NYPD Union Warns Members To Avoid Legal Risks Of Stop-And-Frisk

NEW YORK, NY &#8211 NYPD beat cops posted a police-union warning in every precinct yesterday instructing officers not to go above and beyond the call of duty — or risk losing their jobs because of the new stop-and-frisk laws, The Post has learned.

“All officers should take action if he or she sees a crime in progress, or if he or she sees that his or her life or the life of another person is in danger . . . [But] all officers should be careful not to initiate any law-enforcement action that could be construed as violating the new legislation and subject the officer to legal action,” read the memo by Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch.

Several rank-and-file cops said yesterday that they plan on following Lynch’s advice rather than risk their careers.

“We are being told not to look for perpetrators of crimes because then we are opening ourselves up to a lawsuit and the job isn’t going to represent us,” a police source said.

“Crime is about to skyrocket. We are going to show up and take reports. This was the safest city in the country . . . Now most crimes will go unsolved.”

Another source added: “These rookies are just getting on the job out of college. They’re not going to risk their pensions. Arrests are going to drop, and crime’s going to soar.

“It really puts a wrench into law enforcement. They’re going to be second-guessing everything they do.”

Another cop agreed that fear of being sued will hinder investigations — even in rape cases.

“If someone gets raped and says it was a black male, I’m going to be handicapped to stop someone because I could get sued for racial profiling. So now I’m just going to take reports,” the cop said.

Even the bad guys have gotten the memo.

“Perps on the street are saying, ‘If they’re not going to stop me, I’m going to start carrying [my gun] again.’ That’s the word on the street,” said one police source.

“The number of stops is going to go way down, and crime is going to go way up. Shootings and murders are going to come back big time,” the source said.

“Now all these guys who weren’t carrying guns are going to carry again, because they know we can’t stop them. The first thing a perp is going to say is, ‘You can’t stop me, I’m going to sue you,’ a second source agreed.

The sources said most cops want to pursue criminals and make stops, “but now they think if they do, they’re going to get sued and the department won’t have their backs. So now they’re not going to do squat. The situation is just too volatile.”

New bills passed by the City Council — following an override of Mayor Bloomberg’s vetoes — create an inspector general and allow citizens to sue cops in state court under an expanded definition of racial profiling.

“I’m not stopping a soul,” said another police source. “Let the perps play. We put our lives on the line every day for criminals. You think any cop with a functioning brain is going to risk getting a lawsuit or losing their pension?”

Stop-and-frisks were already on the decline before the measures, which could bring the effective police tactic to a virtual halt.

New figures obtained by The Post show there were 58,088 stop-and-frisks recorded in the second quarter of this year — the least of any quarter since at least 2005.

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday threw up his hands in defeat after fighting the bills for nearly a year.

“The fact that they overrode the vetoes wasn’t a surprise. It’s election-year politicking rather than common sense in terms of what’s right for the city, and the next mayor’s going to have to deal with whatever laws there are,” Bloomberg said on his weekly WOR radio show.

“In the meantime, my job is to keep bringing crime down. We’re just going to keep doing everything we can to, within the law, keep people safe.”

Bloomberg said he intends to file a legal challenge to the racial- profiling bill that allows for state lawsuits.

But he didn’t give his usual warnings about the bills leading to a crime spike. And he said he’ll leave it up to his successor to make things right

“I can’t tell the next mayor what to do, and I shouldn’t tell the mayor what to do,” he said. “I’ve fought as hard as I can.”

But Bloomberg is appealing a federal judge’s order for an independent monitor of the NYPD. The judge ruled that the NYPD engaged in “indirect racial profiling” by making hundreds of thousands of unwarranted stops of blacks and Hispanics.

All of the Democratic mayoral hopefuls except for Anthony Weiner have said they’d drop the appeal of the federal decision. All three Republican contenders have vowed to continue Bloomberg’s fight.

Cops on the beat already have the following mountain of oversight:

* Civilian Complaint Review Board: Investigates complaints of alleged misconduct with subpoena power.

* Commission to Combat Police Corruption: City agency that monitors and evaluates anti-corruption programs and practices.

* NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau: Reviews allegations of police misconduct and can recommend disciplinary action.

* NYPD Quality Assurance Division: Monitors compliance with department procedures through audits.

* Investigation Review Section: Part of the NYPD Chief of Patrol’s Office, investigates complaints not handled by IAB and CCRB.

* Prosecutors: The city’s five district attorneys, two US attorneys and the state attorney general have jurisdiction to conduct criminal investigations into allegations of police wrongdoing.

* Justice Department Civil Rights Division: Prosecutes allegations of police misconduct relating to civil-rights violations. Supervisors: Sergeants, lieutenants, precinct integrity officers and precinct commanders all review and evaluate the performance of officers.

A federal judge and the City Council have added these two extra layers of oversight:

* Inspector General: Investigates and reviews NYPD operations, policies and practices, including stop-andfrisk.

* Federal monitor (Peter Zimroth): Oversees compliance of a federal judge’s ruling reining in stopand-frisk, including training, supervision,monitoring and discipline.

From The NY Post

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