Great news! Just after 2am at City Hall last night, Make the Road New York members stood witness to an historic moment as the City Council passed new, veto-proof legislation to stop discriminatory policing, create real NYPD accountability for our communities, and rein in the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk. (Read more in the New York Times.)
Under Intro. 1080 of the Community Safety Act, New Yorkers will now have the right to sue under New York City law if they have been the victim of bias-based profiling. For the first time in history, LGBT, homeless, and immigrant New Yorkers will be protected from discrimination under the law and all New Yorkers will have a meaningful mechanism to enforce their rights.
With the passage of Intro. 1079, NYC also joins the ranks of other major cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, by creating an Inspector General position to bringtransparency, oversight and accountability to our police department. Later this summer, the Council’s progressive majority will override the Mayor’s veto and these critical protections will become law.
This is a monumental achievement for MRNY’s members who have been organizing for 15 years to make our streets and schools safe.
For 19-year-old Damont Dillard, who went on The Daily Show last month to talk about racial profiling, today’s victory is an affirmation. “I’ve been stopped and frisked over one dozen times in the last four years. For my family, my neighbors, for other young people, immigrants and my LGBTQ friends, the Community Safety Act means we no longer have to be afraid of being treated unfairly or harassed just because of the color of our skin or the way a cop perceives us.”
Fearless testimony and advocacy by Damont and thousands of members of MRNY and the Communities United for Police Reform coalition has shown that when diverse communities come together and stand up against injustice we can win. We thank Council Members Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander for listening and putting our priorities first.
However, our work is not over. If you or someone you know, age 18-25, has been stopped and frisked by police, you can help by taking part in our survey. Data gathered will be used to help in the implementation of the Community Safety Act. Please share this link with anyone who may want to participate.
Thank you for standing with us to win respect and dignity for all New Yorkers!
– Javier Valdes, Co-Executive Director