Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday, January 27th, led a group of New York City Council members on a police patrol in Harlem and the Bronx to sway votes against a controversial bill.
The event, aimed at dismantling the “How Many Stops” bill, which Adams vetoed earlier this month, saw at least eight council members participating in the ride-along, equipped with bullet-proof vests.
Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks, who was part of the group, remarked, “It was very eye-opening and I think that this is something we should incorporate when we’re putting together bills like this.”
Adams, a former NYPD captain, is counting on his experience to potentially dismantle the 35-9 super majority on the City Council ahead of the upcoming Tuesday vote. This vote will determine whether to override the mayor’s veto of the controversial “How Many Stops Act.”
If City Hall manages to sway the votes of two council members, the mayor’s veto would be upheld.
The controversial bill mandates that officers report all interactions, even minor ones, with the public related to reported crimes, including inquiries to passersby about what they witnessed or heard.
Adams believes that this would inundate the police with unnecessary paperwork that could hinder police performance.
During the patrol, council members experienced first-hand the nature of police work, including calls regarding a stolen cell phone and an assault at a liquor store.
Adams expressed his views on the importance of such experiences, stating, “This is a brilliant idea of governance…It’s better when we spend time on the ground. I think we should make this part of our orientation.”
The mayor is clearly aiming to create division within the city council through this strategy in hopes of preventing his veto from being overridden.
While most council members who participated in the ride-along spoke positively about the experience, they refrained from specifying the extent to which it might influence their voting decisions.
Councilmember Francisco Moya remarked, “I think that it definitely has an impact. I mean, this is a good thing. I think we should all be doing this — seeing both sides before we make big decisions. I know that there’s negotiations that are ongoing and we hope to continue to get to a better place by Tuesday.”
However, some of the mayor’s most outspoken critics, such as Communities United for Police Reform, an organization dedicated to preventing police violence, characterized the event as “an obvious PR stunt” in an open letter addressed to the City Council.
There was also resistance from some council members regarding the mayor’s ride-along invitation, particularly a dozen from the black subcommittee of the council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.
They previously issued a statement declining the mayor’s offer, indicating no need for a “litmus test” on police work.
Additionally, Councilman Yusef Salaam, a signatory of the statement, backed out of the ride-along after being pulled over by police for having overly tinted car windows, an incident he criticized due to a lack of explanation from the officer.