New York City Council

Adrienne Adams, faith leaders rally for How Many Stops Act

Speaker Adrienne Adams said she has no doubt that the council has the votes to override the mayor’s veto of the legislation.

 City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams speaks at a rally in support of the How Many Stops Act in the City Hall rotunda on Jan. 23, 2024.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams speaks at a rally in support of the How Many Stops Act in the City Hall rotunda on Jan. 23, 2024. Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit

Mayor Eric Adams is not the only one launching an aggressive campaign over the New York City Council’s hotly-debated police reporting bill. After the mayor held a packed press conference last week to announce his veto of the How Many Stops Act, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams answered with a fairly packed press conference of her own on Tuesday to rally support for the bill, asserting once again that the council will vote to override the mayor’s veto in the coming weeks.

Speaker Adams was joined by faith leaders and City Council members at the press conference, where proponents of the bill sang its praises. At a time when the victims of illegal police stops are still overwhelmingly Black and Latino New Yorkers, the bill’s lauded it as a straightforward way to glean more information about whom NYPD officers are stopping in lower-level investigative encounters. Council Member Yusef Salaam and Arc of Justice President Kirsten John Foy were among those who loudly voiced their support in the echo-y City Hall rotunda, while just down the hall, Mayor Adams doubled down on his opposition to the bill. (The dueling press conferences also produced one of the pettier public disagreements between the council and the mayor seen so far.)

The mayor has made his opposition to the bill well known outside the bounds of City Hall – at a real estate industry gala, at a neighborhood conversation, even at a Bar Mitzvah. While not quite as wide-ranging, the speaker’s rally seemed to indicate a more public campaign in support of the bill.

The legislation, which passed the City Council in late December and which was vetoed by the mayor on Friday, would require NYPD officers to report data about lower-level investigative encounters with civilians after the fact, including the apparent race and ethnicity, gender and age of the civilian, the reason for the encounter, and the outcome. 

The mayor said at his own press conference on Tuesday that his objection to the bill is rooted in its inclusion of the lowest level stops – known as level one stops, which are defined as encounters in which police can request information from a civilian as long as there is an “objective, credible reason, not necessarily indicative of criminality” to do so. Mayor Adams has said that requiring reporting on these lower-level encounters will burden officers with excessive paperwork and take them away from the time they can spend making the city safer. The bill’s supporters say that recording the info won’t take as long as the mayor says, particularly since officers will be able to complete the reports on their phones. 

The speaker, who is not usually liberal with harsh criticism of the mayor, had plenty to share on Tuesday. “The NYPD is the most technologically savvy police department on the planet,” she said, with a bit more fire than usual in her delivery. “If paperwork is the tool of implementation for this legislation, ladies and gentlemen, it will not be at the hands of the New York City Council – but at the hands of the NYPD and the administration themselves, who have the power to implement this on the hardest level or on the easiest level.”