“We cannot be considering legislation that would require a police officer to ask a suspect, ‘Can I search you?’ and get their permission in writing or verbally — allowing them to rescind that permission at any point,” said Bronx City Councilman James Vacca to CBS News.
Vacca is way off base here. Because he fails to mention that the informed, documented consent is needed only for searches for which there is no legal justification. Moreover, there is no such requirement for anyone who would be described as a “suspect.”
In a letter addressed to the two community boards and precinct council presidents in his District, Vacca repeats the same gross inaccuracies and, based on these false facts, concludes that “it will endanger public safety and hurt our police as they try to keep our streets safe.”
A proposed bill which is supported by half of NYC Council members that would reportedly require:
The police to gain permission, in audio or in writing, before a suspect or the vehicle of a suspect can be searched. That permission could be rescinded at any time during the search.
That the police officer, when seeking permission of the suspect, can only do so in a language understood by the suspect.
NYC council member J. Vacca opposes it because he says it will endanger public safety and hurt police officers on the streets. Vacca points out that someone who has committed a crime will not be giving permission to a police officer and agreeing to be searched.
"We cannot be considering legislation that would require a police officer to ask a suspect, ‘Can I search you?’ and get their permission in writing or verbally — allowing them to rescind that permission at any point," City Councilman James Vacca.
File #: Int 0541-2014 Version:* Name: Requiring law enforcement officers to provide notice and obtain proof of consent to search individuals.
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring law enforcement officers to provide notice and obtain proof of consent to search individuals.
Sponsors: Antonio Reynoso, Ritchie J. Torres, Jumaane D. Williams, Brad S. Lander, Daniel Dromm , Carlos Menchaca, Deborah L. Rose, Donovan J. Richards, Annabel Palma, Helen K. Rosenthal, Corey D. Johnson, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Stephen T. Levin, Margaret S. Chin, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Laurie A. Cumbo, Rosie Mendez, Andy L. King, Julissa Ferreras, Inez D. Barron, Darlene Mealy, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.