New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sued the city council to overturn a statute that allows lawsuits based on allegations a police officer used racial profiling to pick someone out for questioning.
The mayor’s office, in a suit filed today in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, said the act is preempted by the state’s Criminal Procedure Law and “exceeds the bounds of permissible legislation” by the council. The council last month overrode the mayor’s veto of two bills, one permitting the suits and the other creating an inspector general to oversee police practices.
The Criminal Procedure Law “is a comprehensive and detailed regulatory scheme that imposes burdens, limitations and obligations on law enforcement, including the Police Department and individual officers,” according to the mayor’s suit. “It is intended to be a uniform and complete set of laws for the entire state.”
The two bills were passed after a federal judge ruled last month that New York police violated the U.S. Constitution in stop-and-frisk encounters with hundreds of thousands of mostly black and Hispanic young men. To restrain the practice, U.S. District Judge Shira Sheindlin in Manhattan appointed a monitor she said would ensure that police act lawfully.
“Mayor Bloomberg can sue all he wants, but at the end of the day, we will successfully beat back this ill-advised litigation and ensure the prerogative of the city council to reform stop and frisk,” council Speaker Christine Quinn, a Democratic candidate for mayor, said in a statement.
Bloomberg, 71, has said the council’s actions and the court-appointed monitor would hinder patrol officers’ ability to make split-second decisions on the street, making it more difficult to fight crime and terrorism.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. A political independent, he is barred by law from seeking a fourth term. Quinn, 47, is one of seven in her party seeking to replace him next year.
The case is Mayor of the City of New York v. Council of the City of New York, 451543/2013, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.