Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday continued to campaign against the controversial NYPD bill that will require officers to document even the most minor interactions — inviting members of the City Council to take ride-alongs with cops as they patrol the Big Apple.
“With a bill pending that could make the city less safe, city councilmembers deserve to see firsthand how our NYPD officers are keeping the public safe and building relationships in our communities — and they deserve to understand how this bill would force those officers to spend more time filling out paperwork instead of protecting New Yorkers and keeping our streets safe,” Adams said in a statement.
“We encourage all of them to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The mayor, during a press conference with Police Commissioner Edward Caban, railed against the “How Many Stops Act,” claiming again that it will mire cops in extra paperwork and drive up overtime.
“We don’t oppose the entire bill they presented — we oppose this part of it,” Adams said, referencing how the measure will make cops record the race, gender, age and ethnicity of those involved in so-called level one stops.
“Good faith, but the practicality in application of it is not realistic,” Hizzoner continued. “It’s going to cause millions of reports being generated, and it’s going to drive up overtime.
“You cannot handcuff our police,” Adams said. “I say it over and over again: The goal is to handcuff bad guys who do bad things in our city.”
On Friday, Adams vetoed the proposal, then beseeched members of the Council to “read this entire bill” and compare it with the minor stops it forces officers to chronicle.
“I’m hoping that the city council understands the place that we are coming from,” the mayor said, flanked by members of police unions, the community and his administration.
“We’re not coming from an argumentative place,” he added. “We’re not coming from being disagreeable. We’re coming from a place of public safety. This bill is going to get in the way of that.”
The Council — which passed the legislation with a veto-proof, 35-9 majority in December — struck back on Sunday, issuing a statement that said the Adams administration has ignored the fact that level one stops “often include instances when officers are asking someone where they are going or for their identification absent criminal suspicion, something the Council understands.
“The differences between Level 1, 2, and 3 stops are often not apparent to New Yorkers who are impacted by these daily disruptions, underscoring the importance of transparency that the Council’s bill would achieve,” the statement said.
“Council Members have strong relationships with their local precincts and officers because of their frequent collaboration and engagement to promote the best interests of their communities,” it continued.
“Deepening those relationships is always something members are open to doing in their districts. We want to have public and private conversations with this administration based on facts, rather than falsehoods.”
Other backers — such New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — have said Adams is being disingenuous in his critiques.
“The mayor — who will be charged with implementing this bill — is actively undermining and misinforming people, including new recruits,” said Williams.
“I have never seen this amount of deceptive practices and deception and misinformation in all of my years.”
After Adams’ veto, Williams accused the mayor of “manipulating people’s pains and fear to feed his ego and political interests.”
The NYPD already captures the majority of the information for level two and level three stops with its body-worn camera reports, but critics have argued requiring the notation of age, sex and race and ethnicity in common, low-level stops would pull cops off the street for too long and lengthen their already-long shifts.
Caban buttressed Adams’ statements, saying that while more serious encounters are measured in the tens of thousands, level one encounters are “measured in the millions.”
“Those millions of encounters do not even begin to account for the daily policing that is the bedrock of our officers’ work,” Caban said at the press conference Sunday, adding that the bill’s demands are “staggering.”
The commissioner also said that last year, the NYPD responded to 8.5 million 911 and 311 calls.
The Council is set to formally “accept” Adams’ veto next week, and it will then have 30 days to call a vote on whether to override it, something that requires two thirds of the 51-member body.
Hizzoner said he was hoping the council is willing to compromise.
“I’m hoping that this is a reflection point,” Adams said. “That we can come to a good understanding of how we can get what we all want.”