NYPD officers must hand out business cards identifying themselves and providing information on how to file a complaint under a new rule that took effect on Friday, Oct. 19. Police are also required to explain the purpose of the interaction and obtain clear consent for a search where applicable.
Called the Right to Know Act, the rule was voted on and passed back in 2017 as part of an effort to end unconstitutional searches. The business cards give anyone stopped by police information on where they can comment about an interaction with an officer and get body camera footage.
The new law was developed in response to concerns that controversial policies such as stop-and-frisk had eroded trust in the police department. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional was disproportionately used by officers to target blacks and Latinos.
While advocates of the new law praised its implementation, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) is critical of the additional requirements heaped upon officers. In a statement released on Friday, the PBA said: “The ‘Right to Know’ laws will discourage police officers from proactively addressing crime and disorder and will lead to more frivolous complaints.”
Notwithstanding those objections, the NYPD released a statement insisting officers will comply and that it will continue to listen to comments from the community in order to “fine tune” the policy. In addition, the NYPD has ordered 10 million business cards to be printed for distribution by police officers. Approximately 1 million of those will be blank so officers can fill out information should they run out of their own personal cards.
Those who believe that officers did not follow the law can file a complaint online. Records of police stops can also be requested online or picked up in person at Police Headquarters. If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in New York or New Jersey, it is urgent that you speak with an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled criminal defense attorneys with experience helping people whose rights have been violated by the police. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.