Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Police Unions Speak Out Against Proposed City Council Legislation

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Police unions are speaking out against legislation that they say puts limits on how officers can describe suspects.

Provisions in the Community Safety Act would ban police officers from identifying a suspect by age, gender, race or disability, and lets suspects sue for racial profiling if an officer transmits a description that goes beyond clothing color.

A new ad campaign from the NYPD Captains Endowment Association says the law would blindfold officers and stop them from doing their jobs.

Union officials say the law is redundant and would make police officers and the public less safe.

"Racial profiling is already illegal and should be," said Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association. "What this does is handcuff the police officer on the street."

"Not only will they be able not to see what's going on, but they won't be able to take any actions for fear of being held liable by a court," said Peter Vallone, a City Councilman from Queens and the chairman of the

"Quite simply, what we're looking for the public to do is to help us keep politics out of policing," said Roy Richter of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association.

The bill's supporters say it only expands existing racial profiling laws to protect more New Yorkers from discrimination, and reduces stop-and-frisks based on race.

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