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Mayor, Police Commissioner Critical After City Council Passes NYPD Oversight Bills

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TWC News: Mayor, Police Commissioner Critical After City Council Passes NYPD Oversight Bills
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It was after 2 a.m. Thursday morning that the City Council passed two controversial bills targeting the New York City Police Department. Both measures passed with a veto-proof majority, but that doesn't mean the public battle, or the heated rhetoric over the bills, are over just yet. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The City Council passed two bills in the wee hours Thursday morning. One creates an independent inspector general for the New York City Police Department, while the other allows New Yorkers to sue for bias-based profiling in state court.

"What happened last night was the people of the city of New York fought City Hall for the right to have safer streets and better policing, and the people of New York City won," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams.

On Thursday, the mayor and police commissioner again issued grave warnings that the bills will cause crime to spike.

"I think it's misguided," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "I think it's unfortunate. It certainly has the potential for increasing crime and making police officers' jobs much more difficult."

"These are bills that will make the police department a lot less effective, divert their resources away from what they're supposed to be doing, will incur an awful lot of liability costs, and will keep us from finding the bad guys and getting them off the streets," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The bill's supporters offered an olive branch of sorts.

"I urge the mayor and those that lead the unions to come to the table and now let us deal rationally," said the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The mayor, though, said he'll veto the bills and continue to lobby council members.

The profiling bill appears more vulnerable. It passed 34 to 17.

"People may vote for a bill and then be willing to maintain the mayor's veto," Bloomberg said.

"You need 34 votes of the City Council to override a veto, and that's all that voted for this bill at 2:30 this morning," said Roy Richter of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association. "All we need to do is sway one more vote and they will not be able to override the mayoral veto."

Council members, though, vowed to stand united, and they have a strong track record. Under the leadership of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the council has successfully overwritten every single one of the mayor's vetoes.

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