City drops suit over anti-profiling law

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As part of a series of reforms to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday the city is dropping a lawsuit that prohibits “bias-based” profiling by police officers.

The legislation, known as Local Law 71, was passed by the City Council in August after overturning a veto by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It bans using race as well 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.”

In September, the Bloomberg administration challenged Local Law 71 in court.

De Blasio, said, in a release, that in dismissing the suit it demonstrates his commitment to unite police with the community and respect resident’s constitutional rights.

“There is absolutely no contradiction in protecting the public safety of New Yorkers and respecting their civil liberties. In fact, those two priorities must go hand-in-hand,” he said. “No New Yorker should ever face discrimination based on the color of his or her skin. We are going to be explicit in setting fair and effective standards that prevent bias in any form.”

The law allows individuals to sue to stop bias-based profiling by law enforcement, but does not permit monetary damages.

“This law protects individuals in our communities against bias-based profiling, said Zach Carter, the city’s top legal counsel. “At the same time, police officers acting within the scope of their duties and in conformance with NYPD guidelines will be represented by the law department, in accordance with the law.”

 

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