Chief Attorney Speaks At City Hall Press Conference With Councilmembers And Community Leaders In Support Of The Veto Override Of Legislation To Address Unlawful Stop and Frisk Practices

At a City Hall press conference organized by Councilmembers and Communities United for Police Reform of which The Legal Aid Society is a member, Steven Banks, the Society's Attorney-in-Chief, spoke in support of overriding the veto of the Independent NYPD Oversight Act and the End NYPD Discriminatory Profiling Act.

Banks said that "every day, in all five boroughs of the City, our front-line Legal Aid staff see the continued harm resulting from improper and unlawful policing. Particularly in light of the recent landmark federal court ruling that the City conducts stops and frisks in violation of the 4th Amendment and in a racially discriminatory manner, this legislation is urgently needed to provide independent oversight of the NYPD just like other City agencies have and expand existing prohibitions on police profiling to protect New Yorkers from profiling based on, for example, gender identity and expression as well as homelessness and housing status." The Legal Aid Society, along with others, is counsel in federal class action litigation to end the City's unlawful stop, question, frisk and arrest policies and practices that affect residents and their guests in New York City Housing Authority developments as well as in State court litigation to stop unlawful marijuana arrests. The Society is the oldest and largest legal services organization in the United States, annually handling more than 300,000 individual legal matters in all five boroughs each year for low-income New Yorkers with civil, criminal and juvenile rights legal problems in addition to law reform litigation benefiting all two million low-income children and adults in the City.