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Tempers Flare at City Hall Hearing over Stop-and-Frisk Policy

Tempers flared today at a long-awaited City Hall hearing on the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, with a black legislator warning the white chairman “I am not one of your boys.”

The hearing got personal when City Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan) launched into a screaming speech about how the practice is race-based, pointing to a report in The Nation that included an undercover audio of a young Harlem man being stopped by cops who called him a “mutt.”

When Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens), the chair of the hearing, told Jackson he shouldn’t be making lengthy speeches, Councilwoman Helene Foster interjected that Vallone took plenty of time himself defending the NYPD.

Vallone responded and she then shot back angrily, “I don’t work for you. I am not one of your boys. You will not talk to me like that.”

When Council Speaker Christine Quinn tried to mediate, Foster added that Vallone would have adopted a different attitude if he was black:

“If his father were an 88-year-old man who’s being pulled over and being called `boy’ and fitting a description, then it would be different,” she said.

The Council is considering four bills that would curtail stop-and-frisk, including one where cops would have to inform suspects that they don’t have to consent to a search. Another bill would create an Inspector General for the NYPD.

Each bill has at least 26 sponsors, the minimum needed to pass.

Michael Best, a lawyer speaking for the administration, said the Council was exceeding its authority — suggesting Mayor Bloomberg would go to court to try to block the bills from being implemented if they are approved.

“These bills are pre-empted by the state Criminal procedure law,” Best said. “The Council should not legislate on these matters. There are a lot of very impractical things in these bills.

He also warned of the exorbitant potential cost taxpayers of one bill that would establish a “cause of action” for racially-based stops and would authorize the payment of attorney’s fees and expert fees to the victims.

“It will blow a massive hole whole in the city budget and end NYPD policing as we know it by taking control of the NYPD from Ray Kelly and give it to judges,” agreed Vallone.

Quinn laced into Best for questioning the Council’s authority.

Source: NY Post

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Posted by on October 10, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.