The Right to Know Act

The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law. 

Does your New York City Council Member support the legislation?

The Right To Know Act includes the following legislation:

Requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves to the public and explain the reason for the interaction (Intro 182)
New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them, and the reason for law enforcement activity that prompts those interactions. Intro 182 would:

  • Require officers to identify themselves and provide the officer's name, rank, command and a phone number for the Civilian Complaint Review Board at the end of police encounters that do not result in an arrest or summons.
  • Require officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity (e.g. vehicle search, stop-and-frisk)

Protecting New Yorkers against unconstitutional searches (Intro 541)
New Yorkers should have the right to know that under the US constitution, searches without any legal basis (such as probable cause or a warrant) do not have to be agreed to, and they should have the assurance that this right will be respected and upheld by police. Intro 541 would:

  • End the practice of the NYPD deceiving New Yorkers into consenting to unnecessary and unjustified searches
  • Require officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no legal justification for a search
  • Require officers to obtain objective proof that an individual gave informed and voluntary consent to a search, when there is no legal justification for the search