Harlem Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito Accused Of “Accommodating” Mayor And NYPD

July 21, 2016

de blasio and wark in harlemNew York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s decision to scuttle legislation that would have toughened guidelines for police stops has exposed tensions on the council, with some lawmakers accusing her of being too accommodating to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD.

Ms. Mark-Viverito, a Harlem Democrat, told council members last week that there would be no vote on two bills aimed at overhauling how officers interact with the public. Instead, she said, some of the changes that lawmakers sought would be handled internally by the New York Police Department.

Councilman Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat and a lead sponsor of one of the bills, said administrative change is “inherently unreliable” because it can be “reversed at the stroke of a pen.” Mr. Torres and other council members said they wished the council was more independent of the de Blasio administration.

“The City Council should be careful to not appear to be in consensus with the administration or deferential to any agency,” Mr. Torres said. “Do I wish the council could balance the mayor more often than we do? Yes.”

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