A handful of proposed reforms to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has the police officers’ union seeing red, the New York Post is reporting.
Those measures before the City Council include provisions that officers get a suspect’s consent before searching their person, home, or vehicle without probable cause or a warrant (a requirement already established by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution); imprisonment for officers who use illegal chokeholds such as the one that contributed to the death of Eric Garner; and a requirement that officers give out the number of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) at every arrest.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) — that is, the NYPD police officers’ union — is not impressed.
“These pieces of legislation have been proposed by individuals who have neither the expertise nor the experience to establish policy in the dangerous business of fighting crime. Policing policies must be left to the police management who understand the intricacies and difficulties of complex legal issues and the appropriate use of crime-fighting tactics.”
But to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the proposed NYPD police reforms are merely common sense. In a statement made available via Russia Today, the ACLU called on the city council to pass the proposed reforms.
“Too often, New Yorkers are subjected to police encounters in which they are provided no information about the person stopping them or the basis for the interaction. New Yorkers have often misunderstood the extent of their privacy rights during a consensual search, and police officers exploit that misunderstanding.”
Other proposed NYPD reform measures before the city council include the following.
- A measure requiring the NYPD to report the precincts of the cops with the most CCRB complaints against them.
- A measure allowing “injurious physical force” only when absolutely necessary, and only a “proportionate amount” of such force.
- A task force to study a possible body camera program.
Councilman Rory Lancman, who has sponsored three of the proposed police reform measures, is clear that the timing of the proposed reforms is important.
“[These proposed reform measures have] everything to do with the fact that we are fast approaching the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death and the public rightly wants to know what we have done to make things better.”
Do you think the proposed NYPD reforms are reasonable? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Spencer Platt]