NYC Council Tries to Ban Using ‘Race, Gender, or Age’ to ID Suspects

Kirstan Conley
New York Post
June 19, 2013

Blindfolded Cop

Cops might as well wear blindfolds if the City Council passes a bill that would let them use little more than the color of a suspect’s clothing in descriptions — or risk being sued for profiling, according to this provocative new ad (pictured) from the NYPD captains union.

The ad asks, “How effective is a police officer with a blindfold on?”

And the answer is not very, says the NYPD Captains Endowment Association, which is fighting the measure, claiming it would handcuff cops and send crime rates soaring.

Union President Roy Richter — who is seen in the ad wearing a blindfold in Times Square — told The Post the bill is dangerous because “it will ban cops from identifying a suspect’s age, gender, color or disability.

“When we have wanted suspects and patterns of crimes, those are very important descriptive terms to let officers know who to look for.”

The ad warns that if cops transmit a description of a suspect that goes beyond the color of his or her clothing, they could be sued for racial profiling if the proposal becomes law.

The ad will appear in tomorrow’s Post, in addition to the union’s Web site, Twitter and Facebook — and provides links to contacts for City Council members to sway their vote on the measure.

The bill’s sponsor, Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), and Speaker Christine Quinn are going to bypass normal committee process and bring the measure directly to a vote.

Detectives-union President Michael Palladino blasted Quinn for supporting the rare expedited process — and said his union plans to place ads in newspapers next week.

“The [union’s] ad will focus on . . . Speaker Quinn’s political decision to sell the security of all New Yorkers for votes. Where was the speaker and her legislation for the last seven years?” Palladino asked.

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