At least two members of the City Council’s Bronx delegation went their own way on a controversial bill that curbs the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk and other programs open to profiling suspects.
Folks who believe they were targeted because of their race or other non-criminal reasons are now allowed to sue the department.
This bill of course does not sit well with most street cops, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, or Mayuh Mike.
Two members of the eight-member Bronx delegation – Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera and Jimmy Vacca – voted against it, though both went along with the Council’s 40-11 vote to have the city Department of Investigation create an Inspector General with subpena power to oversee the department.
Now Mayuh Mike is beating the council bushes – and some heads – to try to find that one single Council vote that will give him veto power over the profiling bill.
Joel told us he saw little value in the bill – beyond handcuffing cops.
“I’m of the belief that 99% of police officers do the right thing … and if you sue, you’re not suing the officer, you’re suing the department.”
The only ones who would profit, he added, would be the lawyers representing people bringing suit, since no monetary damages would be involved if the department was found liable.
Vacca, for his part, said that he could not support “any legislation that would hinder police officers from doing their jobs based on lawsuits that would have a chilling effect on the important work they do to keep us safe every day.”
“The cost to our city of these lawsuits and the time police would have to set aside to defend themselves would take them off our streets and make them think twice before addressing even basic quality of life issues. I voted NO because I felt this bill would send the wrong message to good police officers who deserve our support.”
While the debate continues over whether all those weekly polls can help sway voters in the mayoral election, don’t expect to see any polls coming out of the current City Council races.
“A decent poll will cost a candidate at least $10,000. Nobody can afford it,” sayeth a boro political operative who’s been involved in a number of local council contests. “At least half the people in these local races haven’t raised that much.”
One early measure of a council candidate’s strength will be when they file nominating petitions starting July 8 with a midnight July 11 deadline. The more signatures, the more bragging rights – and less legal challenges by opponents.
THIS IS REALLY BIG!
Excuse the Donald Trump headline, but now that we have your attention, Community Board 10’s parks committee chair Virginia Gallagher reports that The Donald’s PGA-level golf course at Ferry Point Park has now completed its 11th hole, with seven more to go before its grand opening sometime in the spring of 2014.
We’re just wondering if that 500-seat banquet hall in the clubhouse, with sweeping views of the waterfront, will hurt the other local catering halls in the borough. Just wondering….
Another year of playing city budget roulette, another year of protests, another year of City Island’s FDNY Ladder 53 being spared the fire ax. Enough awright, awready!
Kate Pastor, hard working and talented editor at the award-winning Riverdale Press for the past five years is moving on, looking for a change of scene and new opportunities. Kate, by the way, is a charter member of our mythical Order of the Hooded Monks (local journos who meet in a mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery under a full moon and conspire over Bronx news coverage, and otherwise get together for drinks and laughs). We wish her the best.
STAMPING HER FOOT
City Councilwoman Annabel Palma stamping her foot down over Congress messing with food stamps. As chair of the council’s General Welfare Committee, she pushed through a resolution calling on Congress to pass and the President to sign a farm bill that preserves funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), formerly the food stamp program.
The Senate version of the bill would cut $4.1 billion from SNAP. The House version included $20 billion in cuts to SNAP, but the House voted it down last week.
Palma pointed out that nearly 2.6 million city residents struggle to afford food and over 1.9 million rely on SNAP benefits.
•Congrats to Detective Mike Diskin over at the Four-Four squad in Highbridge, upped to Detective Second Grade.
An attaboy to Detective Bobby Rogers at the Four-Five squad in Throggs Neck for nailing a serial chain snatcher hitting little old ladies.
July 8, 1942 – Chuck Negron rock vocalist with 3 Dog Night “Joy to the World)
July 10 – State Senator Jeff Klein
July 10 – Former state Senator Israel “Izzy” Ruiz
July 11, 1936 – Triborough Bridge linking Manhattan, Bronx and Queens opens.