A new bill is being harshly criticized by New York police unions.
The proposed bill would expand the definition of profiling to mean "an act of a member of the force of the police department or other law enforcement officer that relies on actual or perceived race, [ethnicity, religion or] national origin, color, creed, age, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability or housing status as the determinative factor in initiating law enforcement action against an individual, rather than an individual's behavior or other information or circumstances that links a person or persons [of a particular race, ethnicity, religion national origin] to suspected unlawful activity.”
Police believe it would severely restrict what factors officers can legally assess before stopping a suspect.
To fight the bill, a half-page ad paid for by the NYPD Captains Endowment Association and the Lieutenants Benevolent Association ran in Thursday’s New York Post. The ad asks: “How effective is a police officer with a blindfold on?” Roy Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association is seen in the advertisement wearing a blindfold in Times Square, Fox News reported.
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“If a police officer transmits descriptions beyond clothing color they can be sued for racial profiling,” Thursday’s ad reads. “That’s dangerous for the public and police officers.”
Brooklyn Democrat Brad Lander, a co-sponsor of the bill, said that the police unions are mischaracterizing the bill.
“They know they’re misrepresenting the legislation,” Lander said. “Police officers will continue to be able to use skin color and gender and age and height in suspect descriptions. What doesn’t work is profiling people based solely on they’re being one race, being one religion, being gay, living in public housing.”
A copy of the ad is below: