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NYC Lawmakers Dare Mayor Adams to Veto Bills Banning Solitary and Requiring Cops to Record Stops

Mayor Adams has said both bills are part of a "far-left agenda." And more news for your Thursday.

8:38 AM EST on December 21, 2023

Mayor Eric Adams and senior administration officials hold an in-person media availability at City Hall on Tuesday, December 19, 2023. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

On Wednesday, the City Council passed a flurry of bills, including two that Mayor Eric Adams is none too pleased with—a bill pushed by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams banning the use of solitary confinement in the City's jails, and the How Many Stops Act, a police transparency bill requiring NYPD officers to document more low-level stops.

The urgent need to ban solitary confinement, a widely recognized form of torture, seems fairly obvious. A report released this week by the Columbia University Center for Justice finds that the Department of Correction continues to put people in solitary confinement, in all but name only. As for the How Many Stops Act, supporters, including Public Advocate Williams, who cosponsored the legislation, say that it is necessary given that unconstitutional stops by the NYPD are on the rise. "This is a common sense way to get information about whether and how policing reforms are being implemented on the ground in our communities," Williams said in a statement earlier this week.

But Mayor Adams doesn't agree. "We are about to pass a bill that is going to damage our ability to keep the city safe because of the police resources that are going to be used," Adams said on Tuesday. "This bill is going to tie up all police officers, take them off patrol and create this paper bureaucracy,” he added. On Wednesday, he continued to rail against both bills, noting that a ban on solitary confinement would, in the words of Politico, "allow detainees to assault others in custody and be returned to the general population." In a radio interview with WABC's John Catsimatidis, the mayor described the legislation as an "assault on public safety." 

"There is a philosophical difference in this city, and the numerical minority is controlling the narrative," Adams said. "You have people who have a far-left agenda, who don't believe in supporting police, and they're just writing this legislation, and just handing it over to the council people."

Both bills passed with a veto-proof majority, setting up a potential confrontation between the mayor and the City Council. (His last veto, of an expansion of the City's housing voucher program, was overridden.) Is Adams, with his extremely low approval ratings and, uh, everything else going on, going to pick a fight with the council, as well as Public Advocate Williams? Last weekend, he hinted he might. "There is no way I will sign this bill into law," Adams said of the How Many Stops Act. 

We reached out to City Hall for comment and will update if we get a response, but in an interview with NY1's Errol Louis, Mayor Adams demurred when asked if he would use his veto power. "It was just passed, and we're looking at all of our options and the legal team is going to make the final determination," Adams said. "So, you know, it just passed, and we want to make sure we review it, and we're going to continue with some conversations."

And some veto-proof links:

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