RIGHT TO KNOW ACT
Legislation to Prevent Discriminatory & Abusive Policing and
Improve Communication & Accountability Between NYPD and New Yorkers
About the Legislation
The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public. New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law.
The Right To Know Act includes the following legislation:
Requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves (Intro 182)
New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them, and the reason for law enforcement activity that prompts those interactions. Intro 182 would:
• Require officers to identify themselves and provide the officer's name, rank, command and a phone number for the Civilian Complaint Review Board at the end of police encounters that do not result in an arrest or summons.
• Require officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity (e.g. vehicle search, stop-and-frisk)
All too often, New Yorkers have no idea why they’re being questioned, stopped or searched by a police officer. NYPD policy already requires that officers provide their name, rank, shield number and command when asked. However, in many instances, officers do not identify themselves to members of the public and many individuals report fear of asking for the identity of an officer for fear of retaliation. Research suggests that in the absence of anonymity, officers are less likely to engage in abusive or discourteous behavior. New Yorkers should have the right to know the identity of police officers that interact with them.
Similar laws exist in other jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Justice has made adoption of similar policies a requirement in consent decrees entered into with the City of New Orleans and the Puerto Rico Police Department.
Protecting New Yorkers against unconstitutional searches (Intro 541)
New Yorkers should have the right to know that under the US constitution, searches without any legal basis (such as probable cause or a warrant) do not have to be agreed to, and they should have the assurance that this right will be respected and upheld by police. Intro 541 would:
• End the practice of the NYPD deceiving New Yorkers into consenting to unnecessary and unjustified searches
• Require officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no legal justification for a search
• Require officers to obtain objective proof that an individual gave informed and voluntary consent to a search, when there is no legal justification for the search
NYPD officers routinely conduct searches without legal justification other than an individual’s assumed “consent”. Too often, that is achieved by misleading New Yorkers into giving “consent” by simply ordering them to empty their pockets or open up their bags, without informing them that they do not have to agree. Most New Yorkers are unaware that they have the right to refuse such “consent” searches when the officer has no warrant, probable cause to believe they committed a crime, or other legal justification. The rights of New Yorkers to provide informed and voluntary consent to searches, and to decline such consent when there is no legal justification, should be protected.
Similar laws exist in other jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Justice has made adoption of similar policies a requirement in consent decrees entered into with the City of New Orleans and the Puerto Rico Police Department. Some states have banned consent searches altogether due to their racially discriminatory impact.
This commission was a way for Sharon Show me the money Bulova, and her cronies that we keep electing to the board of supervisors, to do nothing about the Punk-predictors on the Fairfax County Police force and the police problems in general while looking like they actually did something…why do you think she put the media on the commission?
This is government worker think at its best.
Again…again….again…this is a simple problem and can be resolved in just a few steps;
Put body cameras on the cops. The cops aren’t very bright and as result they do stupid things and make dumb life decisions….like becoming cops, smart people don’t work as policemen, that’s not my fault, its just the way it is. Put body cameras on them will reduce everything that’s wrong with the Fairfax County Police because, generally, they’ll stop doing stupid things.
Make the body camera tapes available to the public.
Force the county to insure each cop. When a cop has too many complaints against him or her, the insurance company will pull their bond and they won’t be able to work and we get rid of bad cops.
We pay these clowns twice what their worth. It’s our dime. Force them to get a bachelor’s degree in something….anything….within five years of being hired by us to work on OUR police department.
Fire the idiot chief of police and never hire another chief from within the ranks of OUR police department again.
Cut their budget. Do they really need almost half billion dollars year?
Draft report on Fairfax police practices calls for culture of transparency
Review Commission began its work developing recommendations about the county’s police
The commission came about after the death of John Geer of Springfield in 2013. An unarmed Geer was shot by Officer Adam Torres while standing on his doorstep. A special grand jury recently indicted Torres on a second-degree murder charge.
A final report, which includes nearly 40 pages of recommendations, will be presented to the County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 20. The board will then hold public hearings on it before it decides on implementing any, some or all of the recommendations.
The commission — established by Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors — is made up of current and former members of law enforcement, county officials and community members, among others.
It’s really been a huge amount of work in a relatively short period of time, Bulova said.
Topics commissioners reviewed included communications, recruitment, independent oversight and investigations, use of force, as well as mental health and crisis intervention training.
The final report calls for a culture of transparency at the police department. Recommendations also encourage the use of body cameras for police officers and training for more police officers that may respond to situation involving a person suffering from mental illness.
Geer’s death raised questions about how well the police department is able to police itself. The department drew further criticism after it took 18 months to release any information about the investigation into the shooting.
The commission is calling for independent oversight of police shooting investigations in which a person is badly hurt or killed. The final report is expected recommend that the Board of Supervisors to create and staff the Office of Independent Police Auditor, which will look into investigations involving officers. The report also calls for a Civilian Review Panel, which can review internal affairs investigations of alleged abuse of authority or serious misconduct by officers.
I think it’s affordable, I think it’s all very doable and I think that’s going to be important in getting it passed through the board of supervisors, said Jeff Stewart of the recommendations. Stewart witnessed the shooting of Geer, who was his friend.
Some in attendance expressed concern that board wouldn’t adopt many of the recommendations.
I would never create a commission like this without intending to follow through on their recommendations, Bulova said.
Michael Hershman, the commission’s chairman, says he is hopeful but says getting the recommendations implemented will be the biggest hurdle.
We want to make sure that the changes that we recommend are actually implemented and then are sustainable regardless of who the leadership is in the future, said Hershman.
WE DON'T WANT TO THANK THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES FOR UNDERWRITING THE COP KLAN RALLY THIS SUMMER, YOU MADE A BAD SITUATION WORSE.
THANKS FOR NOTHING