We need to take immediate action to stop a bill that would give police unions control over discipline for police wrongdoing. These bills (S7801/A9853) would seriously undermine the authority of local governments to take disciplinary action regarding police misconduct.
The bill would dramatically undermine police accountability by ceding substantial power to set the terms of investigation, punishment, and discipline for bad acts to police unions. This is frightening when we think of how police unions have condoned and supported the worst cases of police brutality known to man. From severe beatings, false arrest and rape to unjustified killings by police officers of people of color, the police unions have always supported, upheld, justified and condoned the wrongdoer wearing the badge.
What is amazing is that this “stealth” bill was passed with absolutely no notice to the public on the final day of the legislative session. Police accountability is our most important tool in combating police brutality. We cannot have this aspect of responsible law enforcement in our community relegated to a contractual negotiations at the bargaining table. This bill undermines all of our efforts in getting the community safety act passed (Stop and Frisk Bill), bestowing disciplinary powers to the Citizen Complaint Review Board, and employing an inspector general for the police department.