New York: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Politics: Yusef Salaam's Traffic Stop Was Correct, And No Reason

POLITICS: Yusef Salaam’s traffic stop was correct, and no reason to make NYC less safe

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Yusef Salaam, a member of the City Council and the “Central Park Five,” was pulled over by the NYPD for breaking the law, treated politely, then let go because he was on official business.

Now Salaam and other members of the Council are using the incident as an excuse to support a bill that would punish cops and make New Yorkers less safe.

To be absolutely clear: The NYPD officer did nothing wrong in his interaction with Salaam.

The council member was driving a car with Georgia plates and windows that were tinted beyond what is legally allowed.

You can watch the whole interaction on the body camera footage the NYPD released. The officer asks the driver to please roll down his back window as he approaches the vehicle.

Why? Because Detective Russel Timoshenko was shot and killed through tinted windows in 2007.

The officer immediately identifies himself, at which point Salaam says he’s a member of the City Council. “Oh, OK, have a good one,” the cop responds. Because he’s showing respect to a city politician on official business.

Salaam is mad that the officer didn’t explain why he pulled him over. But the interaction takes all of 30 seconds, and the officer isn’t going to cite Salaam; he’s letting the councilman get on with his evening. Salaam takes politeness and respect and tries turning it into scandal.

“The fact that the officer did not provide a rationale for the stop … calls into question how the NYPD justifies its stops of New Yorkers and highlights the need for greater transparency to ensure they are constitutional,” Salaam said in a statement.

Salaam has canceled a planned ride along with the NYPD and has said he supports the How Many Stops Act, an anti-police bill that Mayor Adams vetoed.

The Council will try to override that veto Tuesday.

The How Many Stops Act would not change what happened with Salaam in the slightest.

Officers currently do not have to say why they pulled you over, and won’t under the new bill.

The Adams administration supports an effort to make that a requirement, separate from the How Many Stops Act.

The officer has to document the Salaam traffic stop now, under current regulations. Again, the Act does nothing to change that.

What the How Many Stops Act does do is force the NYPD to document every interaction with every person, even in the most innocuous sense. So just asking someone if they witnessed a crime, and having that person say no, requires a form.

It drowns the department in paperwork, and encourages officers not to interact with the public at all. Which, for the “defund the police” progressives, is exactly the point.

That it will shackle police and encourage crime, they don’t really care.

You can see the absurdity of this position with state Sen. Jessica Ramos’ “worker safety” bill.

Ramos supported justice “reforms” that decriminalized shoplifting and let offenders out without bail. Retail theft skyrocketed, threats against employees increased.

Ramos’ solution is to require businesses to have their own security guards and other safety measures. She’d rather have vigilantism rather than a functioning criminal justice system.

Yusef Salaam’s traffic stop wasn’t wrong, and the bill he supports will do nothing to “fix” it.

It will just be another progressive sledgehammer, chipping away at the safety of this city.

Follow Mayor Adams’ lead. Uphold the veto.

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