Mayor Eric Adams is launching a last-minute push to dissuade City Council members from overriding his vetoes to a pair of bills.
Adams during a news conference on Sunday said an NYPD transparency bill called the How Many Stops Act and a bill banning solitary confinement at city jails would “risk compromising our progress” on public safety.
Adams vetoed both measures on Friday, even though the Council passed the bills last month with veto-proof majorities. Council members have indicated they will override the mayor.
The How Many Stops Act would require NYPD officers to formally document low-level interactions with the public. NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban argued the mandate would force officers to spend more time behind desks, leading to more overtime costs and fewer police on the streets.
“The resulting paper work increases the time involved for each job by a factor of 10, and that’s time our officers should and must be spending out on the street doing their jobs,” Caban said.
The mayor said local lawmakers should go on ride-alongs with police officers in their districts, and said Harlem Councilmember Yusef Salaam, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, has already agreed to do so.
Adams also accused Council members of misleading the public in passing the bill to ban solitary confinement at city jails.
“There is no solitary confinement in Rikers Island, the practice ended in 2019,” Adams said. “Using this slight of hand of using a terminology that invokes a lot of passion to get through a piece of legislation is misinformation at its worst.”
But despite rules against solitary confinement, watchdogs have found the city routinely isolates jail inmates for extended periods of time.
A report published by Columbia University’s Center for Justice in December found solitary confinement still exists by “different names” in city jails ,including “structurally restrictive housing,” “de-escalation confinement and decontamination units,” and “enhanced supervision housing.”
The City Council needs 34 votes to override a veto from the mayor. The How Many Stops Act passed last month with 35 votes in favor, just above the threshold, while the solitary confinement bill passed with 39.
Several new Council members elected last year have taken office since the vote on the bills.
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said in a statement Friday that lawmakers were prepared to override the mayor’s vetoes.
The Council in July also voted to override the mayor’s veto of a housing bill to expand housing assistance, and lawmakers have since criticized his administration for failing to implement the law.