Brooklyn Councilmembers Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams have come out in opposition of part of the Right to Know Act, calling the current iteration of Intro 182 “watered down” and “significantly less effective.”
The bill, sponsored by Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres (D-15), would require police officers making a stop to identify themselves with business cards and give a reason for the stop.
As dealmaking and negotiation have brought the bill closer to being passed, concessions have limited the stops in which police must identify themselves to those in which there is a suspicion of criminal activity. In Lander and Williams’ statement, they assert this would exclude “the majority of police-civilian stops, as well as traffic stops. Removing these provisions strikes at the heart of what the original Right to Know Act aimed to accomplish.”
The bill was first introduced in 2014, and Lander and Williams are willing to wait a little longer to ensure an effective bill passes. “For an issue so important, a cause so vital, we believe that it is worth the investment of time and 212energy to address it correctly,” they concluded.
Advocacy groups like the NYCLU also announced their opposition to the bill, taking to Twitter and encouraging constituents to contact their councilmembers:
.@NYCCouncil must fulfill its promise to reform discriminatory & abusive police practices. Read our full statement on the current status of the #RightToKnowAct & learn why we support Intro 541-C & do not support 182-D: https://t.co/vMNypz8ygX pic.twitter.com/OI6vRG1vXd
— NYCLU (@NYCLU) December 14, 2017
The other half of the Right to Know Act, Councilmember Antonio Reynoso’s Intro 541, which would force police to inform those they stop about their rights regarding consent to searches, is expected to pass when the council votes.