New York Daily News

November 14, 2014


 

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton tells City Council to back off attempts to rein in police


The top cop called two pieces of proposed legislation — one making a chokehold a crime and the other requiring consent before searching someone — unnecessary.

BY THOMAS TRACY , JENNIFER FERMINO , ERIN DURKIN

JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton lashed out at the City Council Thursday — telling them to back off attempts to rein in the authority of the NYPD.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton lashed out at the City Council Thursday — telling them to back off attempts to rein in the authority of the NYPD.

One piece of legislation would require cops to get the consent of someone they stop before searching them.

The other would make using a chokehold, which is already against NYPD policy, a crime.

“It’s totally unnecessary. It’s part of an ongoing effort to bridle the police and the city of New York,” Bratton said.

Both measures represent “an onerous and unnecessary intrusion” into NYPD’s operations, he said. “We are trying to make this city safe and any unnecessary burdens that are being placed on the department are going in just the opposite direction,” he said.

Liberal lawmakers call the bills much-needed reforms to a police department they say has not changed fast enough since Mayor de Blasio took office.

They held a City Hall rally Thursday before introducing the consent to search bill, which would require cops to get written or audio proof of permission for a search, except in cases where they have a warrant or probable cause to suspect a crime.

“The only thing this law would do is prevent unlawful searches — searches that too often result in racially discriminatory arrests and summons,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), one of the sponsors.

Backers stressed that suspects can already refuse a groundless search under the Constitution, but most don’t know it. “You have a right to know you can refuse a search,” said Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn).

LOUIS LANZANO/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Both measures represent 'an onerous and unnecessary intrusion' into NYPD’s operations, Bratton said.

But de Blasio has expressed concerns about the legislation, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who co-sponsored a nearly-identical bill that was introduced during the Bloomberg administration, now says she is undecided.

“Circumstances are different now,” she said Thursday.

Pat Lynch, head of the Police Benevolent Association, blasted the chokehold and search bills.

“Both of these measures are laws in search of a problem,” he said. “These measures will embolden the criminal community.”