Close to 20 families who lost loved ones in encounters with #NYPD officers are urging #NYC Mayor #EricAdams to endorse the "How Many Stops Act (HMSA)," a bill requiring police officers to document all stops. However, Mayor Adams opposes the HMSA, signed by the NYC Council on Dec. 20, arguing that it places unnecessary paperwork burdens on officers and that policing should take precedence over paperwork. The new requirement, sponsored by city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, entails officers reporting encounters with New Yorkers using a brief app-based questionnaire, which takes about 20 to 30 seconds.
Victims' families, including those of #EricGarner, #AntonioWilliams, #AmadouDiallo, and #SeanBell, penned a letter to Mayor Adams, expressing concerns that increasing reporting standards might discourage officers from engaging in low-level stops or unconstitutional harassment of New Yorkers. They argue that some of their loved ones were killed during unconstitutional stops, which the #HMSA aims to address by shedding light on the frequency, locations, and potential racial motivations behind such stops.
The families acknowledge that the HMSA is just the first step in achieving their desired changes, emphasizing the importance of preventing unnecessary and unconstitutional policing while protecting future families from suffering similar losses.
Despite opposition, Mayor Adams and his administration have emphasized their commitment to public safety, citing reduced overall crime and shootings in the city. Nevertheless, data reveals that a significant portion of NYPD's stop-and-frisk encounters disproportionately target Black and Hispanic residents, highlighting the need for transparency and reform in policing practices.
The "How Many Stops Act (HMSA)" represents an opportunity to address long-standing concerns regarding unconstitutional stops and racial profiling. By requiring officers to document all stops, we can shed light on the patterns and motivations behind these encounters, ultimately fostering a safer and more just city for all. The families of those who have tragically lost their lives during such stops know all too well the devastating consequences of unchecked policing practices. Their advocacy exemplifies the importance of prioritizing justice and accountability in pursuing a fair and equitable society.
Link: Black Enterprise