Mayor De Blasio Reserving Judgment On Proposed Legislation Until He Sees Fine Print

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new bill to be introduced Thursday in the City Council has angered many in the NYPD.

It calls for officers to get consent before they conduct some searches, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Tuesday.

The bill covers cases when police don’t have a warrant, are not making an arrest, or don’t have probable cause.

In those cases, people do have the right to reject a search, but this bill would demand police notify them of that right, and even get proof, perhaps in writing or recorded audio.

The idea that police would have to ask permission to search certain suspects infuriates the police union.

“This is one more time that the City Council is trying to protect criminals rather than New York City police officers,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

Last year, as a part of a so-called Community Safety Act, the City Council passed two bills aimed at limiting stop, question and frisk, including establishing a police monitor.

But this bill takes another step, requiring law enforcement officers to provide notice and obtain proof of consent to search individuals when there is no warrant or probable cause.

“It’s a way of trying to get at, in terms of the interactions of the police officers and those that they are patrolling and those that they are policing,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.

But until she sees the exact wording, the council speaker said she is withholding judgment on the bill, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We obviously have to protect the rights of our people, but we also have to make sure we are not undermining in any way for law enforcement to do its job,” the mayor said.

Local residents told CBS2 they have mixed views on asking permission.

“Good idea, because it protects our right to privacy by the First, Fourth and 14th Amendment,” said MacArthur Young of Prospect Park.

“No! Who’s gonna give permission to ask him if it’s okay? Who’s gonna do that?” added Renee Andrews of East New York.

“If they ask the answer is certainly gonna be no, so I don’t know what the point is,” said John Mikhael of Alpine, New Jersey.

Currently, the bill has only 21 sponsors. It needs 26, and that could depend on what signal the mayor sends. He may feel pressure to avoid giving the perception to the rank and file that he’s anti-cop, Brennan reported.

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