The New York City Council last week required police officers to record the race, age and gender of most people they approach, overriding Mayor Eric Adams’s veto and establishing a law that its supporters say will give a fuller picture of whom officers are stopping during investigations.
The law, known as the How Many Stops Act, is meant to improve the Police Department’s data-collection efforts and to prevent unlawful encounters with young people of color and other abuses.
Mr. Adams objects to an element of the legislation that requires officers to record their observations of residents they approach for any law enforcement purpose, including asking a person to help find a fleeing suspect or a missing person.
The mayor has said that the police will follow the law, which takes effect in July. Here is a closer look at what it is supposed to accomplish and how it may affect the police and the public:
What does the law do?
The law requires officers to collect and share a wide spectrum of information about low-level interactions with members of the public.
According to the Police Department’s patrol guide, there are three levels of interaction that occur during “investigative encounters.”
Level 1 is when an officer requests information from a person who is not a suspect. The person is under no obligation to respond to such requests.