City Council eliminates qualified immunity for officers in the NYPD
Council has issued a series of reforms
requiring more transparency from the
One of the
biggest changes is the elimination of qualified immunity.
immunity previously protected officers against civil lawsuits.
Citizens can now sue individual officers for using excessive force or
unreasonable search and seizure.
The NYPD will also be required to issue quarterly reports on all vehicle stops.
This will include information
on race, precinct and the age of the driver.
Major crashes involving significant injury will now be investigated by a new
unit within the Department of Transportation and a civilian complaint review
board will have the power to investigate bias-based policing and racial
profiling complaints made by the public.
Mayor Bill de
Blasio approves of the changes, saying the reforms will: “Confront centuries of
over policing in communities of color and strengthen the bonds between police
In June, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order for each local government in New York to
create a plan to reform and reinvent their police force.
New York City’s plan lays out five goals, including: the decriminalization of
poverty, recognition and continual examination of historical and modern-day
racialized policing in New York City, transparency and accountability to the
people of New York City, community representation and partnership and a
diverse, resilient and supported NYPD.
The mayor says
all initiatives will be launched in 2021 with a tracker to monitor their
progress being released on May 1.
PBA President Patrick Lynch responded
to the changes, saying in part: “New Yorkers are getting shot and
police officers are out on the street. Where are these City Council members?
Safe at home, hiding behind their screens and dreaming up new ways to give
criminals a free pass.”