Right to Know

The Story

Yesterday the city council passed the contentious “Right to Know Act,” which provides detailed rules for a wide range of interactions between the police and the public. The new law will mandate that police officers proactively identify themselves in almost all interactions with the public and obtain consent before conducting most searches. Backers of the law say that it will improve transparency and foster racial justice, but the Right to Know Act’s real purpose is to make it more difficult for police to do their jobs.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Searches: Victim-reported information on suspects’ races disproves the charge that the NYPD conducts searches on a racial basis. Read more.

  2. Reduction: The NYPD has dramatically reduced use of its Stop-Question-Frisk tactic, removing much of the political rationale for the new law. Read more.

  3. Backfire: Efforts to micromanage police interactions with communities often backfire. Read more.

“These bills will only serve to increase the contentious atmosphere police officers face on the streets, jeopardizing their safety and discouraging them from engaging in effective, proactive police work.”

Patrick Lynch, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Why Cops Stop and Frisk So Many Blacks By Heather Mac Donald (February 2007)

“Blame high black crime, not police racism.”

And in other news...

“A bill opposed by Mayor de Blasio that would have dramatically expanded the number of street-vending permits was suddenly yanked Monday.”