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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


October 14, 2013

The NYC PBA sues the City Council over "biased policing law"

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) will file a lawsuit tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/15/13) in State Supreme Court challenging the so-called “bias based policing” law charging that the City Council exceeded its authority in passing the local law and that it is both preempted by the NYS Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) and is unconstitutionally vague, it was announced today by PBA president Patrick J. Lynch.

“We believe that the City Council overstepped the bounds of its authority with the passage of what is now known as Local Law 71,” PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said. 

“The New York State Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) is clear and unambiguous in establishing itself as the sole and exclusive source for procedure for criminal actions, proceedings and matters in the State of New York.  The CPL was established to ensure that people throughout New York State are subject to the same laws and standards to avoid confusion and unequal treatment in different jurisdictions.  The City Council does not have the authority to supersede the state’s CPL,” Lynch stated.

“Additionally, the language of so-called ‘biased policing law’ is unconstitutionally vague and will only serve to confuse police officers regarding its racial profiling provisions while hampering their ability to enforce the existing state laws that keep our city safe,” Lynch added.  “The NYC PBA is taking this extraordinary legal action because we believe that the negative impact of this erroneously conceived and executed local law on the men and women who risk their lives to protect this city is undeserved and unjust,” Lynch concluded.

The suit will be filed by Dechert LLP’s James M. McGuire and Steven A. Engel in cooperation with the PBA’s General Counsel, Michael T. Murray, and his staff.

Click here for a copy of the complaint.

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The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) is the largest municipal police union in the nation and represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.