Central Park 5 exoneree and council member says police stopped him without giving a reason

Central Park 5 exoneree and council member says police stopped him without giving a reason

New York City Council Member Yusef Salaam, a member of the exonerated group of men known as the Central Park Five, says he was stopped and pulled over by police without being given an explanation.

The police stop in New York City on Friday casts a renewed light on a police transparency bill, called the How Many Stops Act, that City Council members are set to vote on Tuesday to override Mayor Eric Adams’ veto. It would require officers to publicly report on all investigative stops, including relatively low-level encounters with civilians.

In the encounter with Salaam, which lasted less than a minute at 6:20 p.m., a police officer — heard in body camera footage provided by the New York Police Department — asks Salaam to roll down the back windows of his car.

Police later said in a statement that Salaam was stopped for driving with a dark tint beyond legal limits.

The police officer conducted himself professionally and respectfully, the NYPD said in the statement, adding that he used discretion to allow the council member to complete his official duties.

“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 underreported,” Salaam, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Salaam won a seat on the New York City Council in November and represents a central Harlem district.

“At a time when Black and Latino New Yorkers continue to be disproportionately subjected to unconstitutional stops that go underreported, and civilian complaints of misconduct are at their highest level in over a decade, the need for basic transparency is clear,” New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said in a statement Friday about the legislation, before the traffic stop.