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Mayor, Police Commissioner Blast Stop-And-Frisk Bills

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TWC News: Mayor, Police Commissioner Blast Stop-And-Frisk Bills
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The City Council is taking heat from the mayor over legislation proposing more oversight in law enforcement.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on Monday to condemn two proposed bills that are part of the Community Safety Act.

The council will vote on the act's two parts later this week, after deciding to move it out of the committee stage.

One bill would create an independent inspector general to oversee the New York City Police Department's policies and practices.

The other would open the door for lawsuits against police for "disparate impact," if a New Yorker feels they were targeted based on their age, gender, race or sexual orientation.

If passed, the mayor and commissioner say the NYPD would be left crippled, and flooded with frivolous lawsuits.

They say it will prevent officers from flooding high crime areas and prevent them from going after gang members who they say could be both young and male.

"What are you going to say at the next eulogy you have to give after these bills are passed when the family is 100 percent convinced that had you not passed this bill that their child would still be alive? I'd like to see if some of the City Council people vote for the bill and maybe none of them will after listening to us, I hope that's the case," Bloomberg said.

"So if you are young, you have standing to sue. If you are male, you have standing to sue," Kelly said.

Despite criticism from Bloomberg and Kelly, supporters of both bills rallied on the steps of City Hall on Monday.

"If Mayor Bloomberg and Kelly and the unions are against this bill, what they are saying is we have to continue to profile to do our jobs," said City Council Speaker Jumaane Williams, one of the demonstrators. "Please stop the fear mongering and please stop the lying."

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a mayoral candidate, has voiced her support for the inspector general bill, but does not support the racial profiling bill.

But the first time during her tenure, she is allowing a bill she personally does not support to come to a vote.

"This is political pandering at the most. I question whether if this wasn't a mayor's election year whether this piece of legislation would come out," said Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

While the inspector general bill has a veto-proof majority, it is unclear whether the racial profiling measure will be able to survive the mayor's veto.

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