FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/19/24
Media Contact: Eliel Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY––January 19, 2024––In response to Mayor Adam’s veto of the How Many Stops Act, the Justice Committee released the following statements from families who’ve lost loved ones to the NYPD and from our Executive Director, Loyda Colon (they/them):
“The mayor’s veto of the How Many Stops Act - on top of the misinformation campaign he has been waging against it in concert with the NYPD and police unions - is an utter betrayal of NYC’s Black, Latinx, and other communities of color, families who have lost loved ones to the NYPD, and all New Yorkers. We call on all city council members to vote yes to override the mayor’s veto when the decision comes to the Council floor.
The How Many Stops Act is an easy-to-implement, common-sense measure that New Yorkers who are impacted by the NYPD’s discriminatory and abusive practices have been demanding for years. The data on street stops and investigative encounters gained through HMSA will expose the extent of the NYPD’s discriminatory practices at a time when stop-and-frisk is on the rise, fatal shootings by the NYPD are at the highest they’ve been in a decade, and NYPD misconduct complaints have risen by over 50% in a year. Contrary to the mayor’s lies and fear-mongering, HMSA reporting will require officers to spend mere seconds on their department-issued cell phones. The word “paperwork” does not apply.
Mayor Adams has shown his true colors with this shameful veto, and in our response, so will we: Through citywide organizing and the leadership of those most impacted by the NYPD’s profiling and abuse, our movement beat the mayor by ensuring the City Council passed HMSA with a veto-proof majority vote in December, and we will do the same in overriding the veto.”
Quotes from families whose loved ones were killed by the NYPD:
"Mayor Adams campaigned on promises of police accountability and transparency and broke them all with his pen when he vetoed the How Many Stops Act,” said Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell (killed by the NYPD in 2006). “This veto is not just an attempt to shield the NYPD's discriminatory practices, it is an attack on Black, Latinx and other communities of color in our city. The families who have lost loved ones to the NYPD will not forget. We are calling on all council members to vote yes to override this shameful veto."
“It's an outrage that the mayor could look me and other family members of those killed by the NYPD in the eyes and tell us that he supported reporting of level 1 and 2 stops before he took office, and then veto HMSA in front of our faces,” said Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez (killed by the NYPD in 1994). “Families of New Yorkers killed by the NYPD have been fighting for the How Many Stops Act to become law and the mayor has turned his back on us. Some of our loved ones, like Eric Garner and Antonio Williams, were killed during unconstitutional stops—the very encounters HMSA will illuminate. The City Council must override the veto so that we gain the data and transparency we need to work together toward eradicating unnecessary and unconstitutional policing and ultimately prevent other families from suffering as we do.”
“Our son, Antonio Williams, was killed during a reasonable suspicion-less, so-called ‘low-level’ stop, like the ones the How Many Stops Act will shed light on. His only crime was ‘standing while being Black’,” said Shawn and Gladys Williams, parents of Antonio Williams (killed by the NYPD in 2019). “Mayor Adams' veto is a slap in the face to us and all families who have been fighting for this essential legislation. The mayor has made it clear he cares more about protecting the NYPD's power to racially profile and abuse our communities than he does about the lives of young Black men like Antonio. The City Council must stand with the families and override the mayor's veto."