City Council Approves Package Of Police Reform Bills After Voting To End Qualified Immunity For Officers

Opponents argue the legislation will make the city less safe. CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

Video Transcript

- More reforms are coming to the NYPD. The city council passed several bills designed after widespread protests over police brutality. But opponents argue the legislation will only make the city less safe.

CBS2'S Andrea Grymes explains.

ANDREA GRYMES: This package of police legislation will either help improve the NYPD or help hamper it, depending on who you ask. It includes five bills the city council just approved.

STEPHEN LEVIN: I think we made a meaningful step forward in providing some real accountability to the police department on behalf of New Yorkers.

ANDREA GRYMES: Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin proposed one of the bills which will greatly limit qualified immunity for cops, making it much easier to sue a police officer if your rights are violated.

Mayor de Blasio says he supports it because the city will be financially liable, not the officer. Some question if that goes far enough.

SUSAN KANG: What I want is individual level responsibility that will change the calculus of an officer on the street.

BILL DE BLASIO: For potentially tens of thousands of dollars that that was going to tell a whole lot of people this was not a job they could pursue.

ANDREA GRYMES: Some of the other bills would require the NYPD to issue a quarterly report on all traffic stops, and would shift crash investigations that involve serious injury to the Department of Transportation instead.

Opponents of the package include the police unions. They set up this electronic billboard outside City Hall Thursday, arguing the priority instead should be reducing an alarming spike in gun violence, especially in minority neighborhoods.

PAUL DIGIACOMO: Every bill that they put in is making it more difficult for our detectives in the police industry to do their job.

ANGEL MAYSONET: These laws, these bills, are going to cause police to be less proactive. And the people that are going to suffer are the Black and Brown people of the inner city.

ANDREA GRYMES: The Councilman Levin says these reforms are just a start, promising more in the future. The mayor does plan to sign this package into law.

Outside City Hall, Andrea Grymes, CBS2 News.

- Unqualified immunity, the NYPD says, as written the law will simply encourage more lawsuits and make it easier for plaintiffs to name individual officers.