City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) wrote a letter in the July 19-25 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers defending his vote for the two Intros 1079 and 1080, comprising the Community Safety Act.
As a constituent concerned about the safety of my family, friends and community, I am infuriated with his vote and more distressed by his explanatory letter filled with political double-speak which shows that either he is lying or has not read the bills.
Weprin is disingenuous by stating that “Intro 1080 does not prevent police officers from using stop-and-frisk.” He went on to say that “under both current law and Intro 1080, police officers can include race, gender, age and other relevant information when pursuing criminal suspects.”
But the fact of the matter is that Intro 1080 amends Section 14-151 of the city Administrative Code to “prohibit” police officers from engaging in all aspects of “bias-based profiling,” which includes race, gender, age and other relevant information. He omits the fact that the new bill has legal teeth, absent from current law, allowing citizens to bring personal, civil lawsuits against the NYPD and individual officers for perceived bias-based profiling.
Weprin’s statement that under Intro 1080 plaintiffs cannot sue individual officers is false.
He defends his imprudent vote for Intro 1079, which would establish a redundant, costly rival authority to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
It is unnecessary to add another layer of bureaucracy that would cost the taxpayers many millions of dollars when there is enough oversight already in place with Integrity Control Officers at each precinct level command, the Community Affairs Bureau at 1 Police Plaza, the Internal Affairs Bureau, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the five borough district attorneys and the two U.S. attorneys in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The Orwellian Community “Safety” Act is just the opposite of what its name intends. It will handcuff the police as they cease to take any action that would subject themselves to lawsuits. It would allow newly emboldened criminals, murderers and drug dealers to rule the city streets again as they did 20 years ago before proactive policing methods like stop-and-frisk was introduced.
Today, we have the lowest crime statistics ever, as murders, rapes and robberies have gone down 30 percent over the past 10 years since the “anti-crime miracle” stop-and-frisk has been employed and saved thousands of lives.
If Weprin has “enormous respect for the work of the NYPD” and wants to “make our city safer for all residents,” as he said, he needs to reject Intros 1079 and 1080 so the mayor’s promised veto will be sustained.
Board of Directors Member
Queens Village Republican Club