A provocative new ad from the NYPD captains union criticizes a proposal by city council members that would ban officers from identifying suspects by little more than their clothing.
“How effective is a police officer with a blindfold on?” the ad asks.
NYPD Captains Endowment Association President Roy Richter — who is seen in the ad wearing a blindfold in Times Square — told the New York Post that the bill, sponsored by Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), is dangerous because “it will ban cops from identifying a suspect’s age, gender, color or disability.”
“When we have wanted suspects and patterns of crimes, those are very important descriptive terms to let officers know who to look for,” he added.
Introduction 800 of the Community Safety Act would prohibit “bias-based profiling,” defined as “a member of the force of the police department or other law enforcement officer that relies on actual or perceived race, [ethnicity, religion or] national origin, color, creed, age, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or housing status as the determinative factor in initiating law enforcement action against an individual, rather than an individual’s behavior or other information or circumstances that links a person or persons [of a particular race, ethnicity, religion national origin] to suspected unlawful activity.”
President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Pat Lynch said the “so-called biased policing” package was a misnomer.
“Rather than focus on unnecessary laws, the council should be supporting its police officers — not attacking them,” he said.
“Racial profiling is already illegal — and should be,” he added.
Mr. Williams and Speaker Christine Quinn are going to bypass the normal committee process and bring the measure directly to a vote.