Advocates Ask De Blasio and Council To Adopt Obama's Report Including Independent Prosecutors

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President Obama backs independent prosecutors in police killings of unarmed civilians

In response to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommending that police officers be required to seek consent for searches when no legal justification exists for them, independent prosecutors be assigned in cases of police brutality and killings, and demographic data on stops, frisks searches, summons, arrest, and use of force, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from spokesperson Joo-Hyun Kang.

“Now that President Obama’s national taskforce on policing has endorsed the policy objectives of The Right to Know Act, a special prosecutor on police use-of-force cases, and comprehensive demographic data reporting on searches, summons, arrest and use of force, it’s time for New York’s elected officials to lead by following these recommendations. The City Council should pass and Mayor de Blasio should sign The Right to Know Act as a first step towards improving police transparency in interactions with civilians and addressing one of the fundamental issues with the policing of communities. Likewise, it’s essential that Governor Cuomo enact an executive order to assign a special prosecutor in cases of police brutality, and require police departments to report comprehensive data on stops, frisks, searches, summons, arrest and use of force. There is no excuse for New York falling behind nationally in implementing common-sense reforms that help improve police transparency and accountability.”

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policy made the following recommendation in the Policy and Oversight section of its report, which matches The Right to Know Act’s Introduction 541:

“2.10 RECOMMENDATION: Law enforcement officers should be required to seek consent before a search and explain that a person has the right to refuse consent when there is no warrant or probable cause. Furthermore, officers should ideally obtain written acknowledgement that they have sought consent to a search in these circumstances.”

The Task Force made the following recommendation in the Policy and Oversight section of its report, which is in accordance with demands by the surviving family members of New York victims of police killings and other advocates for Governor Cuomo to assign a special prosecutor in cases of police killings and brutality:

“2.2.3 ACTION ITEM: The task force encourages policies that mandate the use of external and independent prosecutors in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.”

The Task Force made the following recommendations in the Policy and Oversight section of its report on data reporting:

“2.2.4 ACTION ITEM: Policies on use of force should also require agencies to collect, maintain, and report data to the Federal Government on all officer-involved shootings, whether fatal or non fatal, as well as any in-custody death.”

“2.6 RECOMMENDATION: Law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to collect, maintain, and analyze demographic data on all detentions (stops, frisks, searches, summons, and arrests). This data should be disaggregated by school and non-school contacts.”



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