Police Union Sues New York City Council Over Profiling Law

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association says a law that prohibits bias-based profiling is too vague and steps on state codes

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013  |  Updated 6:40 AM EDT
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Police Union Sues NYC Council Over Profiling Law

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New York City’s police union is suing city council over a law that makes it easier to file bias-based profiling claims against officers,  the union said Tuesday.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association plans to file a complaint with the state supreme court Tuesday alleging that the city council overstepped its bounds passing the law, which the union claims is “unconstitutionally vague.”

“The NYC PBA is taking this extraordinary legal action because we believe that the negative impact of this erroneously conceived and executed local law on the men and women who risk their lives to protect this city is undeserved and unjust,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said.

The council passed the law in June as part of a larger set of police oversight legislation that also created a department watchdog. The bills were vetoed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg later in the summer, but the council overrode the measure.

The law, passed just weeks after a judge smacked down the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, prohibits any member of the force from targeting people based on their on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. It also makes it easier for people to file claims against officers that unfairly targeted them. 

The police union says the law steps on state codes regulating profiling and could confuse officers trying to do their jobs. 

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