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Eric Adams vetoes bill that would require police to record every interaction

By Stew Davidson
|
January 22, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has vetoed a contentious bill passed by the city council that aimed to mandate police officers to record each "investigative encounter" they have with the public.

During a press conference on Friday, Mayor Adams expressed his concerns about the proposed legislation, referred to as Intro. 586-A or the "How Many Stops Act," as Fox News reported.

The mayor stated that the legislation would not only slow down the New York City Police Department (NYPD) response time but also potentially jeopardize public safety.

The Mayor's Perspective

Mayor Adams, drawing from his personal experiences with the police and his subsequent career in law enforcement, emphasized his commitment to transparency and the fight against abusive policing.

He stated, "As young men, my brother and I were beaten by the police in the basement of a local precinct, but I turned my pain into purpose and joined the police force to effect change from within the system."

Adams acknowledged the bill's positive intentions but maintained that it could undermine public safety by burdening officers with excessive paperwork.

He further highlighted the financial implications of the bill, citing the additional tens of millions of dollars in NYPD overtime it would incur.

NYPD's Stance and the Bill's Overreach

NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban supported Mayor Adams' decision.

He asserted that the NYPD is already a highly scrutinized and transparent law enforcement agency.

Commissioner Caban expressed concerns that the proposed legislation would slow down the city's progress by entangling officers in bureaucratic tasks.

He emphasized the NYPD's success in reducing crime and maintaining public safety, stating, "On our watch, there is a continuation of lower overall crime, including a reduction in bellwether indicators like murder, burglary, and assault."

Opposition and Criticism

The bill, co-sponsored by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, was initially passed in December.

It aimed to document details such as the race, age, and gender of individuals involved in police interactions.

Williams, alongside other council members, argued that the bill was a necessary step to address racial inequities.

However, Mayor Adams countered these claims by highlighting recent achievements in crime reduction and public safety.

In a strong rebuttal to his critics, Adams cited the case of Jermain Rigueur, a serial stabbing suspect, as an example of the NYPD's efficiency in handling crime, which he believes could be hindered by the proposed legislation.

During a conference, Williams accused Mayor Adams and the NYPD of being "fearmongers who mislead the public."

Williams said, "The fact that Mayor Adams is getting his Trump on right now makes this even more difficult than it has to be."