New York City Council

Here's the New York City Council's Police Reform Bills Up for Debate This Week

The council is also expected to work with Mayor Bill de Blasio in the coming weeks on the city's new budget

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The New York City Council is scheduled to meet June 18 to discuss several pieces of legislation aimed at police reform and accountability. Before that, the Committee on Public Safety will discuss the bills at a virtual meeting Tuesday.

Before the city council are six pieces of legislation, each taking a different angle addressing some of the demands made by the protesters that have filled New York City streets for over 10 days now.

The council is also expected to work with Mayor Bill de Blasio in the coming weeks on the city's new budget. On Sunday, he said the city will redistribute funding from the NYPD to youth and social services.

Initiative 536-A

Councilmember Rory Lancman proposed the initiative back in February 2018, which was then forwarded on to the Committee on Public Safety. In its text, the proposal would effectively ban chokeholds.

"No person shall restrain an individual in a manner that restricts the flow of air or blood by compressing the windpipe, diaphragm, or the carotid arteries on each side of the neck in the course of effecting or attempting to effect an arrest," the text reads.

The bill would establish a misdemeanor offense and violators could face up to one year in prison and a fine up to $250,000. As of Sunday, the proposed legislation has 36 sponsors.

Initiative 721-A

Then Councilmember Jumanne Williams submitted the initiative for consideration in March 2018. Amended last week, the bill would grant and protect a person's right to record police activity.

"A person may record police activities and maintain custody and control of any such recording and of any property or instruments used in such recording," the legislation reads in part. The language of the bill also specifies that the act of recording must not obstruct an officer's ability to do their job.

The bill also allows any individual whose rights are violated to sue the City in state court. The NYPD must also submit quarterly reports detailing the number of arrests, criminal summonses, and civil summonses "in which the person arrested or summonsed was recording police activities."

As of Sunday, the proposed legislation had 36 sponsors.

Initiative 760-A

The bill proposed by Councilmember Vanessa Gibson in April 2018 is also on the Committee on Public Safety's agenda this week. Her bill would require an early intervention system of NYPD performance.

Per the legislation, the NYPD would be required to "maintain a centralized system that is used to record, track, review, and evaluate officer activity and to identify officers that may be in need of enhanced training, monitoring, or reassignment."

The system would work off of reporting data, including but not limited to complaints received and results of investigations conducted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board as well as the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau. An annual report on the EIS would be required.

As of Sunday, the proposed legislation had seven sponsors.

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Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel is set to introduce legislation at the full council meeting on June 18, but it will be preconsidered before the Committee on Public Safety this week.

The bill requires police officers to make visible their shield number of rank designation while in uniform. "An officer’s shield number or rank designation shall be visible at all times while such officer is in uniform and performing any activity under the color of law," the text reads.

As of Sunday, the yet to be introduced legislation had six sponsors.

Resolution 0027

Councilmember Fernando Cabrera proposed Resolution 0027 in January 2018 calling on the New York State Legislature to pass bills that establish the crime of strangulation in the first degree.

The resolution points to legislation already proposed by lawmakers in both the state Assembly and Senate: A.6144 /S.6670A.

As of Sunday, the resolution had five sponsors.

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Councilmember Carlina Rivera is set to introduce a resolution at the full council meeting on June 18 calling on the U.S. Congress to pass the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act of 2019.

The Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act sponsored by U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries would "prohibit police chokeholds and other tactics that result in asphyxiation."

As of Sunday, the proposed resolution had three sponsors.

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