New York Daily News

June 29, 2015, 2:30 AM

  

 

EXCLUSIVE: Gay rights groups seek law to curb police searches and require cops to identify themselves

BY ERIN DURKIN

BEBETO MATTHEWS/AP

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the proposals are unnecessary and redundant and could affect policing.

Gay rights groups are pushing the City Council to pass a pair of controversial police-reform bills that would require cops to identify themselves and get permission when they search people.

More than two dozen LGBT groups signed a letter backing the “Right to Know Act” ahead of a Council hearing set for Monday.

“Since long before Stonewall, LGBTQ people — and particularly LGBTQ people of color, LGBTQ youth, and transgender and gender nonconforming people — have been targets of profiling and other discriminatory policing practices,” the groups, which include Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

One of the bills would require cops to identify themselves when they search someone. The other would mandate that if police don’t have probable cause, they must tell the subject they have the right to refuse the search and get proof of their consent.

“The experiences of members of our communities consistently demonstrate that neither of these rights is respected in reality in police encounters,” the letter says.

Advocates point to searches in which condoms have been discovered and used as evidence of prostitution — a policy the NYPD changed last year, but activists say doesn’t go far enough.

The Council scheduled the hearing on the police-regulation bills as it struck a deal for a budget that will add 1,300 cops to the NYPD. Among nine bills being debated at the hearing, another one would make it a crime for cops to use a chokehold.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association blasted all the legislation Sunday.

The proposals “are unnecessary and redundant and could have a further chilling impact on law enforcement that will make our streets more dangerous,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch. “The City Council’s consideration of further misguided laws and regulations in the face of clear damage already inflicted on public safety is sheer recklessness.”