In response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the two bills known collectively as the Community Safety Act, the leadership of the New York Civil Liberties Union today issued the following statement, attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:
"Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act is disappointing, but not surprising. It is a shame that the mayor refuses to address or even acknowledge the toll that the NYPD’s discriminatory and abusive policing practices exact on the rights and dignity of the people – especially young men of color, who are the prime targets.
"Mayor Bloomberg just doesn’t understand that the same deeply ingrained biases and prejudices that put Trayvon Martin into George Zimmerman’s crosshairs are manifested in law enforcement policies like stop-and-frisk, in which police officers treat all young men of color as suspicious or dangerous – stopping them by the hundreds of thousands without any legal basis whatsoever.
"The Community Safety Act will add teeth to the city's anti-profiling law and establish an independent Inspector General to bring badly needed accountability to the NYPD. These reforms will bring genuine and positive change to the lives of all New Yorkers. They help ensure that young men of color enjoy the same presumption of innocence when they are walking home from the store that any other person would expect. And they will in no way interfere with lawful police tactics. Indeed, they will help restore the community trust that is essential to effective law enforcement.
"We will work with council members to stop Mayor Bloomberg’s well-financed and heavy-handed campaign to roll back progress and override this veto."