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, still maintained the interaction was “picture perfect” on both sides, even as he said NYPD officers should tell people why they’re being pulled over.

“I don’t have a problem with that,” Adams said about requiring officers to do so.

Adams continued his public pressure campaign right up until the Council met Tuesday to vote on the veto.

But Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — who once accused Adams of spreading “Trumpian lies” about the bill — said the bill simply won’t do what the mayor said.

“The misinformation about how to do it — telling people that officers will have to stop what they’re doing to fill out a form — is not in good faith,” Williams said.

Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, said the mayor’s offer to go on a police ride-along — part of his late-hour pressure campaign — actually undercut his argument that the bill would add to cops’ paperwork.

Most information that cops have to log is done in a matter of seconds by phone, she said.

“There’s no paperwork,” she said. “The only paperwork that’s being filled out is when there’s an arrest.”

Salaam said both bills — the police report and solitary ban — have the power to bring generational change to the criminal justice system.

He then began to recount his own infamous experience of injustice decades ago.

“If these laws were in place, in 1989…,” he said, visibly shaken and unable to speak further.

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