The City Council is expected to override Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of a controversial policing bill Tuesday afternoon– the culmination of a showdown that has been building for weeks at City Hall.
The measure, known as the How Many Stops Act, will require police officers to document low-level encounters with citizens. It expands from current rules requiring police to document stops only when a person is suspected of some criminality.
Adams and police brass have argued that the new rules will make it harder for officers to have everyday interactions with the residents they’re trying to protect, burdening them with paperwork.
“We encounter millions of people throughout a year, but it doesn’t tell you what the tone of the stop was like,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said. “It could be the most innocuous conversation.”
The bill has garnered a wave of support from families of victims of police brutality as well as some law enforcement officials, who emphasize that it will create more transparency and accountability when the NYPD stops people on the street.
“We’re trying to understand the scale and scope of policing in New York City,” said Councilmember Alexa Avilés, who introduced the bill with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in July 2022.
That argument intensified over the weekend, when City Councilmember Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Central Park Five was stopped by police while driving in Harlem. He said in a statement that the officer didn’t give him a reason for why he was pulled over.
The Council is also expected to override the mayor’s veto on a bill that would ban solitary confinement in city jails. The mayor has argued the practice is already forbidden but members say it still exists in a different form.
Adams has been lobbying hard to sustain his veto of the two bills, but last week the Council moved up the date of its meeting to Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., indicating Speaker Adrienne Adams has the votes she needs to override.
The Council last overrode a veto by Adams in July – marking the first time the legislative body had overridden a mayor in almost a decade. Adams’ predecessor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, did not issue a single veto during his eight years in office.
If the Council is successful Tuesday, it would mark another blow to the mayor who is already facing potential primary challengers and sagging approval ratings, according to recent polls.