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    Civil Rights Group: Reforms to New York Police Department Insufficient

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    New York Civil Liberties Union Advocacy Director says reform bills considered by the City Council are not enough to increase accountability of the New York Police Department

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) — Three reform bills considered by the New York City Council will not do enough to increase accountability of the city’s police department (NYPD), New York Civil Liberties Union Advocacy Director Johanna Miller said in a statement.

    "Although [the bills] are important, they lack sufficient mechanisms to bring about changes in police behavior, and could be strengthened by requiring reporting on demographic data to reveal law enforcement’s disparate impact on marginalized groups," Miller stated on Tuesday.

    The first of three reform bills, 539-A, would require quarterly reports from the NYPD on any use of force incident; the second, 606-B, would require the police to provide details as to what led to use of force incidents to occur; and the third, 824-A, would require the NYPD to publish an annual report of complaints against officers.

    While all three bills would "increase police’s transparency," Miller maintained that the City Council must take more decisive action to change the behavior of the NYPD and its officers.

    "This critical moment demands immediate, real change, not incremental steps," Miller argued.

    In August 2015, a court-appointed monitor issued two reform policies that focus on the NYPD’s controversial policy of stop-and-frisk, which for decades has allowed police officers to stop, question and search anyone without a cause.

    The reforms require officers to not only refrain from using race, religion or housing status as a motive for stop-and-frisk, but also require officers to document a reason following each stop.

    Moreover, the New York City Council has been debating additional reforms within the NYPD. One such reform is the Right to Know Act, which would require all NYPD officers to identify themselves prior to stopping an individual.

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    Tags:
    Civil Rights, reforms, police department, New York Civil Liberties Union Advocacy, Johanna Miller, New York
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