The city council has proposed and is moving forward with two pieces of legislation.
The first bill would create an inspector general who, ideally, would provide unbiased oversight of the NYPD and its activities. At present the NYPD operates with no oversight, is largely unregulated, running amok in New York City and infringing on individual’s liberties left and right. The second bill will create a cause of action against the police department for profiling on the basis of race, gender, religion and/or sexual orientation. Very simply put you’ll be able to sue the NYPD for profiling you.
Bloomberg, of course, opposes both bills, claiming that the job of oversight belongs to the Mayor, and that granting people standing to sue for police profiling will bog police officers down with constant litigation. He also predicts that passage of both bills will result in crime waves and widespread terrorism. He’s a fuckboy.
I love the idea of both of these bills, but I fear that the practical application of the bills will not improve conditions much. I agree that the mayor shouldn’t be the primary overseer of police activity, not just because Bloomberg has done a really shitty job at it, but because politicization of law enforcement regulation is the reason that it’s in the state that it’s in. Police officers appear to have carte blanche to do what ever and kill whomever because the people who compose the three branches would rather let black people die and violate our rights than appear soft on crime or unappreciative of the “sacrifice” that officers make. You can create as many agencies as you like to oversee police activity, and it sounds great in theory, but in practice, if the members of the inspector general’s office are all rich white men and former law enforcement officials you’re going to have the same problems with structural bias that you do now.
The grant of standing won’t be without it’s complications either. I’m sure you’ll have to damn near die to be able to make a case and satisfy the elements of this bill, so that law, if passed, will be another paper tiger statute.