June 23, 2016, 10:38 PM
BY BARBARA ROSS
A city law making it easier for the public to sue cops for racial profiling was upheld Thursday by a panel of Manhattan appellate judges.
The panel rejected the argument of police unions that it contradicts state law.
The Manhattan Appellate Division said Local Law 71, which was passed in 2013, does not clash with the state's Criminal Procedure Law.
The judges said the dispute boiled down to whether the state law allows cops to use race as the "determinative factor" in stopping people and frisking them.
"We hold that it does not," they said.
The city law was opposed by both the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Sergeant's Benevolent Association. And PBA President Patrick Lynch attacked the ruling.
"This law creates a confusing patchwork of regulations governing police officer conduct instead of a uniform standard across the entire state," he said in a statement.
Lynch warned that if it stands, it "opens the door for other cities to create similarly conflicting rules" and "the resulting confusion will only make police officers' job more difficult and more dangerous."
City lawyers hailed the ruling.
"We are pleased that the court upheld the Council's authority to pass this important anti-discrimination law," said a spokesman for the city law department.