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The New York City Council overturned Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto on a measure to curb the stop-and-frisk policy that Bloomberg argues is necessary to bring crime rates down.

The council passed another measure, which was also opposed by the mayor, that would create a watchdog force to monitor the New York Police Department.

The two bills are aimed to restrict the amount of police power used with the stop-and-frisk policy that allows officers to go into high-crime areas and stop people based upon suspicion that they could be engaged in some kind of criminal activity.

The policy, strongly defended by Bloomberg, has come under increasing criticism, particularly from a federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional earlier this month.

Bloomberg released a strongly worded statement about the council, saying the votes were “an example of election year politics at its very worst and political pandering at its most deadly.”

“Both bills outsource management of the NYPD to unaccountable officials, making it harder for the next mayor and police commissioner to make the decisions they believe necessary to keep our city safe,” he said.

The stop-and-frisk measure promotes racial profiling, which gives people who believe they’ve been profiled the power to sue police in state court.

“It’s a historic day,” said Council member Jumaane Williams, the lead sponsor of the bill. “We have a lot more work left to do. But I’m very happy that the council did its job, moving in the right direction when others wouldn’t.”

The city has taken the first steps toward an appeal of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who called stop-and-frisk “indirect racial profiling” that targeted racially defined groups, resulting in the disproportionate and discriminatory stopping of blacks and Hispanics.

The council’s inspector general bill takes effect on January 1, 2014, when the city will have a new mayor. The racial profiling bill takes effect in 90 days.

Looks like it’s time for Bloomberg to have several seats.

SOURCE: Reuters

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