NYC Public Advocate Urges Mayor To Read The ‘How Many Stops’ Act And The Nypd Patrol Guide Amid Misinformation

January 17th, 2024

Press Release

As misinformation continues to circulate about the ‘How Many Stops’ Act to provide basic policing transparency, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams today urged Mayor Adams and detractors of the legislation to read the text of the bill, which runs counter to the claims made in opposition.

“The bill which the mayor and others have spoken out against bears no resemblance to the bill we actually passed,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “This may be the most flagrant misinformation campaign I have seen from any administration in my time in office, misleading both the public and the police. I urge both the mayor and the public to read the actual text of the bill, which should correct what are at best misconceptions and at worst lies, which, unlike this basic transparency bill, will undermine public safety.”

In particular, the Public Advocate highlighted specific language from the bill excluding the kind of casual interactions with the public from reporting requirements, contrary to the bad-faith attacks on the legislation. The bill reads:

“Investigative encounter. The term “investigative encounter” means an interaction between a member of the department and a member of the public for a law enforcement or investigative purpose. The term does not include a casual conversation or interaction between a member of the department and a member of the public unless such conversation or interaction is based on or, in the course of such conversation or interaction, an officer develops: an objective credible reason to approach; a founded suspicion that such member of the public has engaged in or will engage in criminal activity; a reasonable suspicion that such member of the public has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime; or a reasonable cause to believe that an offense is being or has been committed.”

Additionally, the Public Advocate pointed to language from the NYPD patrol guide which  indicates that officers should already be logging some information on Level 1 and 2 stops related to Body-Worn-Camera recordings, contradicting the hyperbolic statements about this level of reporting. The guide reads:

Intro 586-A and the other component of the ‘How Many Stops’ Act passed the City Council with a veto-proof majority last month. The information documented. through this bill is critical to prevent the practices that led to the abuse of stop, question, and frisk prior to passage of the Community Safety Act in 2013. The Public Advocate has repeatedly responded to the administration’s misinformation about the bill and its impact, while emphasizing that the priority should be collaborating on implementing this essential legislation.

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