N.Y. City Council to cops: Don’t describe suspect’s gender, race, age

by
June 20, 2013

Talk about a blind justice system. The latest New York City Council push is for police to shut their eyes to a suspect’s gender, race, age and disability, out of concern that such descriptions constitute unfair profiling.

The New York Post reported that police unions are rallying in opposition, putting out a public relations campaign that includes a uniformed and blindfold-wearing officer with the caption: “How effective is a police officer with a blindfold on?”

New York Police Department Captains Endowment Association, the main union fighting against the proposal, said crime rates could soar.

“It will ban cops from identifying a suspect’s age, gender, color or disability,” said the union’s president, Roy Richter, in the Post. “When we have wanted suspects and patterns of crimes, those are very important descriptive terms to let officers know who to look for.”

The union is warning that under this proposal, police would be able only to issue alerts for wanted suspects based on the color of clothing — or else face the risk of a profiling lawsuit, the Post reported. And the bill is headed toward fast-track vote. The Post reported that bill’s sponsor, Democratic Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, and Speaker Christine Quinn have agreed to bypass the committee process and bring it up to the full council for a vote.

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