BY TRONE DOWD
Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) has announced that he would back new legislation that would limit the amount of power police officers have over New York City youths without a parent’s consent.
The proposed law, Intro 1710, would exempt teenagers from being picked up by police officers and used as filler “suspects” in a police line-up without parental consent. According to Lancman, outrage over such practices were first made paramount following an incident in Bellerose earlier this year when an individual under the age of 18 years took part in a line police line-up. Residents voiced their concerns regarding the incident at both Community Board 13’s general meeting and 105th Community Council meeting in June.
“Parents should know and approve of any situation where a minor is being asked to be involved in a law enforcement operation,” Lancman said. “We need to take action to ensure that what happened in Bellerose earlier this year does not happen again. My legislation will codify existing internal NYPD policy into law, and ensure that both law enforcement and community members understand the protocol that must be followed if a minor is to be used as a filler in a police line-up.”
The NYPD often recruits participants from the community for line-ups. Those who take part are compensated for their time. The PRESS of Southeast Queens reached out to the 105th Precinct, but was unable to get a response by press time.
Community leaders stood united with Lancman and agreed that any further incidents involving city youths in police line-ups should be avoided.
“Until a child reaches adulthood, a parent is vested with the authority to make decisions in every aspect of the child’s life,” said Leroy Gadsden, President of the Jamaica Branch NAACP. “If parental consent is required in writing for something as routine as a school field trip, then truly they should granted the right to make a decision in something as precious and dear as their child’s freedom and liberty.”
Jonathon Logan, a concerned parent, said that he was glad to see action being taken in light of the recent incident.
“I am happy to be part of the conversation going forward that will help shape this proposed legislation and I am confident that the bonds we make with our elected officials will bring the true voice of the people to the forefront of the political arena where it currently is not,” Logan said.
Kevin Livingston, a community activist and advocate for improving community-police relations, said that he took the proposed legislation to heart and hopes to see it pass.
“This legislation is very personal to me, it is very personal to the young men who I speak with on a daily basis, and to my three daughters who grew up in this community,” Livingston said. “I wholeheartedly support this bill.”
Reach reporter Trone Dowd at (718) 357-7400, ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.