New York, NY – New York City police will have to complete mandatory paperwork noting the demographics of every cyclist and driver they pull over beginning Jan. 1, even if they don’t take any action against them.
The internal directive requires officers to note the age, gender, and race of every person they encounter during traffic stops, to include those riding bikes, the New York Post reported.
The new paperwork is being implemented in compliance with an amendment to Local Law 45, which requires the New York Police Department (NYPD) to provide data on the number of vehicles uniformed officers stop.
The intention behind the forms is to help ensure officers aren’t profiling the people they pull over, sources told the New York Post.
Christopher Dunn, legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the mandate “will be a big step forward to having a more complete picture,” according to the paper.
“We have every reason to believe that vehicle stops have the same racial bias as pedestrian stops,” Dunn alleged. “But now, we’re going to be able to know. Maybe it will turn out there’s no racial bias but I’d be surprised.”
An NYPD officer with over 20 years on the job said may officers are already reluctant to stop people and that the new mandatory paperwork is a “recipe for disaster” that will only deter them more, the New York Post reported.
“As an officer, I’m definitely going to think twice about pulling anyone over,” said the officer, who is black. “That’s the first thing they’re going to look at how many black and Hispanic people you pulled over.”
“They’re all just saying, ‘I just won’t pull anybody over,’” the veteran officer told the New York Post regarding his fellow officers. “Why would you when everything you do is going to be scrutinized? I’m black and I don’t even want to pull anyone over at this point.”
Rand-and-file officer have already began calling on new NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell to do away with the new paperwork, the New York Post reported.
Commissioner Sewell took office on Jan. 1 – the same day the requirement went into effect.
“If this new commissioner wants to change things, this is definitely something she has to change,” the veteran NYPD source told the New York Post. “I would hope that [Mayor-elect] Eric [Adams] gets rid of that because he knows it’s just a distraction.”
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the mandatory paperwork is just part of the outgoing city council’s “sad legacy,” according to the paper.
“They passed bill after bill to further the anti-police narrative, but did absolutely nothing to help us curb the bloodshed in our neighborhoods,” Lynch declared. “The incoming Council needs to refocus their priorities. Instead of new paperwork, we need meaningful support to get violent criminals off the street.”