New York City Councilman, Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated Central Park Five, was stopped by a New York City police officer on Jan. 26. According to USA Today, the 50-year-old Democrat was on a call with members of the City Council discussing how to improve the NYPD’s protocol for police stops when the incident occured.
On X, formerly Twitter, the NYPD shared body camera footage of the officer’s interaction with Salaam. The department insisted that the city official was stopped because he was driving with “a dark tint beyond legal limits.”
In the 40-second video, the NYPD officer stepped out of his car and approached Salaam’s blue sedan. He asked him to lower the back window, to which Salaam complied, but the officer continued to scan his flashlight at the councilman’s passenger seat. After he identified himself as a council member for the district, Salaam asked the officer if everything was “okay.” The NYPD official affirmed, and then queried Salaam about his work before he walked off and told the Harlem native to “Take care, sir.”
Oddly, the officer did not specify why he stopped Yusef Salaam.
Councilwoman Sandy Nurse says was on the phone during Salaam’s stop.
District 37 Councilwoman Sandy Nurse, who was on the phone during the Democrat’s sudden stop, said that the incident occurred as lawyers were briefing city officials “on what to expect during a ride-along stop” for Mayor Adams’ ride-along event in the Bronx and Harlem for lawmakers.
“You cannot make this up,” she penned on Jan. 27 before calling on officials to pass a controversial bill that would require NYPD officials to write a comprehensive report on NYPD street stops, investigative encounters, and consent searches. “No more Mayoral stunts. We need the How Many Stops Act.”
Salaam released a statement about the incident.
Salaam did not attend the event on Saturday after his incident with the NYPD officer. Instead, the city council called for Mayor Adams and the NYPD to design “transparent” laws that will ensure officers are required to give a clear “rationale” when conducting a stop, which he said wasn’t given during his encounter with the law official.
“This experience only amplified the importance of transparency for all police investigative stops because the lack of transparency allows racial profiling and unconstitutional stops of all types to occur and often go unreported,” the councilman added.
On Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, accompanied a group of City Council members on a police patrol as part of his widely publicized effort to shut down the How Many Stops Act. Adams believes the outing will sway City Council members away from supporting a 35-9 super majority when they convene on Jan. 30 to decide whether to override the mayor’s veto of the controversial How Many Stops Act. The Mayor says that the act would burden New York’s police force with unnecessary paperwork while out on the job.
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