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Queens Chronicle

Republicans rally against Safety Act

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Thu Jul 18, 2013.

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.”

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1 comment:

  • Tom Hillgardner posted at 11:16 am on Sat, Jul 13, 2013.

    Tom Hillgardner Posts: 0

    Republican city council candidates who allegedly "support Stop & Frisk" appear incompetent to hold office where they appear to be completely unfamiliar with the constitutional guarantees their Tea Party brethren frequently accuse "liberals" of ignoring. The issue with Stop & Frisk isn't whether you support it or not. Rather, the issue is whether city officials behave properly when they continue to be deliberately indifferent to the extremely low rate of success when police officers, whose productivity is measured in part by how many Stop & Frisk forms they file, fail to find any evidence of wrongdoing, criminal or otherwise, in 89% of all stops. The rate is even lower for turning up criminal wrongdoing. Whereas the constitution requires such stops be based upon "a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot," a success rate of less than 10% in finding criminal wrongdoing suggests that the suspicion upon which such a massive number of stops are made frequently are not "reasonable" suspicions. This deliberate indifference to systematic deprivation of constitutional rights is especially unsavory given that it is visited inordinately upon persons of color; 87% of all stops are of African-Americans and Latinos.

    But Republican city council candidates apparently want to prey on your fear of crime while suggesting that, collectively, citizens are free to democratically surrender up their individual liberties for a little extra security. This is pandering at its worst where the inevitable result of a policy that ignores police abuse of the Stop & Frisk tactic will be years of unsuccessful litigation by the City of New York to defend the indefensible - the systematic abridgement of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures - with city taxpayers ultimately paying the tab to plaintiffs in class actions and individual lawsuits when people whose rights are trampled upon ultimately and inevitably vindicate them.

    If you "support Stop & Frisk" in the face of the stark evidence that police systematically disregard their oath to abide by the constitution just to make themselves appear "productive" to their superiors - and not based upon reasonable suspicion - then you cannot be trusted to discharge your duties in public office consistent with the Constitution. Finally, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's denial that any changes are needed with the NYPD Stop & Frisk program is the loudest and clearest argument for why we need an inspector general to watch over the NYPD.