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Police Bill Press Release

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SAFFRAN BLASTS COUNCIL PASSAGE OF BILLS THAT COULD CRIPPLE LAW ENFORCEMENT
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  718-428-7156Info@SAFFRAN2013.comFOR IMMEDIATE Contact: David ZunigaRELEASE 516-564-3606 SAFFRAN BLASTS COUNCIL PASSAGE OF BILLSTHAT COULD CRIPPLE LAW ENFORCEMENT City Council candidate Dennis Saffran (R-C, 19th District) today strongly condemned theCouncil’s passage late last night of two bills – together inaptly named the Community Safety Act – which would allow for lawsuits to block police strategies and tactics under a vastly andvaguely expanded definition of “bias-based profiling,” and would also create an Inspector General to second-guess police policies. Saffran stated that this would hamper crime preventionefforts throughout the city but in poor and minority areas in particular, saying: “This is a reckless act which will handcuff the police, lead tomore drugs and guns on our streets, and victimize the verypeople the Council claims to protect.” The profiling bill (Intro No. 1080) would empower judges to issue orders blocking lawenforcement policies and practices that have a “disparate impact” based upon race or upon ahost of other factors including sex, age, disability and “housing status.”Saffran noted that Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, PBA President Pat Lynchand others have warned that the profiling bill is so vaguely and poorly written that it could:·bar police from even identifying the race (or sex or age) of suspects;·force the removal of anti-crime security cameras from housing projects and high-crimeareas because they disproportionately recorded members of racial or ethnic minorities;·bar deployment of officers to a minority community in response to a spike in crime in thecommunity;·bar monitoring of gang members because of the disparate impact based on sex and age,since nearly all gang members are male and under 30 years old.Saffran also condemned the unprecedented “discharge vote” engineered by Speaker ChristineQuinn and Council Democrats earlier this week that allowed the bills to bypass the normalcommittee process – the first time this has been done since the establishment of the current CityCouncil structure in 1989. He stated:  “This maneuver, which choked off debate on the bills andprevented any testimony by Ray Kelly, Pat Lynch and other policeand union officials on how they will harm law enforcementefforts, highlights the shortsightedness of what the Council hasdone.” Saffran observed that the bills were apparently aimed at stopping or severely curbing the PoliceDepartment’s “Stop, Question, and Frisk” program, although as noted above they go far beyondthat in opening the door for countless lawsuit against a vast array of NYPD policies and tactics.Terming the “Stop and Frisk” program targeted by the bills “an important part of the city’s fightagainst crime,” Saffran said: “Of course these stops must be courteous and civil. But thebottom line is that they get guns off the street and save lives –typically the lives of poor and minority children.” He noted that according to some estimates, if New York City crime rates had remained what theywere in 1993, before Mayor Giuliani took proactive steps, including the expansion of stop andfrisk, to prevent crime, more than 10,000 black and Hispanic males who are alive today wouldhave prematurely lost their lives in senseless street violence. Those fighting to end stop and frisk are, he said, “wreaking havoc on the very communities they claim to be, and ought to be, protecting.”###
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