The bill has members of the NYPD outraged at its possible impact.
The bill says any time a police officer does not have a warrant, is not making an arrest or does not have probable cause, the officer will need to ask the suspect if they are allowed to move forward with a search, according to the New York Post.
While the legislation seems rather revolutionary, two states have already implemented such laws: West Virginia and Colorado have similar legislation in effect.
The proposed legislation will also require officers to remind suspects of one right they have already had for years – the right to reject a search.
Many citizens assume they have no other choice but to consent to a search or they are fearful of what may happen if they don’t let officers conduct the search.
In the midst of all the reports of the New York Police Department (NYPD) using excessive force, Black residents constantly becoming victims of police brutality and the disproportionately low rate of complaints that actually end in consequences for the officers involved, the City Council hopes the proposed law could put a little more power in the hands of the citizens and be a step towards mending relationships between officers and the communities they serve.
NYPD officers don’t see things that way.
“This is the exact kind of poorly conceived idea from this City Council that starts with the belief that aggressively fighting crime to keep communities safe is a bad thing,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch. “This kind of proposal makes it appear that the council is more interested in protecting criminals than keeping communities safe.”
The proposal would need to garner at least 26 votes in the 51-member council before making its way to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk.
The New York City mayor made it clear that the language of the proposal will be key as he wants to ensure there is a balance between protecting people’s rights and ensuring police have the necessary power to do their jobs efficiently.
“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, according to CBS2.
The mayor and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are reviewing the piece of legislation but the mayor is expected to approach the matter cautiously so that he does not take on the perception of being “anti-cop.”