Branding themselves as “the new Republican Party,” Republican City Council candidates banded together in opposition to two bills passed by the Council, known as the inspector general bill and the racial profiling bill, which comprise the Community Safety Act. Mayor Bloomberg said that he will veto the bills.
The bills target the NYPD’s use of stop, question and frisk to police communities with high crime rates. Critics of the policy say the police disproportionately stop minorities, infringe upon civil liberties and wreck the NYPD’s relationships with communities.
Scherie Murray, who is running as a Republican against Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) to represent the 31st District, said the bills, which her opponent voted for are “wrong for the city.”
She called the $3.5 billion cost of creating an inspector general’s office “a waste of taxpayer dollars” and said “the NYPD has enough oversight.
“We need to revisit other solutions that would be better for the city,” Murray said.
Alex Blishteyn, who is running for the 24th District seat agreed with Murray. “Adding an extra layer of bureaucracy is likely to lead to cronyism, since it gives politicians who are getting term-limited out a way back in.”
While the inspector general bill drew ire from those opposed to increasing government spending and adding another layer of bureaucracy, the candidates and a member of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association claimed the profiling bill would take the city back to the bad old days, before Mayor Giuliani. They insist that restrictions on stop and frisk will impede the ability of officers to do their jobs without fear of lawsuits.
“The homicide rate in Chicago, where they don’t have this policy is four times what it is in New York City,” said Dennis Saffron, the Republican Conservative candidate running for Dan Halloran’s seat in District 19.
Vying to represent Flushing in the 20th district, Sunny Han said that “small business communities need protection.”